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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News v. Berkeley Co Sheriff Dewitt, SC, Mot to Intervene, censorship, 2011

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2:10-cv-02594-MBS

Date Filed 04/12/11

Entry Number 35

Page 1 of 3

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
CHARLESTON DIVISION
___________________________________
PRISON LEGAL NEWS, et. al.,
)
)
Plaintiffs;
)
)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
)
)
Applicant for Intervention
)
)
v.
)
)
BERKELEY COUNTY SHERIFF’S
)
OFFICE and SHERIFF H.
)
WAYNE DeWITT et al.,
)
)
Defendants.
)
___________________________________

Civil Action No. 2:10-02594-MBS

UNITED STATES’
MOTION TO INTERVENE

The United States of America, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 24, moves this Honorable
Court to intervene in this action. In support, the United States submits that:
1. Plaintiff, Prison Legal News, has filed claims under the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting
violations of the Speech and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution.
2. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. §14141(a)
(“Section 14141”), grants the United States authority to bring an action for injunctive or
declaratory relief when the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe there exists “a
pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers . . . that deprives persons of rights,
privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”
42 U.S.C. § 14141(a).

2:10-cv-02594-MBS

Date Filed 04/12/11

Entry Number 35

Page 2 of 3

3. The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc
(“RLUIPA”), forbids a government institution from imposing “a substantial burden on the
religious exercise of a [resident].” 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1(a). To justify such a burden, the
government must demonstrate that it is “the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling
governmental interest.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1(a).
4. RLUIPA grants the United States the authority to bring an action for injunctive or
declaratory relief to enforce its provisions. 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-2(f).
5. The United States moves this Court for intervention of right, pursuant to Rule 24(a)(2),
and alternatively for permissive intervention, pursuant to Rule 24(b).
6. Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.04, the United States submits a Memorandum of Points
and Authorities in Support of United States’ Motion to Intervene.
7. Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.02, attorney Michael J. Songer has conferred with
attorney Sandra Senn regarding this motion.
8. The United States has attached a Complaint in Intervention, pursuant to Rule 24(c).
WHEREFORE, the United States respectfully requests that this Court grant this Motion
to Intervene as a party Plaintiff.
Respectfully submitted,
WILLIAM N. NETTLES
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

By:
April 12, 2011

2

s/Barbara M. Bowens
BARBARA M. BOWENS (I.D. 4004)
Assisted United States Attorney

2:10-cv-02594-MBS

Date Filed 04/12/11

Entry Number 35

Page 3 of 3

THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

SAMUEL R. BAGENSTOS
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

JONATHAN M. SMITH
Chief
Special Litigation Section

TIMOTHY D. MYGATT
Special Counsel
Special Litigation Section

Michael J. Songer
MICHAEL J. SONGER
AMIN AMINFAR
Trial Attorneys
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 514-6255
michael.songer@usdoj.gov
Attorneys for the United States of America

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