Case: Human Rights Defense Center v. Greene County

3:17-cv-00381 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Filed Date: Oct. 31, 2017

Closed Date: Oct. 12, 2018

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 31, 2017, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The HRDC sued Greene County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. HRDC sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as monetary damages and attorneys’ fees. They claimed that the defendant violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights when it censored mail that HRDC sent to inmates at the Greene County Jail (GCJ). This case was referred to Judge Thomas M. Ros…

On October 31, 2017, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The HRDC sued Greene County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. HRDC sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as monetary damages and attorneys’ fees. They claimed that the defendant violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights when it censored mail that HRDC sent to inmates at the Greene County Jail (GCJ). This case was referred to Judge Thomas M. Rose.

On the same day, HRDC filed a motion for preliminary injunction, requesting that Judge Rose prohibit the defendants from arbitrarily censoring plaintiff’s materials sent to prisoners housed in the GCJ. The plaintiff also requested that the court require the defendants to provide HRDC notice stating the reasons for any rejection of HRDC’s publications and an opportunity to be heard on the matter before finally rejecting any mail sent by HRDC. The plaintiff argued that their publications posed no threat to the safety and security of the facility and that the defendant’s policies and practices did not advance a legitimate penological objective.

On November 29, 2017, the HRDC and the defendants filed a settlement agreement resolving all injunctive claims raised in the complaint. In the settlement agreement, the defendants agreed that they would not censor nor refuse to deliver items mailed to prisoners at the GCJ since July 2017. It was also agreed that the defendant would deliver all mail sent after the settlement agreement if it was consistent with the defendants’ legitimate penological interests and express policy terms on publications and other materials sent to prisoners from publishers, book clubs, bookstores, or established vendors or distributors. The court was to retain jurisdiction over the enforcement of the settlement agreement, but the agreement did not state how long it would last. It was presumably permanent.

On March 7, 2018, Judge Rose ordered the parties to take part in a court conducted mediation supervised by Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington to address the remaining monetary issues.

On July 13, 2018, the plaintiff moved to enforce the settlement agreement. According to the plaintiff's motion, the initial settlement agreement explicitly stated that the agreement addressed only the injunctive relief, and not monetary damages. The motion stated, "Defendants now disavow the enforceability of the executed Settlement Agreement because they profess that they were unaware that the agreement dealt solely with injunctive relief, despite the plain and explicit terms of the agreement, and that regardless of its clear and express intent, they are not bound by the terms." The plaintiffs asked the court to retain jurisdiction over the earlier agreement and require the defendant's compliance.

Without ruling on the motion, Judge Rose reassigned the case to Magistrate Judge Michael J. Newman on August 28.

On October 11 2018, the parties filed a second settlement agreement. The parties agreed that the defendants denied any liability in this case. However, in order to avoid the burden of litigation, the parties agreed to a settlement as to the constitutional violations. Greene County agreed to pay HRDC a total of $45,000 in full and final settlement of all claims for damages, attorneys’ fees and costs. HRDC agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, but the court retained jurisdiction for enforcement of the first and second settlements. One day later, Judge Ovington dismissed the case with prejudice, with the exception of the two settlement agreements.

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Jake Parker (5/24/2018)

Dawn Lui (6/7/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6379191/parties/human-rights-defense-center-v-greene-county-ohio/


Judge(s)

Ovington, Sharon L. (Ohio)

Rose, Thomas M. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Johnson, Bruce E.H. (Washington)

Marshall, Daniel (Florida)

Mutamba, Masimba (Florida)

Neelakanta, Sabarish (Florida)

Newman, Robert B. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Ellis, Elizabeth Anne (Ohio)

Hayden, Stephanie Renee (Ohio)

Judge(s)

Ovington, Sharon L. (Ohio)

Rose, Thomas M. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Johnson, Bruce E.H. (Washington)

Marshall, Daniel (Florida)

Mutamba, Masimba (Florida)

Neelakanta, Sabarish (Florida)

Newman, Robert B. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Ellis, Elizabeth Anne (Ohio)

Hayden, Stephanie Renee (Ohio)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Human Rights Defense Center v. Greene County Ohio

July 3, 2019 Docket
1

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief Under the Civil Rights Act 42 U.S.C. §1983 and Damages

Oct. 31, 2017 Complaint
25

Settlement Agreement

Human Rights Defense Center v. Greene County Ohio

Oct. 12, 2018 Settlement Agreement

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6379191/human-rights-defense-center-v-greene-county-ohio/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link

Case Transferred In - Divisional

Oct. 31, 2017 PACER

Docket Annotation

Oct. 31, 2017 PACER
1

COMPLAINT with JURY DEMAND against All Plaintiffs ( Filing fee $ 400 paid - receipt number: 0648-6186058), filed by robert human rights defense center. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Newman, Robert) (Entered: 10/31/2017)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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Oct. 31, 2017 PACER
2

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Plaintiff Human Rights Defense Center. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement Memorandum, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit) (Newman, Robert) Modified on 11/8/2017 to correct docket text. (jmb). (Entered: 10/31/2017)

1 Supplement memorandum

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2 Exhibit

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3 Exhibit

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4 Exhibit

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5 Exhibit

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Oct. 31, 2017 PACER

Case transferred in from Cincinnati Division on 10/31/2017, Case Number 1:17-cv-730. Case assigned to Judge Thomas M. Rose. (sct)

Oct. 31, 2017 PACER
3

ORDER transferring case from the docket of the Honorable Michael R. Barrett to the Office of the Clerk for reassignment to the Western Division of the Southern District of Ohio at Dayton. Signed by Judge Michael R. Barrett on 10/31/17. (sct) (Entered: 10/31/2017)

Oct. 31, 2017 PACER

***If this case is referred, it will be to Magistrate Judge Michael J. Newman. (sct)

Oct. 31, 2017 PACER
4

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee of $200 paid, receipt number 0648-6195213) of Daniel Marshall by Plaintiff Human Rights Defense Center. (Newman, Robert) (Entered: 11/07/2017)

Nov. 7, 2017 PACER
5

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee of $200 paid, receipt number 0648-6195231) of Masimba Mutamba by Plaintiff Human Rights Defense Center. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit) (Newman, Robert) Modified on 11/8/2017 to correct docket text(jmb). (Entered: 11/07/2017)

1 Affidavit

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Nov. 7, 2017 PACER
6

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee of $200 paid, receipt number 0648-6195256) of Sabarish Neelakanta by Plaintiff Human Rights Defense Center. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit) (Newman, Robert) Modified on 11/8/2017 to correct docket text.(jmb). (Entered: 11/07/2017)

1 Affidavit

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Nov. 7, 2017 PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Stephanie Renee Hayden for Defendants Gene Fischer, Greene County Ohio, Kirk Keller (Hayden, Stephanie) (Entered: 11/07/2017)

Nov. 7, 2017 PACER

Notice of Correction re: 4 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee of $200 paid, receipt number 0648-6195213) of Daniel Marshall: Counsel is instructed to file a Certificate of Good Standing for Daniel Marshall using the event Notice (Other): located under Civil, Notice, Notice(Other) and reference the Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice 4 in the docket text. (kma)

Nov. 8, 2017 PACER

Notice of Corrective Docket Entry

Nov. 8, 2017 PACER

NOTATION ORDER granting 4 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice of Daniel Lucas Marshall. Signed by Judge Thomas M. Rose on 11/8/2017. (jmb)

Nov. 8, 2017 PACER

ORDER granting 5 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice of Masimba Maxwell Mutamba. Signed by Judge Thomas M. Rose on 11/8/17. (jmb)

Nov. 8, 2017 PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 8, 2017 PACER
8

NOTICE by Plaintiff Human Rights Defense Center Certificate of Good Standing for Daniel Marshall in support of 4 (Newman, Robert) Modified on 11/8/2017 to correct docket text. (jmb). (Entered: 11/08/2017)

Nov. 8, 2017 PACER

ORDER granting 6 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice of Sabarish Neelakanta. Signed by Judge Thomas M. Rose on 11/8/2017. (jmb)

Nov. 8, 2017 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Thomas M. Rose: Telephone Conference held on 11/13/2017. Motion Hearing scheduled for Monday, December 12, 2017 at 9:00 am in Courtroom 2 before Judge Thomas M. Rose (Court Reporter: Mary Schweinhagen) (ep)

Nov. 13, 2017 PACER

Telephone Conference

Nov. 13, 2017 PACER

NOTICE of Hearing on Motion 2 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction : Motion Hearing set for 12/11/2017 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 2 - Dayton before Judge Thomas M. Rose. (ep)

Nov. 13, 2017 PACER

Notice of Hearing on Motion

Nov. 13, 2017 PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

Nov. 16, 2017 PACER
9

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 2 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction New date requested 11/24/2017. by Defendants Gene Fischer, Sheriff, Greene County Ohio, John and Jane Does 1-10, Staff,, Kirk Keller, Jail Administrator. (Hayden, Stephanie) (Entered: 11/16/2017)

Nov. 16, 2017 PACER

NOTATION ORDER granting 9 Motion for Extension of Time to File - Defendant is granted up to and including November 24, 2017 to respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 2 . Signed by Judge Thomas M. Rose on 11-16-2017. (de)

Nov. 16, 2017 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines as to 2 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction . Responses due by 11/24/2017. (kma)

Nov. 17, 2017 PACER

Set Motion and R&R Deadlines/Hearings

Nov. 17, 2017 PACER
10

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee of $200 paid, receipt number 0648-6211154) of bruce johnson by Plaintiff Human Rights Defense Center. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit certificate of good standing, # 2 Exhibit certificate of good standing) (Newman, Robert) (Entered: 11/20/2017)

1 Exhibit certificate of good standing

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2 Exhibit certificate of good standing

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Nov. 20, 2017 PACER

NOTATION ORDER granting 10 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice of Bruce E.H. Johnson. Signed by Judge Thomas M. Rose on 11/21/2017. (srb)

Nov. 21, 2017 PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 21, 2017 PACER
11

NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF DOCUMENT by Plaintiff Human Rights Defense Center Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Marshall, Daniel) (Entered: 11/22/2017)

Nov. 22, 2017 PACER
12

NOTICE of Settlement of Injunctive Claims by Plaintiff Human Rights Defense Center (Neelakanta, Sabarish) (Entered: 11/29/2017)

Nov. 29, 2017 PACER
13

NOTICE by Defendants Gene Fischer, Sheriff, Greene County Ohio, John and Jane Does 1-10, Staff,, Kirk Keller, Jail Administrator (Hayden, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/22/2018)

Jan. 22, 2018 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Thomas M. Rose: Status Conference held on 2/21/2018. Case to be referred to mediation for April 2018. Status Conference set for 4/11/2018 at 9:30 AM by telephone before Judge Thomas M. Rose. Court to initiate call. (ep)

Feb. 21, 2018 PACER

Telephone Conference

Feb. 21, 2018 PACER
14

ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington, ADR Coordinator for the purposes of overseeing the mediation process. Signed by Judge Thomas M. Rose on 2/21/18. (ep) (Entered: 02/21/2018)

Feb. 21, 2018 PACER
15

ORDER FOR COURT-CONDUCTED MEDIATION: Mediation Hearing set for 5/3/2018 at 10:00 AM in Federal Building 200 W Second St 5th Floor, Room 523 Dayton OH 45402 before Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington. Signed by Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington on 3/7/2018. (srb) (Entered: 03/07/2018)

March 7, 2018 PACER
16

NOTICE of Substitution of Counsel - Elizabeth Anne Ellis substituting for Stephanie R. Hayden as to Defendants Gene Fischer, Sheriff, Greene County Ohio, John and Jane Does 1-10, Staff,, Kirk Keller, Jail Administrator. (Ellis, Elizabeth) (Entered: 03/30/2018)

March 30, 2018 PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

May 2, 2018 PACER
17

Motion for Extension of Time to File

1 Exhibit

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2 Text of Proposed Order

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May 2, 2018 PACER

Settlement Conference

May 3, 2018 PACER

Notice of Hearing

May 3, 2018 PACER

Status Conference

June 1, 2018 PACER

Notice of Hearing

July 12, 2018 PACER
18

Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

July 13, 2018 PACER
19

Response to Motion

July 27, 2018 PACER
20

Reply to Response to Motion

Aug. 7, 2018 PACER
21

Rule 26(f) Report

Aug. 23, 2018 PACER
22

Consent to Jurisdiction by US Magistrate Judge

Aug. 28, 2018 PACER
23

Notice of Telephone Conference

Aug. 29, 2018 PACER
24

Order of Recusal

Sept. 10, 2018 PACER

Notice of Hearing

Sept. 12, 2018 PACER

Telephone Conference

Sept. 14, 2018 PACER
25

AGREED ORDER OF DISMISSAL with Settlement Agreements attached. Signed by Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington on 10/12/18. (Attachments: # 1 10/11/18 Agreement, # 2 11/29/17 Agreement) (rp)

1 10/11/18 Agreement

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2 11/29/17 Agreement

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Oct. 12, 2018 RECAP
26

Notice (Other)

July 3, 2019 PACER

State / Territory: Ohio

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Prison Legal News

Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 31, 2017

Closing Date: Oct. 12, 2018

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Human Rights Defense Center is a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of prisoner rights across the United States.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Greene County (Greene), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $45,000

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Preliminary relief request withdrawn/mooted

Issues

General:

Mail

Type of Facility:

Government-run