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 firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for the United States of America 3