Case: Thompson v. Annucci

1:22-cv-02632 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: March 31, 2022

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In this case, University of Michigan history professor Heather Thompson challenged the New York state prison system's alleged censorship of her Pulitzer-Prize-winning book on the Attica Uprising, Blood in the Water. Represented by attorneys from the Cardozo Civil Rights Clinic and the New York Civil Liberties Union, she filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 31, 2022. District Judge Edgardo Ramos was assigned to the case. The complaint named several…

In this case, University of Michigan history professor Heather Thompson challenged the New York state prison system's alleged censorship of her Pulitzer-Prize-winning book on the Attica Uprising, Blood in the Water. Represented by attorneys from the Cardozo Civil Rights Clinic and the New York Civil Liberties Union, she filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 31, 2022. District Judge Edgardo Ramos was assigned to the case. The complaint named several officials in the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) as defendants. In it, Thompson alleged that DOCCS officials had blocked copies of her book, despite the fact that several other state prison systems permitted the book. Bringing suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, she claimed that DOCCS' decision violated her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. She requested declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorney's fees.

On July 27, 2022, DOCCS filed a letter with the court stating that it had changed its policy and would now allow prisoners to receive copies of Blood on the Water with only two pages containing a map of the prison censored. In light of this change it asked the judge to find that Prof. Thompson's request was moot. Her legal team quickly responded, claiming that DOCCS's change in policy did not moot the case.

The parties negotiated a settlement throughout 2022 and 2023.

The court approved a final settlement between the parties on June 14, 2023. DOCCS agreed that prisoners could receive the paperback copy of the book, but prison officials would first remove the photo of Atticus’s layout, while photocopying the dedication page to the uprising’s victims—which was on the reverse side—and placing a copy in the back. DOCCS also agreed to allow two paperback copies of the book to be in each prison's library, and Thompson agreed to send two copies of the book to each of DOCCS’s general libraries. The parties additionally agreed that DOCCS would pay $75,000 in attorneys' fees.

As of April 29, 2024, there have been no further developments.

Summary Authors

Jonah Hudson-Erdman (3/31/2022)

Jonah Hudson-Erdman (8/1/2022)

Isabel Hershey (2/13/2023)

Samantha Houghton (4/29/2024)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/63203454/parties/thompson-v-annucci/


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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

1:22-cv-02632

Complaint

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022

Complaint
15

1:22-cv-02632

Letter Motion

July 27, 2022

July 27, 2022

Pleading / Motion / Brief
48

1:22-cv-02632

Stipulation and Order of Settlement and Dismissal

June 14, 2023

June 14, 2023

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/63203454/thompson-v-annucci/

Last updated April 28, 2024, 4:49 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell. (Filing Fee $ 402.00, Receipt Number ANYSDC-25940640)Document filed by Heather Ann Thompson..(Ginsberg, Betsy) (Entered: 03/31/2022)

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022

Clearinghouse
2

CIVIL COVER SHEET filed..(Ginsberg, Betsy) (Entered: 03/31/2022)

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022

PACER

***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING PARTY MODIFICATION. Notice to attorney Betsy R. Ginsberg. The party information for the following party/parties has been modified: Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond Grinnell, Heather Ann Thompson. The information for the party/parties has been modified for the following reason/reasons: party role was entered incorrectly; party text was omitted; party name entered incorrectly. (vf)

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER

CASE OPENING INITIAL ASSIGNMENT NOTICE: The above-entitled action is assigned to Judge Edgardo Ramos. Please download and review the Individual Practices of the assigned District Judge, located at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/judges/district-judges. Attorneys are responsible for providing courtesy copies to judges where their Individual Practices require such. Please download and review the ECF Rules and Instructions, located at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/rules/ecf-related-instructions..(vf)

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER

Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn is so designated. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 636(c) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 73(b)(1) parties are notified that they may consent to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. Parties who wish to consent may access the necessary form at the following link: https://nysd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/AO-3.pdf. (vf)

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER

Case Designated ECF. (vf)

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER
3

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Antony Philip Falconer Gemmell on behalf of Heather Ann Thompson..(Gemmell, Antony) (Entered: 04/01/2022)

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER
4

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Christopher Thomas Dunn on behalf of Heather Ann Thompson..(Dunn, Christopher) (Entered: 04/01/2022)

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER
5

FILING ERROR - DEFICIENT PLEADING - SUMMONS REQUEST PDF ERROR - REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Anthony J Annucci, re: 1 Complaint. Document filed by Heather Ann Thompson..(Ginsberg, Betsy) Modified on 4/4/2022 (lal). (Entered: 04/01/2022)

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER
6

FILING ERROR - DEFICIENT PLEADING - SUMMONS REQUEST PDF ERROR - REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Raymond C. Grinnell, re: 1 Complaint. Document filed by Heather Ann Thompson..(Ginsberg, Betsy) Modified on 4/4/2022 (lal). (Entered: 04/01/2022)

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER

Notice to Attorney Regarding Party Modification

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER

Case Opening Initial Assignment Notice

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

PACER

***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING DEFICIENT REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS. Notice to Attorney Betsy R. Ginsberg to RE-FILE Document No. 5 Request for Issuance of Summons,. The filing is deficient for the following reason(s): the PDF attached to the docket entry for the issuance of summons is not correct; party name spelling must correspond precisely to pleading caption. Re-file the document using the event type Request for Issuance of Summons found under the event list Service of Process - select the correct filer/filers - and attach the correct summons form PDF. (lal)

April 4, 2022

April 4, 2022

PACER

***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING DEFICIENT REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS. Notice to Attorney Betsy R. Ginsberg to RE-FILE Document No. 6 Request for Issuance of Summons,. The filing is deficient for the following reason(s): the PDF attached to the docket entry for the issuance of summons is not correct; on pdf summons caption party name spelling must correspond precisely to pleading caption. Re-file the document using the event type Request for Issuance of Summons found under the event list Service of Process - select the correct filer/filers - and attach the correct summons form PDF. (lal)

April 4, 2022

April 4, 2022

PACER

Notice to Attorney Regarding Deficient Request for Issuance of Summons

April 4, 2022

April 4, 2022

PACER
7

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Anthony J Annucci, re: 1 Complaint. Document filed by Heather Ann Thompson..(Ginsberg, Betsy) (Entered: 04/05/2022)

April 5, 2022

April 5, 2022

PACER
8

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Raymond C. Grinnell, re: 1 Complaint. Document filed by Heather Ann Thompson..(Ginsberg, Betsy) (Entered: 04/05/2022)

April 5, 2022

April 5, 2022

PACER
9

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Anthony J. Annucci. (Vf) (Entered: 04/06/2022)

April 6, 2022

April 6, 2022

PACER
10

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Raymond C. Grinnell. (vf) (Entered: 04/06/2022)

April 6, 2022

April 6, 2022

PACER
11

LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time to respond to the Complaint addressed to Judge Edgardo Ramos from Rebecca Ann Durden dated March 22, 2022. Document filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell..(Durden, Rebecca) (Entered: 04/22/2022)

April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

PACER
12

ORDER: granting 11 Letter Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants' request to extend response deadline is Granted. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Edgardo Ramos on 4/25/2022) (ama) (Entered: 04/25/2022)

April 25, 2022

April 25, 2022

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Anthony J. Annucci answer due 5/27/2022; Raymond C. Grinnell answer due 5/27/2022. (ama)

April 25, 2022

April 25, 2022

PACER
13

LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time to respond to the Complaint addressed to Judge Edgardo Ramos from Rebecca Ann Durden dated May 22, 2022. Document filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell..(Durden, Rebecca) (Entered: 05/22/2022)

May 22, 2022

May 22, 2022

PACER
14

ORDER: granting 13 Letter Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants' request for an extension is Granted. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Edgardo Ramos on 5/23/2022) (ama) (Entered: 05/23/2022)

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Anthony J. Annucci answer due 7/27/2022; Raymond C. Grinnell answer due 7/27/2022. (ama)

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

PACER
15

LETTER MOTION for Conference Pre-Motion Conference/Motion to Dismiss addressed to Judge Edgardo Ramos from Rebecca Ann Durden dated July 27, 2022. Document filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell..(Durden, Rebecca) (Entered: 07/27/2022)

July 27, 2022

July 27, 2022

Clearinghouse
16

LETTER RESPONSE to Motion addressed to Judge Edgardo Ramos from Antony Gemmell dated August 1, 2022 re: 15 LETTER MOTION for Conference Pre-Motion Conference/Motion to Dismiss addressed to Judge Edgardo Ramos from Rebecca Ann Durden dated July 27, 2022. . Document filed by Heather Ann Thompson..(Gemmell, Antony) (Entered: 08/01/2022)

Aug. 1, 2022

Aug. 1, 2022

RECAP
17

ORDER granting 15 Motion for Conference. A pre-motion conference will be held on August 17, 2022 at 10:00 AM by telephone. The parties are instructed to call (877) 411-9748 and enter access code 3029857# when prompted. (HEREBY ORDERED by Judge Edgardo Ramos)(Text Only Order) (jar) (Entered: 08/01/2022)

Aug. 1, 2022

Aug. 1, 2022

PACER

Order on Motion for Conference

Aug. 1, 2022

Aug. 1, 2022

PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Edgardo Ramos: Pre-Motion Conference held on 8/17/2022 by telephone. Plaintiff's and Defendants' counsel present. The court will issue an order of reference to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn for settlement purposes. (jar)

Aug. 17, 2022

Aug. 17, 2022

PACER
18

ORDER REFERRING CASE TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE. Order that case be referred to the Clerk of Court for assignment to a Magistrate Judge for Settlement. Referred to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. (Signed by Judge Edgardo Ramos on 8/17/2022) (tg) (Entered: 08/17/2022)

Aug. 17, 2022

Aug. 17, 2022

PACER

Pre-Motion Conference

Aug. 17, 2022

Aug. 17, 2022

PACER
19

ORDER: On August 17, 2022, the Honorable Edgardo Ramos assigned this matter to my docket for settlement. By August 25, 2022, the parties are directed to email Courtroom Deputy Rachel Slusher at Rachel_Slusher@nysd.uscourts.gov with three mutually convenient dates to schedule a settlement conference. Due to the Court's busy calendar, settlement conferences must generally be scheduled at least four to six weeks in advance. The Court will likely be unable to accommodate last-minute requests for settlement conferences, and the parties should not anticipate that litigation deadlines will be adjourned in response to late requests for settlement conferences. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 8/18/2022) (tg) (Entered: 08/18/2022)

Aug. 18, 2022

Aug. 18, 2022

RECAP
20

SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE ORDER: A settlement conference is scheduled for Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 219, Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, New York. The parties are directed to review and comply with the Procedures for Cases Referred for Settlement to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, a copy of which is available on the Court's website at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/hon-sarah-netburn. The parties are strongly encouraged to engage in good-faith settlement negotiations before the settlement conference and preferably before the submission to the Court of the Ex Parte Settlement Letters and Acknowledgment Forms, which are to be submitted by Thursday, October 6, 2022 by e-mail to Netburn_NYSDChambers@nysd.uscourts.gov. Should the parties resolve the litigation before the conference date, they must notify the Court in writing immediately. (Settlement Conference set for 10/13/2022 at 10:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 8/23/2022) (ras) Modified on 9/6/2022 (ras). (Main Document 20 replaced on 9/6/2022) (ras). (Entered: 08/23/2022)

Aug. 23, 2022

Aug. 23, 2022

RECAP
21

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Veronica Salama on behalf of Heather Ann Thompson..(Salama, Veronica) (Entered: 08/31/2022)

Aug. 31, 2022

Aug. 31, 2022

PACER
22

LETTER addressed to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn from Rebecca Ann Durden dated September 6, 2022 re: Permission for Agency Counsel to Participate by Phone at the October 13, 2022 Settlement Conference. Document filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell..(Durden, Rebecca) (Entered: 09/06/2022)

Sept. 6, 2022

Sept. 6, 2022

PACER
23

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 22 Letter, filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell. ENDORSEMENT: SO ORDERED. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 9/7/2022) (mml) (Entered: 09/07/2022)

Sept. 7, 2022

Sept. 7, 2022

PACER
24

TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings re: CONFERNECE held on 8/17/2022 before Judge Edgardo Ramos. Court Reporter/Transcriber: George Malinowski, (212) 805-0300. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Redaction Request due 10/25/2022. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 11/4/2022. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/2/2023..(McGuirk, Kelly) (Entered: 10/04/2022)

Oct. 4, 2022

Oct. 4, 2022

PACER
25

NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT Notice is hereby given that an official transcript of a CONFERENCE proceeding held on 8/17/2022 has been filed by the court reporter/transcriber in the above-captioned matter. The parties have seven (7) calendar days to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction of this transcript. If no such Notice is filed, the transcript may be made remotely electronically available to the public without redaction after 90 calendar days....(McGuirk, Kelly) (Entered: 10/04/2022)

Oct. 4, 2022

Oct. 4, 2022

PACER
26

NOTICE of Law Student Appearance Forms. Document filed by Heather Ann Thompson..(Ginsberg, Betsy) (Entered: 10/12/2022)

Oct. 12, 2022

Oct. 12, 2022

PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn: Settlement Conference held on 10/13/2022. (ras)

Oct. 13, 2022

Oct. 13, 2022

PACER
27

ORDER A conference is scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the remaining disputed terms of the settlement agreement. At that time the parties should dial into the Courts dedicated teleconferencing line at (877) 402-9757 and enter Access Code 7938632, followed by the pound (#) key. If this date is unavailable for any party, they must contact Courtroom Deputy Rachel Slusher immediately at (212) 805-0286. The Court encourages the parties to meet and confer in advance of the conference. SO ORDERED. (Telephone Conference set for 11/10/2022 at 01:00 PM before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 11/1/2022) (jca) (Entered: 11/01/2022)

Nov. 1, 2022

Nov. 1, 2022

RECAP
28

ORDER: The conference currently scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. is RESCHEDULED for Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. (Telephone Conference set for 11/15/2022 at 02:30 PM before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 11/7/2022) (ras) (Entered: 11/07/2022)

Nov. 7, 2022

Nov. 7, 2022

RECAP

Settlement Conference

Nov. 7, 2022

Nov. 7, 2022

PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn: Telephone Conference held on 11/15/2022. (ras)

Nov. 15, 2022

Nov. 15, 2022

PACER
29

STATUS REPORT. Document filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell..(Durden, Rebecca) (Entered: 11/18/2022)

Nov. 18, 2022

Nov. 18, 2022

PACER
30

STATUS REPORT. Re: Settlement Document filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell..(Durden, Rebecca) (Entered: 12/01/2022)

Dec. 1, 2022

Dec. 1, 2022

PACER
31

MEMO ENDORSEMENT: on re: 30 Status Report filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell. ENDORSEMENT: The parties are directed to file a stipulation of settlement for Judge Ramos's approval no later than December 31, 2022. In the alternative, the parties may file a status letter by that same date. SO ORDERED., ( Motions due by 12/31/2022.) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 12/06/2022) (ama) (Entered: 12/06/2022)

Dec. 6, 2022

Dec. 6, 2022

PACER

Telephone Conference

Dec. 7, 2022

Dec. 7, 2022

PACER
32

STATUS REPORT. Document filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell..(Durden, Rebecca) (Entered: 12/23/2022)

Dec. 23, 2022

Dec. 23, 2022

PACER
33

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 32 Status Report filed by Anthony J. Annucci, Raymond C. Grinnell. ENDORSEMENT: The parties are directed to file a stipulation of settlement for Judge Ramos's approval no later than January 31, 2023. In the alternative, the parties may file a status letter by that same date. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 12/30/2022) (ras) (Entered: 12/30/2022)

Dec. 30, 2022

Dec. 30, 2022

PACER
34

STATUS REPORT. Document filed by Heather Ann Thompson..(Ginsberg, Betsy) (Entered: 01/31/2023)

Jan. 31, 2023

Jan. 31, 2023

PACER
35

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 34 Status Report filed by Heather Ann Thompson. ENDORSEMENT: The parties are directed to file a stipulation of settlement for Judge Ramos's approval no later than March 2, 2023. In the alternative, the parties may file a status letter by that same date. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 2/2/2023) (ras) (Entered: 02/02/2023)

Feb. 2, 2023

Feb. 2, 2023

PACER
36

Status Report

March 2, 2023

March 2, 2023

PACER
37

Memo Endorsement

March 3, 2023

March 3, 2023

PACER
38

Status Report

March 14, 2023

March 14, 2023

PACER
39

Memo Endorsement

March 15, 2023

March 15, 2023

PACER
40

Status Report

March 28, 2023

March 28, 2023

PACER
41

Memo Endorsement

April 4, 2023

April 4, 2023

PACER
42

SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE ORDER: A settlement conference is scheduled for Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 219, Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, New York. The parties are directed to review and comply with the Pr ocedures for Cases Referred for Settlement to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, a copy of which is available on the Court's website at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/hon-sarah-netburn. The parties are strongly encouraged to engage in good-faith settlem ent negotiations before the settlement conference and preferably before the submission to the Court of the Ex Parte Settlement Letters and Acknowledgment Forms, which are to be submitted by email to Netburn_NYSDChambers@nysd.uscourts,gov, by Thu rsday, May 18, 2023. Should the parties resolve the litigation before the conference date, they must notify the Court in writing immediately (Settlement Conference set for 5/25/2023 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 219, 40 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007 before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.) (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 4/12/2023) (ras)

April 12, 2023

April 12, 2023

RECAP
43

Letter

May 2, 2023

May 2, 2023

PACER
44

Memo Endorsement

May 4, 2023

May 4, 2023

PACER
45

Letter

May 18, 2023

May 18, 2023

PACER
46

Memo Endorsement

May 22, 2023

May 22, 2023

PACER
47

Proposed Stipulation and Order

June 14, 2023

June 14, 2023

PACER
48

Stipulation and Order of Dismissal

June 14, 2023

June 14, 2023

Clearinghouse

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Attica Uprising Litigation

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 31, 2022

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A University of Michigan history professor who wrote a prize-winning book on the Attica Uprising.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Facility Type(s):

Government-run

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $75,000

Order Duration: 2023 - None

Issues

General/Misc.:

Loss or damage to property

Mail

Jails, Prisons, Detention Centers, and Other Institutions:

Library (non-law) access