Case: Prison Legal News v. Livingston

2:09-cv-00296 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: Nov. 4, 2009

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 4, 2009, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Texas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988 against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. PLN, represented by private and public interest counsel, asked for punitive and compensatory damages and injunctive relief, claiming that PLN's right to free speech and due process had been violated.Specifically the plaintiff claimed that a prisoner at the Texas Department of Criminal …

On November 4, 2009, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Texas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988 against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. PLN, represented by private and public interest counsel, asked for punitive and compensatory damages and injunctive relief, claiming that PLN's right to free speech and due process had been violated.

Specifically the plaintiff claimed that a prisoner at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Hilltop Unit ordered a copy of Women Behind Bars from PLN and once it arrived to Hilltop, informed the prisoner she could not receive the book due to a content violation. PLN did not receive notification of this denial. PLN sent multiple copies of Women Behind Bars and other books critical of the prison system and the books were all denied entry. PLN claimed that their First Amendment rights to free speech and expression had been violated, their liberty interest in communicating with incarcerated individuals had been denied, and that there was no legitimate penological interest for doing so. Furthermore, PLN claimed that they had been denied due process of law because PLN had not been given notice when their publications were not allowed into the prison.

On January 4, 2011, the District Court (Judge Janis Graham Jack) granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. The court held that First Amendment rights do not apply to readers and publishers alone, but also to book distributors, as long as the recipient of the book is willing. However, the court found that stopping these books from coming into prisons was a legitimate government interest for the TDCJ. The court noted that since this was not a facial challenge of book banning practices in Texas prisons, but was an as applied challenge, it was much harder to rule in favor of the plaintiffs in this case as the judgment of prison officials is given broad deference.

The plaintiffs then appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the summary judgment ruling was affirmed on June 1, 2012 after a de novo review.

Summary Authors

Deeva Shah (10/1/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4397622/parties/prison-legal-news-v-livingston/


Judge(s)

Clement, Edith Brown (Louisiana)

DeMoss, Harold R. Jr. (Texas)

Elrod, Jennifer Walker (Texas)

Jack, Janis Graham (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Harrington, James C (Texas)

Izzo, Lauren (Texas)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Medlock, Scott Charles (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Burton, Cynthia (Texas)

Cook, Allan Kennedy (Texas)

Judge(s)

Clement, Edith Brown (Louisiana)

DeMoss, Harold R. Jr. (Texas)

Elrod, Jennifer Walker (Texas)

Jack, Janis Graham (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Harrington, James C (Texas)

Izzo, Lauren (Texas)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Medlock, Scott Charles (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Burton, Cynthia (Texas)

Cook, Allan Kennedy (Texas)

Cunniff, Celamine (Texas)

Hoffman, Jesse (Texas)

Johnson, Calysta L (Texas)

Matlock, Karen (Texas)

Wells, Jennifer J (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

July 2, 2012 Docket
1

Complaint

Nov. 4, 2009 Complaint
32

Order

2009 WL 5170229

Dec. 17, 2009 Order/Opinion
48

Amended Complaint

Feb. 16, 2010 Complaint
53

Order

2010 WL 1610109

April 21, 2010 Order/Opinion
63-1

Second Amended Complaint

July 28, 2010 Complaint
96

Order

2011 WL 22639

Jan. 4, 2011 Order/Opinion
97

Final Judgment

Jan. 5, 2011 Order/Opinion

Opinion (Affirming Summary Judgment for Defendants)

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

683 F.3d 201

June 1, 2012 Order/Opinion
105

Judgment

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

June 29, 2012 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Prison Legal News Homepage

Prison Legal News

Prison Legal News (PLN), a project of the non-profit Human Rights Defense Center, is a 72-page monthly magazine that reports on criminal justice issues and prison and jail-related civil litigation, w… https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4397622/prison-legal-news-v-livingston/

Last updated May 13, 2022

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Nov. 4, 2009 PACER
2

Order for Initial Conference and Disclosure

1 Standing Order

View on PACER

Nov. 5, 2009 PACER
3

Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 6, 2009 PACER
4

Order on Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 6, 2009 PACER
5

Certificate of Interested Parties

Nov. 23, 2009 PACER
6

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 4, 2009 PACER
7

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 4, 2009 PACER
8

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 4, 2009 PACER
9

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 4, 2009 PACER
10

JointDiscovery/Case Management Plan

1 Exhibit 1

View on PACER

Dec. 4, 2009 PACER
11

Motion to Transfer Case

1 Proposed Order

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Dec. 7, 2009 PACER
12

Motion to Dismiss

1 Proposed Order

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2 Exhibit A

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Dec. 7, 2009 PACER
13

Certificate of Interested Parties

Dec. 8, 2009 PACER
14

Motion for Continuance

1 Attachment A

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2 Proposed Order

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Dec. 8, 2009 PACER
15

Advisory

Dec. 8, 2009 PACER
16

Motion to Dismiss

1 Exhibit A

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2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 9, 2009 PACER
17

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 9, 2009 PACER
18

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 9, 2009 PACER
19

Motion to Dismiss

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 11, 2009 PACER
20

Notice of Resetting

Dec. 14, 2009 PACER
21

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 15, 2009 PACER
22

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit

View on PACER

Dec. 15, 2009 PACER
23

Document

Dec. 16, 2009 PACER
24

Motion for Leave to Appear

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 16, 2009 PACER
25

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 16, 2009 PACER
26

Order on Motion for Leave to Appear

Dec. 17, 2009 PACER
27

Notice of Setting

Dec. 17, 2009 PACER
28

Motion to Seal

1 Exhibit A - Coversheet Only

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2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 17, 2009 PACER
29

Sealed Event

Dec. 17, 2009 PACER
30

Motion to Dismiss

1 Exhibit A

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2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 17, 2009 PACER
31

Order on Motion to Seal

Dec. 17, 2009 PACER
33

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 17, 2009 PACER
32

ORDER Denying in Part 30 MOTION to Dismiss Defendant Richard Lopez' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing, 12 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Standing, 19 MOTION to Dismiss Defendant E. Brown's Motion to Dismiss for La ck of Standing, 16 MOTION to Dismiss Defendant Jennifer Smith's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing, Denying 11 Opposed MOTION to Transfer Case to Waco Division of the Western District, United States District Court ( Defendants may submit additional briefing on subject of qualified immunity by 1/6/2010, Plaintiff must respond by 1/13/2010).(Signed by Judge Janis Graham Jack) Parties notified.(srussell, )

Dec. 17, 2009 RECAP
34

Order

Dec. 18, 2009 PACER
35

Order

Dec. 18, 2009 PACER
36

Order

Dec. 18, 2009 PACER
37

Scheduling Order

Dec. 18, 2009 PACER
38

JointDiscovery/Case Management Plan

Dec. 18, 2009 PACER
39

Notice of Attorney Substitution

Jan. 11, 2010 PACER
40

Answer to Complaint

Jan. 12, 2010 PACER
41

Notice (Other)

Jan. 15, 2010 PACER
42

Notice (Other)

Jan. 15, 2010 PACER
43

Motion to Dismiss

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit A

View on PACER

Jan. 29, 2010 PACER
44

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Feb. 12, 2010 PACER
45

Motion to Amend

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Feb. 12, 2010 PACER
46

Notice of Setting

Feb. 16, 2010 PACER
47

Order on Motion to Amend

Feb. 16, 2010 PACER
48

Amended Complaint/Counterclaim/Crossclaim etc.

Feb. 16, 2010 PACER
49

Amended Answer

March 2, 2010 PACER
50

Notice (Other)

March 10, 2010 PACER
51

Notice of Attorney Substitution

April 12, 2010 PACER
52

Notice of Appearance

April 12, 2010 PACER
53

ORDER granting 43 Supplemental MOTION to Dismiss Based On Qualified Immunity.(Signed by Judge Janis Graham Jack) Parties notified.(sscotch, )

April 21, 2010 RECAP
54

Letter

April 23, 2010 PACER
55

Notice (Other)

April 30, 2010 PACER
56

Order

May 4, 2010 PACER
57

Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

June 9, 2010 PACER
58

Order on Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

June 11, 2010 PACER
59

Notice of Appearance

June 24, 2010 PACER
60

Notice of Appearance

July 20, 2010 PACER
61

Designation of Expert Witness List

July 22, 2010 PACER
62

Designation of Expert Witness List

July 22, 2010 PACER
63

Motion to Amend

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

July 28, 2010 PACER
64

Motion to Modify

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

July 29, 2010 PACER
65

Notice of Setting

July 30, 2010 PACER
66

Order on Motion to Amend

July 30, 2010 PACER
67

Amended Complaint/Counterclaim/Crossclaim etc.

July 30, 2010 PACER
68

Scheduling Order

July 30, 2010 PACER
69

Advisory

Aug. 16, 2010 PACER
70

Advisory

Aug. 19, 2010 PACER
71

Answer to Amended Complaint

Aug. 20, 2010 PACER
72

Motion for Summary Judgment

1 Appendix Tab 1

View on PACER

2 Appendix Tab 2 Exh A

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3 Appendix Tab 2 Exh B

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4 Appendix Tab 2 Exh C

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5 Appendix Tab 2 Exh D

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6 Appendix Tab 2 Exh E

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7 Appendix Tab 2 Exh F

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Oct. 15, 2010 PACER
73

Appendix

1 Appendix Tab 2 Exh G-2

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2 Appendix Tab 2 Exh G-3

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3 Appendix Tab 2 Exh H

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4 Appendix Tab 2 Exh I

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5 Appendix Tab 2 Exh J

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6 Appendix Tab 2 Exh K

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7 Appendix Tab 2 Exh L

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8 Appendix Tab 2 Exh M

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9 Appendix Tab 2 Exh N

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10 Appendix Tab 2 Exh O

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11 Appendix Tab 2 Exh P

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12 Appendix Tab 2 Exh Q

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Oct. 15, 2010 PACER
74

Appendix

1 Appendix Tab 2 Exh S

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2 Appendix Tab 2 Exh T

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3 Appendix Tab 2 Exh U

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4 Appendix Tab 2 Exh V

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5 Appendix Tab 2 Exh W

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6 Appendix Tab 2 Exh X

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7 Appendix Tab 3

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8 Appendix Tab 4

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9 Appendix Tab 5

View on PACER

10 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2010 PACER
75

Motion for Summary Judgment

1 Exhibit Exhibits 1-8a

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2 Exhibit Exhibits 8b-11

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3 Exhibit Exhibits 12-16

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4 Exhibit Exhibits 17-28

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5 Exhibit Exhibits 29-33

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6 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2010 PACER
76

Motion to Exclude

1 Exhibit A

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2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2010 PACER
77

Order Striking Document

Oct. 18, 2010 PACER
78

Motion for Leave to File Document

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 18, 2010 PACER
79

Motion for Leave to File Document

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 18, 2010 PACER
80

Motion for Summary Judgment

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 18, 2010 PACER
81

Appendix

1 Appendix Tab 2 Exh A

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2 Appendix Tab 2 Exh B

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3 Appendix Tab 2 Exh C

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4 Appendix Tab 2 Exh D

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5 Appendix Tab 2 Exh E

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6 Appendix Tab 2 Exh F

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7 Appendix Tab 2 Exh G

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8 Appendix Tab 2 Exh H

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9 Appendix Tab 2 Exh I

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10 Appendix Tab 2 Exh J

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11 Appendix Tab 2 Exh K

View on PACER

12 Appendix Tab 2 Exh L

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13 Appendix Tab 2 Exh M

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14 Appendix Tab 2 Exh N

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15 Appendix Tab 2 Exh O

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16 Appendix Tab 2 Exh P

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17 Appendix Tab 2 Exh Q

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18 Appendix Tab 2 Exh R

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19 Appendix Tab 2 Exh S

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20 Appendix Tab 2 Exh T

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21 Appendix Tab 2 Exh U

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22 Appendix Tab 2 Exh V

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23 Appendix Tab 2 Exh W

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24 Appendix Tab 2 Exh X

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25 Appendix Tab 3

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26 Appendix Tab 4

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27 Appendix Tab 5

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28 Appendix Tab 6

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Oct. 18, 2010 PACER
82

Motion for Summary Judgment

1 Proposed Order

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2 Appendix Tab 1

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3 Appendix Tab 2A

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4 Appendix Tab2B

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5 Appendix Tab 2C

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6 Appendix Tab 2D

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7 Appendix Tab 2E

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8 Appendix Tab 2F

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9 Appendix Tab 2G

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10 Appendix Tab 2H

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11 Appendix Tab 2I

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12 Appendix Tab 2J

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13 Appendix Tab 2K

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14 Appendix Tab 2L

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15 Appendix Tab 2M

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16 Appendix Tab 2N

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17 Appendix Tab 2O

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18 Appendix Tab 2P

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19 Appendix Tab 2Q

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20 Appendix Tab 2R

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21 Appendix Tab 2S

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22 Appendix Tab 2T

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23 Appendix Tab 2U

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24 Appendix Tab 2V

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25 Appendix Tab 2W

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26 Appendix Tab 2X

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27 Appendix Tab 3

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28 Appendix Tab 4

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29 Appendix Tab 5

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30 Appendix Tab 6

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Oct. 18, 2010 PACER
83

Order on Motion for Leave to File

Oct. 21, 2010 PACER
84

Notice (Other)

Oct. 28, 2010 PACER
85

Notice (Other)

Oct. 29, 2010 PACER
86

Response in Opposition to Motion

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 4, 2010 PACER
87

Motion to Strike

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 8, 2010 PACER
88

Reply

Nov. 8, 2010 PACER
89

Response

Nov. 8, 2010 PACER
90

Response to Motion

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

4 Exhibit

View on PACER

5 Exhibit Continuation

View on PACER

Nov. 8, 2010 PACER
91

Order Striking Document

Nov. 9, 2010 PACER
92

Motion for Reconsideration

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit

View on PACER

Nov. 10, 2010 PACER
93

ORDER granting 92 Motion for Reconsideration and VACATES its November 9, 2010 Order (DE #91). Defts' Response to Pltffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (DE#89) and Motion to Strike (DE #87) are hereby deemed timely.(Signed by Judge Janis Graham Jack) Parties notified.(lsmith, )

Nov. 12, 2010 RECAP
94

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 23, 2010 PACER
95

Advisory

Dec. 8, 2010 PACER
96

ORDER denying 75 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying as moot 76 Motion to Exclude; granting 82 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 87 Motion to Strike.(Signed by Judge Janis Graham Jack) Parties notified.(mserpa, )

Jan. 4, 2011 RECAP
97

Final Judgment

Jan. 5, 2011 PACER
98

Notice of Appeal

Feb. 1, 2011 PACER
99

Notice of the Filing of an Appeal

Feb. 3, 2011 PACER
100

USCA Case Number

Feb. 10, 2011 PACER

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Prison Legal News

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 4, 2009

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Publisher of a monthly magazine and distributor of books, informing incarcerated individuals of their rights.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Texas Department of Criminal Justice, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Library (non-law) access

Mail

Type of Facility:

Government-run