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Prisoner Education Guide

HRDC v. Management & Training Corp, OH, Settlement, Censorship, 2017

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IN THE MATTERS OF:

Prison Legal News v. Management & Training Corporation, et al
Case No. 2:1&.cv-01174, U.S. District Court, District Court of New Mexico,

and
Human Rig/its Defense Center v. Management & Training Corporation, et al.
Case No. 3:17-cv-1082, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
(collectively, the "Lawsuits")

SETTLEMENT AGBEEMENT AND FULL AND FINAL RELEASE

THIS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND FULL AND FINAL RELEASE (hereinafter
referred to as the "Agreement") is made and entered into as of the date this Agreement is signed,
by and among the Defendant Management & Training Corporation on behalf of itself and all of its
officers, directors, employees, former employees, agents, predecessors, divisions, successors,
administrators, and assigns, including but not limited to Rick Martinez (collectively referred to as
("MTC")), and Human Rights Defense Center ("HRDC"). on behalf ofitself and all ofits officers,
directors, employees, former employees, agents, predecessors, divisions, successors,
administrators, and assigns. MTC and HRDC collectively are "the Parties".
I. Recitals

A. At all times relevant hereto, Ricardo Martinez and Neil Turner are or were MTC
employees.
B. At all times relevant hereto, Prison Legal News is or was a publishing project of the
Human Rights Defense Center, a 50l(c)(3) non-profit corporation with offices in Lake Worth,
Florida. Prison Legal News publishes Prison Legal News, a monthly journal of corrections news
and analysis, and HRDC publishes and distributes books to prisoners and practitioners concerning
prison-related matters.
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C. This Agreement addresses and resolves certain disputes arising from and relating to
allegations that MTC violated HRDC's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights related to the
handling or delivery of unsolicited paperback publications at prisons, including the Otero County
Prison Facility ("OCPF") as well as the North Central Correctional Complex (4'NCCC"), and the
alleged lack of due process associated with MTC' s policy of pre-approval.
D. The Parties agree that MTC denies any liability, including the allegations in the
Lawsuits filed by HRDC as Prison Legal News v. Management & Training Corporation, et al.,
Case No. 2: 16-cv-01174, U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico, and Human Rights Defense

Centerv. Management & Training Corporation, eta/., Case No. 3:17-cv-1082, U.S. District Court,
Northern District of Ohio. However, in order to avoid the expense, delay, uncertainty, and burden
of litigation, the Parties have agreed to a settlement, including a settlement of the Lawsuits. This
written Agreement memorializes the terms of the settlement reached by MTC and HRDC.
E. No Admission of Liability; No Admissibility. The Parties acknowledge that neither

this Agreement nor any consideration exchanged hereunder shall be regarded as an admission of
any fact, allegation, liability, or responsibility of any kind by either of the Parties for any purpose.
This Agreement shall not be admissible in any proceeding, except as is necessary in a proceeding
to enforce the terms of this Agreement or to establish or prove the defenses of payment, release,
accord and satisfaction, waiver, or estoppel, or as otherwise required by court order, or as provided
under Section IV herein.
II. Mailroom Policies

1.

MTC agrees that it shall deliver, if consistent with MTC's legitimate penological

interests and policies based thereon, as well as all applicable rules or regulations of the New

Mexico Corrections Department ("NMCD"), the Ohio Department of Corrections, or other
applicable state or federal agencies wherever MTC correction facilities may be located,
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publications (i.e., paperback books, magazines, and newspapers) sent by publishers, vendors, or
distributors to prisoners housed at OCPF, NCCC, or.other MTC correction facilities. As used
herein, the term "deliver" shall mean the physical conveyance of the publication to the prisoner
for his or her personal use while incarcerated at the facility, and during any subsequent transfer or
release.
2. MTC agrees, if consistent with MTC's legitimate penological interests and policies
based thereon, as well as all applicable rules or regulations of the NMCD, the Ohio Department of
Corrections, or other applicable state or federal agencies wherever MTC correction facilities may
be located, that all incoming unsolicited publications (i.e., paperback books, magazines, and
newspapers) sent by publishers, vendors, or distributors to inmates will be reviewed on a case-bycase basis for a determination of suitability within the parameters of institutional safety and
security, regardless of the identity of the publisher, vendor, or distributor. MTC agrees not to
censor or withhold publications based solely on the presence or absence of a sender's name on a
list of approved publishers, vendors, or distributors, unless required to do so by, or as preempted
by, state or federal rules, regulations, policies or procedures applicable to MTC's operation of said
correction facilities. Further, MTC agrees not to maintain or utilize approved vendor lists, or
institute any pre-approval policy at MTC correction facilities unless required to do so by, or as
preempted by, state or federal rules, regulations, policies or procedures applicable to MTC's
operation of said correction facilities.
3.. With regard to the lawsuit against MTC and its operation of the OCPF facility, MTC
agrees that it will comply with New Mexico Corrections Department CD-151201(K)(2) and any
amendments thereto.
4. MTC agrees that whenever OCPF, NCCC, or another MTC corrections facility that
houses inmates, refuses to deliver any publication sent to an inmate, MTC shall provide notice of
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the nonMdelivery to the inmate and sender, provide an opportunity to appeal the censorship, and
have the censored item reviewed by a party who was not involved with the original censorship
decision unless requirements of applicable state or federal rules or regulations provide otherwise
and/or unless provided otherwise by the state or federal rules, regulations, policies or procedures
to which MTC has consented

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purposes of operating said correction facilities. Further, any

refused publication wm be retained by MTC during the pendency of any appeal process unless
applicable state or federal rules or regulations provide otherwise and/or unless provided otherwise
by the state or federal rules, regulations, policies or procedures to which MTC has contracted with
for purposes of operating said correction facilities.
5. The Parties agree that MTC, its agents, assigns, employees, deputies and successors,
will establish, implement and enforce policies and procedures to effectuate the terms of this
Agreement.
6. It is further agreed that within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of orders of dismissal
of the Lawsuits, MTC will notify MTC staff who are responsible for any part of the receipt,
collection, and delivery of U.S. Mail to prisoners housed at MTC correction facilities of this
Agreement and its relevant terms.
7. MTC shall ensure that any written materials concerning their jail mail policy are
amended and conformed to reflect this Agreement, unless requirements of applicable state or
federal rules or regulations provide otherwise and/or unless provided otherwise by the state or
federal rules, regulations, policies or procedures to which MTC has consented for purposes of
operating said correction facilities.
8. The Parties agree that MTC shall, within a reasonable time after the notice provided for
in paragraph 6, conduct appropriate training with MTC corrections facilities' staff responsible for
receipt, collection, and delivery of publications to prisoners housed at MTC correction facilities
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regarding the terms of this Agreement, and the best practices for successful compliance herewith.
III. Monetary Agreement and Dismissal

9. In exchange for HRDC's release, and dismissal of the Lawsuits with prejudice, the
Parties hereby agree to the following terms:
(a) HRDC, on its own behalf and on behalf of its officers, directors, employees, agents,
administrators, projects, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, successors, and assigns, including
Prison Legal News and Paul Wright ("the Releasors") hereby fully and forever unconditionally
release and discharge MTC, its officers, directors, employees, agents, administrators, projects,
subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, successors, and anyone for whom MTC has an obligation of
indemnification, including Ricardo Martinez and Neil Turner ("the Releasees") from any and all
charges, claims and causes of action that Releasors have, or may have had, or may hereafter claim
to have had against Releasees or any of them whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted,
arising from or in any way related to the handling or delivery of paperback publications at
correctional facilities prior to the date of this Agreement. It is understood that this general release
is intended to be comprehensive and global, and that Releasors, upon execution hereof, shall not
have the right or ability to assert any claims whatsoever against Releasees related to or arising out
of any conduct or action prior to execution hereof concerning the claims in the Lawsuits. Releasors
waive and relinquish as to matters and things released herein any rights and benefits arising from
the laws or statutes of any jurisdiction which limit the validity of a general release foregoing claims
neither known nor supposed to exist at the time the release is executed, even if knowledge of the
unknown claim would materially affect the decision to execute such a general release. This release
does not apply to actions occurring after the execution of this agreement.
(b) MTC agrees to pay HRDC a total of $150,000.00 in full and final settlement of all
claims, including claims for damages, attorneys' fees, and costs of the Lawsuits. The check shall
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be made payable to Human Rights Defense Center. HRDC may determine the allocation of this
money between damages, and attorneys' fees and costs within its own discretion. MTC will send
payment to the Human Rights Defense Center at P.O. Box 1151, Lake Worth, FL 33460, within
· 30 days of the dismissal with prejudice of the Lawsuits. Neither HRDC nor its attorneys, nor any
person or entity claiming through either, shall receive any further payment of any kind in
settlement of these matters or under this Agreement, it being expressly understood that this sum is
inclusive of all fees, costs and other expenses.
(c) HRDC agrees to dismiss the Lawsuits with prejudice subject to the reservation of
jurisdiction provisions as provided in Section IV herein. HRDC agrees it will not issue any press
releases concerning the settlements of the Lawsuits.

IV. Reservation of Jurisdiction
10.

The federal court shall retain jurisdiction over this Agreement herein and incorporated

by reference in the Stipulated Order of Dismissal filed in this matter. This Agreement shall not be
filed in the Lawsuits or in any other proceedings except as necessary to pursue enforcement.
Jurisdiction over the claims and for enforcement of the provisions herein will be consistent with

Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Insurance ofAmerica, 511 U.S. 375, 114 S.Ct. 1673 (1994).
I 1.

In the event of a breach of any of the provisions of this Agreement, the Parties reserve

the right to pursue an enforcement claim for alleged breach in the District for New Mexico. Nothing
herein shall prevent HRDC from filing a new lawsuit in another jurisdiction for future conduct that
it alleges constitutes a Constitutional violation separate from the tenns of this Agreement. HRDC
further agrees that it will not initiate any subsequent lawsuits against any MTC corrections facility
regarding any claims similar to those at issue in the Lawsuits for a time period of sixty (60) days
after execution of this Agreement. This includes any such claims arising on or before the expiration
of sixty (60) days after the full execution of this Agreement so as to pennit MTC time to train its
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personnel regarding the terms of this Agreement.
V. Miscellaneous Provisions

12.

Return of Confidential Material. As soon as is practicable after execution of this

Agreement, HRDC shall return or send notification of destruction to MTC's counsel, Keleher &
McLeod, P.A., all materials produced by MTC in the Lawsuits, whether in discovery or otherwise,
that MTC has designated as confidential. Neither HRDC nor anyone acting on its behalf, including
but not limited to its counsel in the Lawsuit, shall retain a copy of such materials.
13.

Liens. HRDC acknowledges that it is its sole responsibility to pay any and all liens

and subrogation interests, including attorney's fees and costs, if applicable, which may be made
· against the amount paid as consideration by MTC for this settlement. HRDC represents and
warrants to MTC that no liens or subrogation interests have been filed or claimed by any insurer,
any healthcare provider or payor, including but not limited to Medicare and Medicaid, any
attorney, or by any other person or entity. HRDC further represents and warrants that if there are
any such liens or subrogation interests claimed or in effect, even if unknown to HRDC, or if any
such liens or subrogation interests arise following the entry of this Agreement, HRDC will pay for
the defense, including attorney's fees, costs, and any other expenses, and without right of
subrogation, of any claim, charge, or suit commenced by any person or entity based on any claimed
lien or subrogation interest, and indemnify and hold harmless Releasees from the expenses
incurred by Releasees from such claim.
14.

MTC and HRDC acknowledge and agree that they have been represented by legal

counsel with respect to the matters that are the subject of this Agreement and that they have entered
into this Agreement freely and voluntarily.
15.

The Parties agree that facsimile or PDF signatures are deemed to be originals and that

this Agreement may be executed in counterparts. Upon signature of the Parties, this Agreement
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shall be deemed executed, final, and binding.
16.

This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding between the Parties with respect to

the subject matter contained herein, and there are no representations, warranties, agreements,
arrangements, or undertakings, oral or written, between or among the Parties hereto relating to the
subject matter of this Agreement which are not fully expressed herein. This Agreement supersedes
all prior negotiations, representations, statements, or promises between the Parties, whether written
or oral, as to these matters.
17. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of MTC and HRDC,
and their respective successors and assigns.
18. The obligations imposed by this Agreement are severable. If for any reason a part of
this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, that detennination shall not affect the remainder of
this Agreement.
19.

This Agreement and any of its provisions may be amended, modified, or tenninated

only by written agreement signed by HRDC and MTC.

Dated this"- 'f

~Y of JULY, 2017.

Stipulated and Agreed to:

HTS DEFENSE CENTER

v.;((\'1lt>\
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Date: ---11/'-=2-1-+yJ_l7_,____
By:

etv\

MANAGEMENT & TRAINING
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mEY(S)] Approved as to form only

By:

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4827-1065-6076,

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