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HRDC v Livingston, et al, MI, Settlement, 2017, Censorship

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2:11-cv-13460-DPH-EAS Doc # 306 Filed 06/30/17 Pg 3 of 5

Pg ID 8654

This is an agreement by and between the HUMAN RIGHTS
DEFENSE CENTER, d/b/a Prison Legal News ("HRDC") and LIVINGSTON
COUNTY SHERIFF BOB BEZOTTE, individually and officially, LIEUTENANT
THOMAS CREMONTE, individually and officially, and LIVINGSTON
COUNTY (collectively, “Livingston County”).
The purpose of this agreement is to settle all claims, attorneys’ fees
and costs in the case of Human Rights Defense Center, d/b/a Prison Legal News v.
Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte, et al., Case No. 11-cv-13460-DPH filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
In making this agreement Livingston County denies any wrongdoing
or admission of liability and HRDC understands and agrees this Settlement
Agreement is not an admission of liability. Instead Livingston County is entering
into this Settlement Agreement to avoid incurring additional costs and fees in
defending this matter and to resolve the uncertainty of litigation. This agreement
shall apply to Livingston County, its employees, agents, or any successors
responsible for the implementation of the terms of this Settlement Agreement.
In exchange for and consideration of the payments, acts, and promises
set forth below, the HRDC shall cause to be filed the foregoing stipulated order of
voluntary dismissal, the form of which has been agreed to by the parties.
In the event the Court does not sign the stipulated order as proposed
and in the form agreed to by the parties, this agreement shall be null and void.
Livingston County shall accept up to 30 subscriptions per month of
the Prison Legal News addressed to specific inmates regardless of whether the
subscriptions are paid or are gifts, and shall deliver the Prison Legal News to
inmates provided, of course, that the inmates are still housed at the Livingston
County Jail. Likewise the Livingston County Jail shall deliver up to 30 books per
month addressed to specific inmates, again provided that the inmate is still housed
at the Jail.
In the event that HRDC sends more than 30 issue of Prison Legal
News and/or books per month, the HRDC shall contact the Jail administrator. The
Jail shall not unreasonably withhold the delivery of these additional materials. The
HRDC expects that the additional materials may number up to two (2) or three (3)
per month.

2:11-cv-13460-DPH-EAS Doc # 306 Filed 06/30/17 Pg 4 of 5

Pg ID 8655

8. In the event the Jail censors the materials either by non-delivery of the
item or by redacting portions of the item, the Jail shall give notice of the
censorship in writing to the inmate to whom the material was addressed as well as
to the HRDC within seven (7) calendar days. Said notice to HRDC shall be sent to
the following address: Prison Legal News, P.O. Box 1151, Lake Worth, FL 33460.
HRDC shall have up to ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the notice to file any
appeal. The Jail shall keep possession of the item subject to censorship through the
conclusion of the Jail's appellate process or 30 days, whichever is shorter.
9. The HRDC agrees to dismiss with prejudice count I of the operative
complaint contesting the constitutionality of the Jail's colloquially referred to
postcard only policy.
Within 30 days of the date the Court signs and enters the stipulated
order of voluntary dismissal, Livingston County shall cause to be paid to the
HRDC a sum in the amount of $295,000.00.
The HRDC agrees that by entering into this Settlement Agreement
the HRDC does release Livingston County and its employees, agents, elected and
appointed officials from any claim or demand for damages or other relief which is
or could have been sought in this action through the date of this Settlement
Agreement. Nothing in this paragraph precludes either party from enforcing the
other terms of this agreement.
12. The parties agree that the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan retains jurisdiction to enforce the terms of this agreement.
The parties recognize that paragraphs 7 and 8 of this agreement
operate as a form of prospective equitable relief. Should there come a time when a
party believes that it is no longer equitable that all or part this agreement should
have prospective application (for example, due to a significant change in the law),
and the parties cannot come to an agreement privately on a modification being
sought, the party seeking relief may move for such from the Court. The decision
on such a motion shall be governed by the legal standard and case law established
for relief from judgment under Rule 60(b)(5) or (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
14. This agreement is effective upon being executed by all parties through
counsel whose signatures appear below.
Signed and agreed to

Signed and agreed to

2:11-cv-13460-DPH-EAS Doc # 306 Filed 06/30/17 Pg 5 of 5

for the HRDC by:
/s/ Daniel E. Manville, Esq.
Daniel E. Manville (P39731)
Director, Civil Rights Clinic
Michigan State University,
College of Law
610 Abbot Road
East Lansing, Michigan 48823
(517) 913-9690

for the Defendants by:
/s/ T. Joseph Seward, Esq.
T. Joseph Seward (P35095)
Lindsey A. Peck (P74579)

210 East Third Street, Suite 212
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
(248) 733-3580
Counsel for Defendants

/s/ Sabarish P. Neelakanta, Esq.
Sabarish P. Neelakanta, Esq.
Dated: June 20, 2017
P.O. Box 1151
Lake Worth, Florida 33460
Counsel for Plaintiffs
Dated: June 20, 2017

Pg ID 8656
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