Case: Guajardo v. Estelle

4:71-cv-00570 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: May 21, 1971

Closed Date: 2002

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 21, 1971, an inmate in a Texas state prison filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of himself and other inmates in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Texas Department of Corrections ("TDC"), now known as Texas Department of Criminal Justice--Institutional Division ("TDCJ-ID"). The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that several of TDC's rules and practices on inmate co…

On May 21, 1971, an inmate in a Texas state prison filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of himself and other inmates in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Texas Department of Corrections ("TDC"), now known as Texas Department of Criminal Justice--Institutional Division ("TDCJ-ID"). The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that several of TDC's rules and practices on inmate correspondence and mail violated the inmates' First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, he alleged that TDC prevented inmates from receiving and reading certain books, magazines, and newspapers, prohibited them from corresponding with anyone not officially approved by prison officials, and otherwise censored their incoming and outgoing mail in violation of their constitutional rights.

After a trial, on September 25, 1972, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Judge John Virgil Singleton, Jr.) held that many of the prison's rules were unconstitutional under the First, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The court accordingly granted the plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief, ordering that TDC revise its rules and regulations. Guajardo v. McAdams, 349 F. Supp. 211 (S.D. Tex. 1972). On December 26, 1973, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Judge Irving L. Goldberg) reversed and remanded, holding that under 28 U.S.C. § 2281 only a three-judge court could enjoin the statewide TDC rules and regulations. Sands v. Wainwright, 491 F.2d 417 (5th Cir. 1974), cert. denied sub nom. Guajardo v. Estelle, 416 U.S. 992 (1974). The plaintiff then amended his complaint, asking for permission to withdraw his request for injunctive relief and seek only a declaratory judgment instead.

The parties then began lengthy settlement negotiations, and the district court preliminarily approved a proposed agreement on June 9, 1976. The plaintiffs determined that even the new rules set forth in the agreement failed to meet constitutional requirements, however, and they moved to vacate the settlement agreement in part. In September 1976, the district court severed the issues still in dispute for trial while conditionally approving the rules as further modified. At trial, the district court (Judge Singleton) noted that a one-judge court had jurisdiction to grant declaratory relief in the case and then held that several of the prison's mail rules and regulations remained unconstitutional. Guajardo v. Estelle, 432 F. Supp. 1373 (S.D. Tex. 1977). The TDC appealed, and the Fifth Circuit (Judge William Homer Thornberry) began its opinion by agreeing with the district court that because the plaintiffs sought only declaratory relief no three-judge court or jury trial were required. Guajardo v. Estelle, 580 F.2d 748 (5th Cir. 1978). The Fifth Circuit then addressed the constitutionality of the TDC's mail rules, adopting the district court's approach of dividing the correspondence into categories of general correspondence (mail between an inmate and the general public), special correspondence (correspondence to courts, attorneys, and the media), and publications (various magazines and manuals). The Fifth Circuit affirmed all but two of the district court's rulings on general correspondence, it affirmed all the rulings on attorney and media mail, and it affirmed most of the publication-censorship rulings.

After the Fifth Circuit's decision, the parties continued settlement negotiations. The plaintiffs then sought an injunction in July 1979 preventing the TDC from violating the modified rules. Before the district court issued its decision, however, the parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which the TDC would create a program to monitor its compliance with the correspondence rules. The district court approved this memorandum on September 28, 1979. Under the agreement, the parties provided that an independent consultant would oversee the monitoring program, assess the prison's mail practices more generally, and recommend changes to those practices. The consultant submitted several reports to the court in 1981-82, setting forth his recommendations for changes to the TDC's practices and procedures. After signing another memorandum to extend the consultant's appointment, the parties reached a settlement agreement on February 23, 1983. The district court (Judge Singleton) approved the agreement and the revisions to the correspondence rules, along with the related consent decree, on July 14, 1983. Guajardo v. Estelle, 568 F. Supp. 1354 (S.D. Tex. 1983). The court determined that the settlement was fair, adequate, and reasonable given that the plaintiffs had received almost all the benefits they could have received from the injunction they originally sought.

The consent decree was modified by stipulation several times over the next fifteen years. In 1997, the TDCJ-ID filed a motion to terminate the decree's prospective relief under the Prison Reform Litigation Act, which prevents a district court from sanctioning prospective relief unless the court determines that such relief (1) is narrowly drawn; (2) extends no further than necessary to remedy the violation of the federal right; and (3) constitutes the least intrusive means to cure the violation. On September 20, 2002, the district court (Judge Lee H. Rosenthal) issued an order terminating the consent decree. The court concluded that the decree afforded greater prospective relief than federal law required and that it should be terminated because the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that the relief remained necessary to cure ongoing constitutional violations. The district court also determined that the decree was neither narrowly drawn nor the least intrusive remedy. The court did note, however, that prisoners with First Amendment claims could still bring an action under § 1983.

The plaintiffs appealed, and the Fifth Circuit (per curiam) affirmed the district court's decision on March 16, 2004. Guajardo v. Tex. Dep't of Crim. Justice, 363 F.3d 392 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 818 (2004). The Fifth Circuit rejected the plaintiffs' argument that the TDCJ-ID carried the burden of proof for terminating the injunction. To justify prospective relief under the PLRA, the plaintiffs had the burden of demonstrating ongoing constitutional violations, and they failed to meet that burden. The Fifth Circuit also disagreed with the plaintiffs that the TDCJ-ID's motion to terminate the decree should have been treated as a motion for summary judgment and that all the evidence of alleged constitutional violations accordingly should have been viewed in the light most favorable to the prisoner nonmovants. Finally, the Fifth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by terminating the entire consent decree rather than preserving it for particular prison units with ongoing violations or for certain rules implicated by those violations. The court concluded that the plaintiffs failed to identify any individual units with ongoing violations that would justify continuing the decree.

On August 24, 2012, the district court (Judge Rosenthal) issued an order denying an inmate's motion to reinstate a consent decree because the inmate failed to present facts showing that the decree was improperly terminated. The court (Judge Rosenthal) then rejected an inmate's motion to enforce the judgment on January 14, 2014, noting that the court had already terminated the consent decree and therefore could not enforce any judgment. Finally, on June 17, 2014, the court (Judge Rosenthal) issued an order denying two motions that inmates had filed. One inmate challenged a new TDCJ-ID regulation that prohibited prisoners from buying stationary materials from outside vendors. The other inmate tried to reopen the case based on alleged violations of the consent decree.

There has been no further activity in this docket.

Summary Authors

Megan Raynor (1/30/2006)

Brian Tengel (3/11/2015)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5664331/parties/guajardo-v-tdcj/


Judge(s)

Barksdale, Alfred Dickinson (Virginia)

Clement, Edith Brown (Louisiana)

Cox, Owen DeVol (Texas)

DeMoss, Harold R. Jr. (Texas)

Dennis, James L. (Louisiana)

Duhe, John Malcolm Jr. (Louisiana)

Garza, Emilio M. (Texas)

Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Louisiana)

Rosenthal, Lee Hyman (Texas)

Scott, Charles Ray (Florida)

Judge(s)

Barksdale, Alfred Dickinson (Virginia)

Clement, Edith Brown (Louisiana)

Cox, Owen DeVol (Texas)

DeMoss, Harold R. Jr. (Texas)

Dennis, James L. (Louisiana)

Duhe, John Malcolm Jr. (Louisiana)

Garza, Emilio M. (Texas)

Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Louisiana)

Rosenthal, Lee Hyman (Texas)

Scott, Charles Ray (Florida)

Singleton, John Virgil Jr. (Texas)

Thornberry, William Homer (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cycmanick, Michael F. (Florida)

De Anda, James (Texas)

Freeman, Frances T (Texas)

Hardig, Ara Ayles (Texas)

Hill, John L. (Texas)

Idar, Ed Lee Jr. (Texas)

Johnson, Sheryl B. (Texas)

Kendall, David M. Jr. (Texas)

Maeso, Daniel E. (Texas)

Pena, Gilbert J. (Texas)

Roach, Robert M. Jr. (Texas)

Russ, James M (Florida)

Samora, Gwendolyn Johnson (Texas)

Simonson, Nancy M. (Texas)

Stedeford, Walter R (Florida)

Stern, Karl S. (Texas)

Trabulsi, Richard J. Jr. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Atlas, Scott J. (Texas)

Carter, John L. (Texas)

Craft, Rance Lamar (Texas)

Dearing, Daniel S (Florida)

Fall, Gerald G. Jr. (Texas)

Felfe, Sharon (Texas)

Flowers, Robert (Texas)

Haney, Jacqueline Lee (Texas)

Johnston, A. S. (Florida)

Lents, Ann (Texas)

Reasoner, Harry M. (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:71-cv-00570

Docket (PACER)

Guajardo v. Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice

June 17, 2014

June 17, 2014

Docket

71-00345

Memorandum and Order [Denying Relief]

Baker v. Beto

349 F.Supp. 1263

March 13, 1972

March 13, 1972

Order/Opinion

4:71-cv-00570

72-00064

Memorandum and Order [Granting Injunctive Relief]

Guajardo v. McAdams

349 F.Supp. 211

Sept. 25, 1972

Sept. 25, 1972

Order/Opinion

71-00339

Order and Opinion of Court [Re: Declaratory Judgment]

Sands v. Wainwright

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

357 F.Supp. 1062

Jan. 5, 1973

Jan. 5, 1973

Order/Opinion

73-01192

72-02471

72-03351

73-01497

Opinion [Vacated District Decision]

Sands v. Wainwright

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

491 F.2d 417

Dec. 26, 1973

Dec. 26, 1973

Order/Opinion

73-06465

Memorandum Decision [Denying Writ of Certiorari]

Supreme Court of the United States

416 U.S. 992, 94 S.Ct. 2403, 40 L.Ed.2d 771

May 13, 1974

May 13, 1974

Order/Opinion

4:71-cv-00570

72-01076

Memorandum

432 F.Supp. 1373

June 7, 1977

June 7, 1977

Order/Opinion

77-02226

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

580 F.2d 748

Sept. 20, 1978

Sept. 20, 1978

Order/Opinion

4:71-cv-00570

Memorandum and Order

568 F.Supp. 1354

July 14, 1983

July 14, 1983

Order/Opinion
1059

4:71-cv-00570

Memorandum and Order

Guajardo v. Cockrell

Sept. 20, 2002

Sept. 20, 2002

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5664331/guajardo-v-tdcj/

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link

Instruments 1−1050 can be found on hard copy docket. As of 6/21/02 this case is still active and open. It is a class action suit involving a number of Inmate litigants against TDCJ and its Director. (leddins) (Entered: 06/21/2002)

June 21, 2002

June 21, 2002

1112

ORDER entered DENYING 1111 MOTION Certified as class member in case.(Signed by Judge Lee H Rosenthal) Parties notified.(leddins, )

Aug. 13, 2010

Aug. 13, 2010

RECAP

Case closed (hlerma) (Entered: 09/24/2002)

Sept. 20, 2002

Sept. 20, 2002

1059

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER SIGNED BY Judge Lee Rosenthal (entered 9/24/2002), filed. (mmapps, ) (Entered: 10/10/2007)

Sept. 20, 2002

Sept. 20, 2002

APPEAL INITIAL PARTIAL FILING FEE $ 9.43 PAID by the PLRA monthly withdrawls from the Inmate Trust Fund; RECEIPT # 404−69501. (ejones) (Entered: 03/19/2004)

Feb. 28, 2004

Feb. 28, 2004

APPEAL PARTIAL FILING FEE $ 62.17 PMT. thru the montly PLRA withdrawls from the Inmate Trust Fund; RECEIPT # 404−71587. (ejones) (Entered: 04/23/2004)

March 31, 2004

March 31, 2004

Partial Apppeal Filing Fee Paid; FILING FEE $ 9.00 RECEIPT # 404−74665 (sgreen) (Entered: 06/28/2004)

June 6, 2004

June 6, 2004

PLRA, PARTIAL Filing fee : $ 5.00, receipt number 83486 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 10/25/2004)

Sept. 30, 2004

Sept. 30, 2004

PLRA, PARTIAL APPEAL Filing fee : $ 10.00, receipt number 84671 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 12/20/2004)

Nov. 30, 2004

Nov. 30, 2004

PLRA PARTIAL Filing fee : $ 10.00, receipt number 88150 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 04/05/2005)

Feb. 28, 2005

Feb. 28, 2005

PLRA PAYMENT Filing fee : $ 4.04, receipt number 90074 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 04/26/2005)

March 31, 2005

March 31, 2005

PLRA PARTIAL APPEAL Filing fee : $ 2.00, receipt number 90730 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 05/16/2005)

April 29, 2005

April 29, 2005

1

MOTION to Extend the Judgment and Jurisdiction Over the Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement and REQUEST for Evidentiary Hearing, by Abner L Washington, filed. Motion Docket Date 5/31/2005. (psmith, ) (DOCKETED IN ERROR − THIS IS A HARD COPY CASE) (Entered: 05/11/2005)

May 11, 2005

May 11, 2005

PLRA PAYMENT Filing fee : $ 5.00, receipt number 91394 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 06/27/2005)

June 27, 2005

June 27, 2005

PLRA PARTIAL Filing fee : $ 5.00, receipt number 100957 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 10/26/2005)

Oct. 26, 2005

Oct. 26, 2005

PLRA PARTIAL Filing fee : $ 4.00, receipt number 102131 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 12/29/2005)

Dec. 29, 2005

Dec. 29, 2005

PLRA Partial Appeal Filing fee : $ 4.00, receipt number 14383 , filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 02/27/2006)

Feb. 27, 2006

Feb. 27, 2006

PLRA Partial Appeal Filing fee : $ 5.00, receipt number 106907 , filed. (sgreen, ) . (Entered: 05/09/2006)

May 9, 2006

May 9, 2006

1110

Letter from Guadalupe Guajardo re: Copy of unpublished opinion, filed. Copy request formed mailed to applicant. (esmith, ) (Entered: 04/02/2007)

April 2, 2007

April 2, 2007

PLRA Partial Appeal Filing fee : $15.64, receipt number 136043, filed. (sgreen, ) . (Entered: 12/17/2007)

Dec. 17, 2007

Dec. 17, 2007

PLRA Partial Filing fee : $4.00, receipt number 138206, filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 01/28/2008)

Jan. 28, 2008

Jan. 28, 2008

PLRA Partial Appeal Filing fee : $10.00, receipt number 1014688, filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 05/15/2008)

May 15, 2008

May 15, 2008

PLRA Partial Appeal Filing fee : $8.00, receipt number 14273, filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 07/15/2008)

July 15, 2008

July 15, 2008

PLRA Partial Appeal Filing fee : $8.00, receipt number 143208, filed. (sgreen, ) (Entered: 08/18/2008)

Aug. 18, 2008

Aug. 18, 2008

PLRA PARTIAL APPEAL Filing fee : $8.00, receipt number 144222, filed. (jholguin, ) (Entered: 10/07/2008)

Oct. 7, 2008

Oct. 7, 2008

1111

MOTION Certified as class member in case by Barry Emmett, filed. Motion Docket Date 8/23/2010. (arrivera ) (Entered: 08/05/2010)

Aug. 2, 2010

Aug. 2, 2010

1113

MOTION to Remove Consent Decree by Kevin Revels, filed. Motion Docket Date 9/10/2012. (kmurphy, ) (Entered: 08/22/2012)

Aug. 20, 2012

Aug. 20, 2012

1114

ORDER denying 1113 Motion to Dismiss.(Signed by Judge Lee H Rosenthal) Parties notified.(bthomas, ) (Entered: 08/27/2012)

Aug. 24, 2012

Aug. 24, 2012

1115

PLAINTIFF'S MOTION to Enforce Judgment by David Russell, filed. Motion Docket Date 11/29/2013. (mmarquez, 5) (Entered: 11/12/2013)

Nov. 7, 2013

Nov. 7, 2013

1116

Memorandum and Opinion denying 1115 PLAINTIFF'S MOTION to Enforce Judgment. (Signed by Judge Lee H Rosenthal) Parties notified.(gkelner, 4) (Entered: 01/14/2014)

Jan. 14, 2014

Jan. 14, 2014

1117

PETITION TO INTERVENE. by John W. Banos, filed. Motion Docket Date 5/5/2014. (amireles, 2) (Entered: 04/15/2014)

April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

1118

MOTION to Reopen Case by James Logan Diez, filed. Motion Docket Date 6/23/2014. (jtabares, 1) (Entered: 06/02/2014)

June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014

1119

ORDER Denying 1117 Motion; denying 1118 Motion to Reopen.(Signed by Judge Lee H Rosenthal) Parties notified.(sclement, 4) (Entered: 06/18/2014)

June 17, 2014

June 17, 2014

1123

ORDER entered DENYING 1122 MOTION for Order to Show Cause as to Proceeding, 1121 MOTION for Order to Show Cause as to Proceeding.(Signed by Chief Judge Lee H Rosenthal) Parties notified.(leddins, 4)

March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017

RECAP
1139

Proposed Order

Jan. 16, 2020

Jan. 16, 2020

PACER
1140

Order

Jan. 28, 2020

Jan. 28, 2020

PACER
1141

Mail Returned Undeliverable

Feb. 24, 2020

Feb. 24, 2020

PACER
1142

Miscellaneous Relief

Dec. 10, 2020

Dec. 10, 2020

PACER
1143

Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

Dec. 16, 2020

Dec. 16, 2020

PACER
1144

Notice of Appeal

Jan. 6, 2021

Jan. 6, 2021

PACER
1145

Clerks Notice of Filing of an Appeal (FORM,noticing) - Civil

Jan. 8, 2021

Jan. 8, 2021

PACER

Appeal Review Notes

Jan. 8, 2021

Jan. 8, 2021

PACER
1146

Notice of Non-Compliance (FORM, noticing) - Civil

Jan. 21, 2021

Jan. 21, 2021

PACER
1147

Mail Returned Undeliverable

Jan. 28, 2021

Jan. 28, 2021

PACER
1148

Mail Returned Undeliverable

Feb. 2, 2021

Feb. 2, 2021

PACER
1149

Mail Returned Undeliverable

Feb. 17, 2021

Feb. 17, 2021

PACER

USCA Case Number

Feb. 19, 2021

Feb. 19, 2021

PACER
1150

USCA Order

March 16, 2021

March 16, 2021

PACER
1151

Enforce

Dec. 23, 2021

Dec. 23, 2021

PACER
1152

Order

Jan. 3, 2022

Jan. 3, 2022

PACER
1153

Mail Returned Undeliverable

Jan. 12, 2022

Jan. 12, 2022

PACER
1154

Mail Returned Undeliverable

Jan. 19, 2022

Jan. 19, 2022

PACER
1155

Document

Jan. 27, 2022

Jan. 27, 2022

PACER
1156

Mail Returned Undeliverable

Feb. 8, 2022

Feb. 8, 2022

PACER
1157

Notice of Change of Address

Feb. 22, 2022

Feb. 22, 2022

PACER
1158

Mail Returned Undeliverable

March 4, 2022

March 4, 2022

PACER
1159

Mail Returned Undeliverable

March 11, 2022

March 11, 2022

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 21, 1971

Closing Date: 2002

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates in the Texas Department of Corrections

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Texas Department of Corrections, State

Defendant Type(s):

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

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1983 - 2002

Content of Injunction:

Hire

Monitor/Master

Monitoring

Reporting

Issues

General:

Mail

Type of Facility:

Government-run