Prison Legal News v. Lindsey, Consent Decree, Dallas County Jail Censorship 2007
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTIlERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS DALLAS DIVISION PRISON LEGAL NEWS, a non-profit Wa,hington corporation Plaintiff GARY LINDSEY, et ai, Defendants. ••• •• •• CIVlLACTIONNO. 07- 367 .osr r § CONSENT DECREE AND SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT Plaintiff Prison legal News ("PLN') and Defendants GEIIY Lindsey, Edgar McMillan, Lupe Valdez and Dallas County ("Defendants") agree this case will be dismis'ed on the following tenus; I, For and in consideration of the provisions of fbis agreement, PLN settles with and releases Defendanta, their officers, agents, employees, and departmenta, for any and all claim" r damages and cau,es of action arising out of the claim' described in case 07"367;;.18: which is the source of all settled claims; provided, however, that nothing in this settlement agreement and rele.se shall be construed to prevent or limit PLN from moving to enforce the tenns of this settlement agreement or bringing a new suit arising from the same conduct by Defendants occurring after the date of tbis decree. 2. Defendanta acknowledge that the magazine Prison Legal News, renewal notice, for the magazine, book fliers ("catalogs'), and similar types of mail are penniued types of mail into all Dall., County correctional facUities, inclnding, but not limited to, the Dallas County Jail (500 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75202), the George Allen Jail, Sterrett West Tower, Sterrett North Tower, Kajl!l Detention Facility and Decker Detention Facility, regardless of the postal class by which the magazine, renewal notices for the magazine, book fliers ("catalog,,), and similar types of mail are sent. Defendants agree that PLN can send its properly addressed magazine. renewal notices for the magazine, book fliers ("catalogs"). and similar twes of mail to inmates in all Dallas Couuty facilities, without proof of payment, registration by an inmate of his or her subscription, or any further requirements. 3. Defendants agree that PLN is an approved book distributor and/or vendor. and will provide written confirmation of this status to PLN within 30 daY" of entry of thie decree. Books distributed by PLN are pennitted mail at all Dallas County correctional facilitie,. regardless of the postal dass by which the books ate sent. 4. Nothing in this settlement agreement and release shall be construed to prevent or limit Defendants or their agents. employees and departments from continuing to review, reject, process and di~pose of inmate mail for reasons of prohibited content. This reserves Dalla~ County's authority to review content for reasons anch as security, safety, institutional discipline and to monitor criminal activity. When any mail is rejected due to its specific content. a violation notice will be provided to the sender within 15 days, as described below in paragraph 5. 5. PLN ia entitled to receive notice of every mail rejection or undelivered item sent by PLN to an inmate in the jail, together with a statement or indication of the reason for rejection or non-delivery. regardless of the postal cIa", by which the rejected piece of mall is sent. If the rejectIon or non_deliveryis for non-content reasons such as address error or in~nffident address, return of the envelope with indication of the reason written or stamped on the envelope is adequate. [fthe rejection is for content based reasons, PLN wilt receive a written explanation for why the content is non-compliant with Dallas County regulations within 3 business daY" of the rejection, The explanation will clearly explain the reason for the censorship and the party to whom PLN can direct an appeal of the cen'orship decision, The Dallas County jail mailroom 2 c, ,._cc' '::, ':ii,1l will hold the item during the pendency of OIly administrative appeals and deliver the item to the addressee if the appeal is decidedin favor of the publisherand/or the inmate addressee. 6, Defendants will pay PLN $9,000 in damages, attorneys' rees and costs within 30 days of entry oflhi. consent decree, payable to PLN's couusel, the Texas Civil Rights Project. 7, Nothing in this agreement will be construed to waive claims for incidents thaI have not yet o=W. 8. Notwithstanding the dismissal of this case, the Court shall retain jurisdiction over the case for purposes of enforcing this consent decree. PLN may not ask this Court to exercise that jurisdiction without first giving the Dallas County Commissioner's Court Hod the dulyelected Sheriff of Dall"" County written notice of any alleged breach of this agreement and without giving the Dallas County Commissioner's Court and the Sheriff 15 days frOln receipt of such notice to correct the breach. Fifteen days after giving notice, PLN may mOve the Court to enforce this decree. Scott Medlock State BarNo. 24044783 Attorney for Plaintiff, Prison Legal New. ~Tt<J~ Dolena Westergard Stale BarNo. .)./0.1 ")8'fSZ! Attorney for Defendants Date IO~:/5-01