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The Habeas Citebook Ineffective Counsel

PLN v. Co. of Tulare, et al., CA, Consent Decree , censorship, 2016

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Case 1:15-cv-01650-JAM-SAB Document 44 Filed 07/06/16 Page 1 of 5
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Kathleen Bales-Lange, #094765
County Counsel for the County of Tulare
Kathleen A. Taylor, #131100
Chief Deputy County Counsel
Kevin Stimmel, #292838
Deputy County Counsel
2900 West Burrel, County Civic Center
Visalia, California 93291
Telephone: (559) 636-4950
Facsimile: (559) 737-4319
E-mail: kstimmel@co.tulare.ca.us

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Attorneys for Defendant County of Tulare
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

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STIPULATION AND CONSENT DECREE

Plaintiff(s),

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Case No. 1:15-CV-01650-JAM SAB

PRISON LEGAL NEWS, a project of the
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER,

Judge: Hon. John A. Mendez

v.
COUNTY OF TULARE; MIKE
BOUDREAUX, individually and in his
capacity as Sheriff-Coroner of the County of
Tulare; DOES 1-20, in their individual and
official capacities,
Defendant(s).

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The parties to this action, represented by counsel, stipulate to and request entry of a consent

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decree by the court as follows:

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County Counsel
Tulare County
Visalia, California

1.

On October 29, 2015, Plaintiff Prison Legal News, a Project of the Human

Rights Defense Center ("Plaintiff”) filed suit in the above entitled matter seeking injunctive
and declaratory relief, money damages, attorney's fees and costs. Plaintiff’s complaint
alleges an unlawful and unconstitutional custom, practice, or policy regarding the delivery
of incoming publications and correspondence to prisoners at the County of Tulare jails. The
complaint alleges violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
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STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] CONSENT DECREE

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Case 1:15-cv-01650-JAM-SAB Document 44 Filed 07/06/16 Page 2 of 5
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2.

Shortly after becoming aware of the Plaintiff’s filed Complaint, Defendant

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responded immediately by implementing a new mail policy in connection with delivery of

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the publication.

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3.

On December 7, 2015, Defendants County of Tulare, et al., (collectively

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“Defendants”) filed an answer denying the allegations of the complaint and raising various

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affirmative defenses.

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4.

On December 16, 2015, the Court granted Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary

injunction in part, and denied in part.
5.

Plaintiff and Defendants (collectively “Parties”) agree that Defendants have

disputed, and continue to dispute and deny, liability. However, in order to avoid the expense,
delay, uncertainty, and burden of litigation the Parties agree to the entry of this consent
decree.
6.

The Parties agree that this consent decree resolves all claims for injunctive

relief alleged in the Plaintiff’s Complaint. By this consent decree, together with payment of
the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00), the Parties agree that all equitable and
damages claims alleged by Plaintiff are fully and finally resolved. The Parties agree that

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Plaintiff will execute a release of all claims, and that Defendant will remit payment to
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Plaintiff, within 45 days of the entry of this consent decree by the Court. If payment is not
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made within (60) days, interest shall accrue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1961 from the date of
entry of this order. The Parties agree that Plaintiff will submit a petition for attorneys’ fees
and costs for work performed in this case to the Court, and nothing in this consent decree
affects or limits its right to do so. The parties agree that the court shall award Plaintiff such
fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1988 as the prevailing party.
7.

DEFINITIONS:
a. As used herein, STAPLES shall mean the type of light-duty small wire

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fasteners commonly used to attach a few sheets of paper, and used by Plaintiff to bind

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the sheets of its monthly publication.

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County Counsel
Tulare County
Visalia, California

b. As used herein, PUBLISHER shall mean any publisher, commercial or nonprofit distributor of printed materials, or book store that does mail order business.
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STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] CONSENT DECREE

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8.

The Parties agree that Defendants and their successors, officers, agents,

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servants, and employees, and all others in active concert or participation with them, shall not

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refuse to deliver publications, correspondence, or documents sent by any PUBLISHER to

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prisoners at Defendants’ jails on the ground that these publications, correspondence, or

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documents contain STAPLES, provided that Defendants may comply by removing the

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STAPLES.

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9.

The Parties agree that Defendants shall provide adequate written notice and an

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administrative review process to the PUBLISHER of any refusal to deliver any publication,

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correspondence, or document sent from a PUBLISHER to a prisoner at the Defendants’ jails.

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The administrative review process shall include the PUBLISHER’s right to have its appeal,
complaint, or inquiry considered and resolved by a decision maker other than the person who
originally refused to deliver the publication or mailing in question. Defendants agree to
provide a written response to all publication censorship appeals within 15 business days of
receiving the appeal.
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The Parties agree that Defendants shall include an explanation of the terms of

the Sheriff’s New Mail Policy in relation to delivery of publications and the administrative
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review process for refused mailings in the Tulare County Jail Handbook for delivery to
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prisoners and on its website.
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11.

Nothing in this Consent Decree is intended either to create any rights in or

grant any cause of action to any person not a party to this Consent Decree, or to release or
waive any claim, cause of action, demand, or defense in law or equity that any party to this
Consent Decree may have against any person(s) or entity not a party to this Consent Decree.
12.

If Plaintiff identifies, in future, a violation of this order Plaintiff shall give

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prompt notice to Defendants to cure said violation. The Parties shall meet and confer (either

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telephonically or in person) at the earliest possible time in a good-faith effort to resolve the

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claim before seeking relief from the Court. If the violation is not cured by this meet and

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confer process between the Parties, Defendants shall be liable for the reasonable attorney’s

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fees and costs Plaintiff incurred in proving the violation.

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County Counsel
Tulare County
Visalia, California

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STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] CONSENT DECREE

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13.

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The Court finds that this case concerns the First and Fourteenth Amendment

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rights of a publisher and is therefore not a case concerning prison conditions as defined in the

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Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996. The Court further finds that the relief herein ordered

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is narrowly drawn, extends no further than necessary to correct the harm alleged by Plaintiff

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requiring injunctive relief, and is the least intrusive means necessary to correct that alleged

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harm.

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14.

The Court retains jurisdiction of this matter for the purpose of enforcement of

its Order until terminated upon motion made by either party.
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No person who has notice of this consent decree shall fail to comply with it,

nor shall any person subvert the injunction by any sham, indirection, or other artifice.

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Dated: 7/1/2016

MIKE BOUDREAUX
Tulare County Sheriff

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By: _/s/_____________________________

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Dated: 6/28/2016

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HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER
By: _/s/_____________________________
Paul Wright
Editor and Executive Director

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APPROVED AS TO FORM AND CONTENT

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Dated: 7/1/2016

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KATHLEEN BALES-LANGE
Tulare County Counsel
By: _/s/_____________________________
Kevin Stimmel
Deputy County Counsel
Attorney for Defendants County of Tulare
and Mike Boudreaux

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County Counsel
Tulare County
Visalia, California

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STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] CONSENT DECREE

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Case 1:15-cv-01650-JAM-SAB Document 44 Filed 07/06/16 Page 5 of 5
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APPROVED AS TO FORM AND CONTENT
Dated: 6/30/2016
ROSEN BIEN GALVAN & GRUNFELD LLP
By:_/s/_________________________________
Lisa Ells
Attorney for Plaintiff Prison Legal News

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IT IS SO ORDERED.

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DATED: 7/5/2016

/s/ John A. Mendez____________
John A. Mendez,
United States District Court Judge

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County Counsel
Tulare County
Visalia, California

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STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] CONSENT DECREE

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