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Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual

HRDC v. San Miguel Co., et al., NM, Complaint, censorship, 2018

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Case 1:18-cv-00355 Document 1 Filed 04/16/18 Page 1 of 11

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER,
a not-for-profit corporation,
Plaintiff,

Case No.:
COMPLAINT FOR
DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF UNDER
THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT 42
U.S.C. § 1983 AND DAMAGES

v.
(1) SAN MIGUEL COUNTY, NM;
(2) MATT ELWELL, Warden,
individually and in his official capacity;

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

(3) ANTONIO PADILLA, Deputy Warden,
individually and in his official capacity,
(4) JOHN AND JANE DOES 1-10, Staff,
individually and in their official capacities,
Defendants.

I.
1.

INTRODUCTION

For decades, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that the freedom to

read and correspond with the outside world while incarcerated carries important benefits to both
prisoners and society as a whole. To this end, Plaintiff, the Human Rights Defense Center
(“HRDC” or “Plaintiff”), provides incarcerated persons across the United States with publications
regarding their legal and civil rights, as well as options for accessing education while incarcerated.
However, Defendants’ mail policies and practices unconstitutionally prohibit delivery of
Plaintiff’s books to prisoners housed in the San Miguel County Detention Center (the “Jail”), in
violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Defendants’ policies and
practices also deny due process of law to senders whose mail is censored, such as Plaintiff, by
failing to provide notice of and an opportunity to challenge each instance of censorship as required
by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. HRDC brings this action to

Case 1:18-cv-00355 Document 1 Filed 04/16/18 Page 2 of 11

enjoin Defendants’ censorship of its books mailed to prisoners held in the Jail, and to require
Defendants to provide due process when they reject items sent to prisoners at that facility.
II.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

2. This action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question), as this action arises
under the Constitution and laws of the United States, and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1343 (civil
rights), as this action seeks redress for civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
3. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). At least one Defendant resides within this
judicial district, and the events giving rise to the claims asserted herein all occurred within this
judicial district.
4. HRDC’s claims for relief are predicated upon 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which authorizes actions
to redress the deprivation, under color of state law, of rights, privileges and immunities secured to
HRDC by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United
States.
5. This Court has jurisdiction over claims seeking declaratory and injunctive relief pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202, and Rules 57 and 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as
well as nominal and compensatory damages, against all Defendants.
6. HRDC’s claim for attorneys’ fees and costs is predicated upon 42 U.S.C. § 1988, which
authorizes the award of attorneys’ fees and costs to prevailing plaintiffs in actions brought pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
7. HRDC is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that the individual Defendants
acted as described herein with the intent to injure, vex, annoy, and harass HRDC, and subjected
HRDC to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of HRDC’s rights with the intention of
causing HRDC injury and depriving it of its constitutional rights.
8. As a result of the foregoing, HRDC seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as
compensatory and punitive damages against the individual Defendants.

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III. PARTIES
9. The Human Rights Defense Center is a not-for-profit charitable organization recognized
under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, incorporated in the State of Washington and with
principal offices in Lake Worth, Florida. The purpose of HRDC is to educate prisoners and the
public about the destructive nature of racism, sexism, and the economic and social costs of prisons
to society. HRDC accomplishes its mission through advocacy, litigation, and the publication
and/or distribution of books, magazines, and other information concerning prisons and prisoner
rights.
10.

Defendant San Miguel County, New Mexico (the “County”) is a unit of government

organized and existing under the laws of the State of New Mexico. The County operates the Jail,
and is and was responsible for adopting and implementing mail policies governing incoming mail
for prisoners at that facility.
11.

Defendant Matt Elwell is the Warden of the Jail. Defendant Elwell is employed by and

is an agent of Defendant County, and has ultimate responsibility for the promulgation and
enforcement of all Jail staff policies and procedures and is responsible for the overall management
of the Jail, to include processing of mail. He is sued in his individual and official capacities.
12.

Defendant Antonio Padilla is the Deputy Warden of the Jail. Defendant Padilla is

employed by and is an agent of Defendant County, and on information and belief he is personally
involved in the adoption and/or implementation of the mail policies at issue, as well as overseeing
and coordinating the mail policies and practices at the Jail. He is sued in his individual and official
capacities.
13.

The true names and identities of Defendants DOES 1 through 10 are presently unknown

to HRDC. Each of Defendants DOES 1 through 10 are or were employed by and are or were
agents of Defendants when some or all of the challenged inmate mail policies and practices were
adopted and/or implemented. Each of Defendants DOES 1 through 10 were personally involved

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in the adoption and/or implementation of the mail policies at the Jail, and/or were responsible for
the hiring, screening, training, retention, supervision, discipline, counseling, and/or control of the
Jail staff who interpret and implement these mail policies. HRDC will seek to amend this
Complaint as soon as the true names and identities of Defendants DOES 1 through 10 have been
ascertained.
14.

At all times material to this action, the actions of all Defendants as alleged herein were

taken under the authority and color of state law.
15.

At all times material to this action, all Defendants were acting within the course and

scope of their employment as agents and/or employees of Defendant County.
IV.
A.
16.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

HRDC’s mission and outreach to the San Miguel County Detention Center
For more than 27 years, the focus of HRDC’s mission has been public education,

advocacy and outreach on behalf of, and for the purpose of assisting, prisoners who seek legal
redress for infringements of their constitutionally guaranteed and other basic human rights.
HRDC’s mission, if realized, has a salutary effect on public safety.
17.

To accomplish its mission, HRDC publishes and distributes books, magazines, and

other information containing news and analysis about prisons, jails and other detention facilities,
prisoners’ rights, court rulings, management of prison facilities, prison conditions, and other
matters pertaining to the rights and/or interests of incarcerated individuals.
18.

HRDC publishes and distributes an award-winning, 72-page monthly magazine titled

Prison Legal News: Dedicated to Protecting Human Rights, which contains news and analysis
about prisons, jails, and other detention facilities, prisoners’ rights, court opinions, management
of prison facilities, prison conditions, and other matters pertaining to the rights and/or interests of
incarcerated individuals.

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19.

More recently, HRDC also began publishing a second monthly magazine, Criminal

Legal News. This magazine focuses on review and analysis of individual rights, court rulings, and
news concerning criminal justice-related issues.
20.

Additionally, HRDC publishes and/or distributes approximately 50 different softcover

books about the criminal justice system, legal reference books, and self-help books of interest to
prisoners. These books are designed to foster a better understanding of criminal justice policies
and to allow prisoners to educate themselves about related issues, such as legal research, how to
write a business letter, health care issues, and similar topics.
21.

HRDC has thousands of customers in the United States and abroad, including prisoners,

attorneys, journalists, public libraries, judges, and members of the general public. Since its
creation in 1990, HRDC has sent its publications to prisoners and law librarians in more than 3,000
correctional facilities located across all 50 states, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons and
various facilities within the State of New Mexico.
22.

HRDC engages in core protected speech and expressive conduct on matters of public

concern, such as the operation of prison facilities, prison conditions, prisoner health and safety,
and prisoners’ rights. HRDC’s publications, as described above, contain political speech and
social commentary, which are core First Amendment rights and are entitled to the highest
protection afforded by the United States Constitution.
23.

Defendants have adopted a policy and practice of arbitrarily prohibiting receipt of

HRDC’s publications sent to individual prisoners at the Jail. Specifically, since February 2016,
HRDC has sent the following materials to prisoners held at the Jail: 1) issues of the monthly
magazine Prison Legal News; 2) The Habeas Citebook: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
(“Habeas Citebook”), which describes the procedural and substantive complexities of federal
habeas corpus litigation with the goal of identifying and litigating claims involving ineffective
assistance of counsel; 3) Prisoners’ Guerilla Handbook: A Guide to Correspondence Programs in

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the United States and Canada (“Prisoners’ Handbook”), which provides prisoners information on
enrolling at accredited higher educational, vocational and training schools, and (4) Protecting Your
Health and Safety (“PYHS”), which describes the rights, protections and legal remedies available
to prisoners concerning their incarceration.
24.

Defendants censored these publications and did not deliver them to the intended

prisoner-recipients at the Jail. Since February 1, 2016, HRDC sent copies of the items listed in
paragraph 24 to various prisoners at the Jail. Each of these items were individually addressed and
separately mailed. Nineteen books were returned to HRDC in their original packaging, marked
“Refused.” Additionally, sixteen copies of Prison Legal News and five copies of Criminal Legal
News were also returned to HRDC.
25.

On information and belief, other publications mailed by HRDC to persons incarcerated

at the Jail were also censored by Defendants.
26.

Further, Defendants failed to provide HRDC any notice or opportunity to appeal these

censorship decisions.
27.

Plaintiff will continue to mail copies of its books and other publications to subscribers,

customers, and other individuals imprisoned at the Jail, but seeks the protection of this Court to
ensure that the materials are delivered and, if not, that due process is afforded to the Plaintiff so it
may challenge the basis for any censorship.
B.
28.

Defendants’ Unconstitutional Mail Policies and Practices
Defendants’ mail policy and practice bans publications sent by HRDC and other senders

to prisoners at the Jail. Accordingly, Defendants’ mail policies and practices violate HRDC’s First
Amendment right to free speech.
29.

Furthermore, Defendants engage in a policy or practice that fails to provide senders of

censored mail notice and an opportunity to appeal the censorship of the mail to the intended
prisoner. Accordingly, such policy violates HRDC’s Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process.

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30.

Said mail policies and practices are the moving force behind the constitutional violations

at issue herein.
31.

The accommodation of the free speech and due process rights of HRDC with respect to

written speech protected by the Constitution will not have any significant impact on the Jail, its
staff or prisoners.
32.

Due to Defendants’ actions as described above, HRDC has suffered damages, and will

continue to suffer damages, including, but not limited to: the suppression of HRDC’s speech; the
impediment of HRDC’s ability to disseminate its political message; frustration of HRDC’s nonprofit organizational mission; the loss of potential subscribers and customers; and the inability to
recruit new subscribers and supporters, among other damages.
33.

Defendants’ actions and inactions were and are motivated by ill-motive and intent, and

were and are all committed under color of law with deliberate indifference to HRDC’s rights.
34.

Defendants, and other agents of the Jail, are responsible for or personally participated

in creating and implementing these unconstitutional policies, practices, and customs, or for
ratifying or adopting them. Further, Defendants are responsible for training and supervising the
staff persons whose conduct has injured and continues to injure HRDC.
35.

Defendants’ unconstitutional policy, practices, and customs are ongoing, continue to

violate HRDC’s rights, and were and are the moving force behind the injuries HRDC suffered as
a direct result of the constitutional violations. As such, HRDC has no adequate remedy at law.
36.

Without relief from this Court HRDC will suffer irreparable injury, since its

fundamental free speech and due process rights are being denied. The balance of hardships favors
the Plaintiff and the public interest will be served by granting injunctive and declaratory relief.
37.

HRDC is entitled to declaratory relief as well as injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants

from refusing to deliver publications and correspondence from HRDC and other senders without
any legal justification, and prohibiting Defendants from censoring mail without due process of

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law.
IV. CLAIMS
Count I – 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Violation of the First Amendment (Censorship)
38.

HRDC re-alleges and incorporates the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 36 of the

Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
39.

The acts described above constitute violations of HRDC’s rights and the rights of other

publishers who have attempted to or intend to communicate with prisoners at the Jail, under the
First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
40.

HRDC has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in communicating with

incarcerated individuals, a right clearly established under existing case law.
41.

The conduct of Defendants was objectively unreasonable and was undertaken

recklessly, intentionally, willfully, with malice, and with deliberate indifference to the rights of
others.
42.

HRDC’s injuries and the violations of its constitutional rights were directly and

proximately caused by the policies and practices of Defendants, which were and are the moving
force of the violations.
43.

Defendants’ acts described above have caused damages to HRDC, and if not enjoined,

will continue to cause damage to HRDC.
44.

HRDC seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, and nominal, compensatory and punitive

damages against all Defendants. HRDC seeks punitive damages against the individual Defendants
in their individual capacities.
Count II – 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Violation of Fourteenth Amendment (Due Process)
45.

HRDC re-alleges and incorporates the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 43 of the

Complaint as if fully set forth herein.

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46.

The acts described above constitute violations of HRDC’s rights and the rights of other

publishers who have attempted to or who intend to communicate with prisoners at the Jail under
the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
47.

Because HRDC and others outside the Jail have a liberty interest in communicating

with prisoners, HRDC and other senders have a right under the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment to receive notice of and an opportunity to appeal Defendants’ decisions to
censor their written speech.
48.

Defendants’ policy and practice fail to provide HRDC and other senders with adequate

notice and an opportunity to be heard.
49.

The conduct of Defendants was objectively unreasonable and was undertaken

recklessly, intentionally, willfully, with malice, and with deliberate indifference to the rights of
others.
50.

HRDC’s injuries and the violations of its constitutional rights were directly and

proximately caused by the policies and practices of Defendants, which are and were the moving
force of the violations.
51.

Defendants’ acts described above have caused damages to HRDC, and if not enjoined,

will continue to cause damage to HRDC.
52.

HRDC seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, and nominal and compensatory damages

against all Defendants. HRDC seeks punitive damages against the individual Defendants in their
individual capacities.
V.

REQUEST FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff respectfully requests relief as follows:
53.

A declaration that Defendants’ policies and practices violate the Constitution.

54.

Nominal damages for each violation of HRDC’s rights by the Defendants.

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55.

A preliminary and permanent injunction preventing Defendants from continuing to

violate the Constitution, and providing other equitable relief.
56.

Compensatory damages in an amount to be proved at trial.

57.

Punitive damages against the individual Defendants in an amount to be proved at trial.

58.

Costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, under 42 U.S.C. § 1988, and under other

applicable law.
59.

Any other such relief that this Court deems just and equitable.
VI. JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff, Human Rights Defense Center, by and through its attorneys, hereby demands a trial
by jury pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38(b) on all issues so triable.

Respectfully Submitted,

KENNEDY KENNEDY & IVES
/s/ Laura Schauer Ives
Laura Schauer Ives, NM Bar No.: 12463
1000 2nd Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Telephone: (505) 244-1400
Facsimile: (505) 244-1406
lsi@civilrightslaw.com
DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE LLP
/s/ Bruce E.H. Johnson
Bruce E.H. Johnson, Wa. Bar No. 7667
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 220
Seattle, WA 98101
Telephone: (206) 757-8069
Facsimile: (206) 757-7069
brucejohnson@dwt.com

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HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER
/s/ Sabarish Neelakanta
Sabarish Neelakanta, Fla. Bar No.: 26623
Masimba Mutamba, Fla. Bar No.: 102772
Daniel Marshall, Fla. Bar No.: 617210
P.O. Box 1151
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Telephone: (561) 360-2523
Facsimile: (866) 735-7136
sneelakanta@hrdc-law.org
mmutamba@hrdc-law.org
dmarshall@hrdc-law.org
Attorneys for Plaintiff

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Case 1:18-cv-00355 Document 1-1 Filed 04/16/18 Page 1 of 2

CIVIL COVER SHEET

JS 44 (Rev. 06/17)

The JS 44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replace nor supplement the filing and service of pleadings or other papers as required by law, except as
provided by local rules of court. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is required for the use of the Clerk of Court for the
purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. (SEE INSTRUCTIONS ON NEXT PAGE OF THIS FORM.)

I. (a) PLAINTIFFS

DEFENDANTS

Human Rights Defense Center

(b) County of Residence of First Listed Plaintiff

San Miguel County, NM; Matt Elwell; Antonio Padilla; John and Jane
Does 1-10
San Miguel County, NM
County of Residence of First Listed Defendant

Palm Beach County, FL

(EXCEPT IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES)
NOTE:

(c) Attorneys (Firm Name, Address, and Telephone Number)

(IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES ONLY)
IN LAND CONDEMNATION CASES, USE THE LOCATION OF
THE TRACT OF LAND INVOLVED.

Attorneys (If Known)

Laura Ives; Kennedy, Kennedy & Ives; 1000 2nd St. NW, Albuquerque,
NM 87102

II. BASIS OF JURISDICTION (Place an “X” in One Box Only)
’ 1

U.S. Government
Plaintiff

’ 3

Federal Question
(U.S. Government Not a Party)

’ 2

U.S. Government
Defendant

’ 4

Diversity
(Indicate Citizenship of Parties in Item III)

III. CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES (Place an “X” in One Box for Plaintiff
(For Diversity Cases Only)
PTF
Citizen of This State
’ 1

’
’
’
’
’

’ 2

’

2

Incorporated and Principal Place
of Business In Another State

’ 5

’ 5

Citizen or Subject of a
Foreign Country

’ 3

’

3

Foreign Nation

’ 6

’ 6

’
’
’
’
’
’
’

’
’
’
’
’
’
’
’
’
’

’
’
’
’
’
’

Click here for: Nature of Suit Code Descriptions.

TORTS

110 Insurance
120 Marine
130 Miller Act
140 Negotiable Instrument
150 Recovery of Overpayment
& Enforcement of Judgment
151 Medicare Act
152 Recovery of Defaulted
Student Loans
(Excludes Veterans)
153 Recovery of Overpayment
of Veteran’s Benefits
160 Stockholders’ Suits
190 Other Contract
195 Contract Product Liability
196 Franchise

REAL PROPERTY
210 Land Condemnation
220 Foreclosure
230 Rent Lease & Ejectment
240 Torts to Land
245 Tort Product Liability
290 All Other Real Property

’
’
’
’
’
’
’

PERSONAL INJURY
310 Airplane
315 Airplane Product
Liability
320 Assault, Libel &
Slander
330 Federal Employers’
Liability
340 Marine
345 Marine Product
Liability
350 Motor Vehicle
355 Motor Vehicle
Product Liability
360 Other Personal
Injury
362 Personal Injury Medical Malpractice
CIVIL RIGHTS
440 Other Civil Rights
441 Voting
442 Employment
443 Housing/
Accommodations
445 Amer. w/Disabilities Employment
446 Amer. w/Disabilities Other
448 Education

and One Box for Defendant)
PTF
DEF
Incorporated or Principal Place
’ 4
’ 4
of Business In This State

Citizen of Another State

IV. NATURE OF SUIT (Place an “X” in One Box Only)
CONTRACT

DEF
’ 1

FORFEITURE/PENALTY

PERSONAL INJURY
’ 365 Personal Injury Product Liability
’ 367 Health Care/
Pharmaceutical
Personal Injury
Product Liability
’ 368 Asbestos Personal
Injury Product
Liability
PERSONAL PROPERTY
’ 370 Other Fraud
’ 371 Truth in Lending
’ 380 Other Personal
Property Damage
’ 385 Property Damage
Product Liability
PRISONER PETITIONS
Habeas Corpus:
’ 463 Alien Detainee
’ 510 Motions to Vacate
Sentence
’ 530 General
’ 535 Death Penalty
Other:
’ 540 Mandamus & Other
’ 550 Civil Rights
’ 555 Prison Condition
’ 560 Civil Detainee Conditions of
Confinement

’ 625 Drug Related Seizure
of Property 21 USC 881
’ 690 Other

LABOR
’ 710 Fair Labor Standards
Act
’ 720 Labor/Management
Relations
’ 740 Railway Labor Act
’ 751 Family and Medical
Leave Act
’ 790 Other Labor Litigation
’ 791 Employee Retirement
Income Security Act

BANKRUPTCY
’ 422 Appeal 28 USC 158
’ 423 Withdrawal
28 USC 157
PROPERTY RIGHTS
’ 820 Copyrights
’ 830 Patent
’ 835 Patent - Abbreviated
New Drug Application
’ 840 Trademark
SOCIAL SECURITY
’ 861 HIA (1395ff)
’ 862 Black Lung (923)
’ 863 DIWC/DIWW (405(g))
’ 864 SSID Title XVI
’ 865 RSI (405(g))

FEDERAL TAX SUITS
’ 870 Taxes (U.S. Plaintiff
or Defendant)
’ 871 IRS—Third Party
26 USC 7609

IMMIGRATION
’ 462 Naturalization Application
’ 465 Other Immigration
Actions

OTHER STATUTES
’ 375 False Claims Act
’ 376 Qui Tam (31 USC
3729(a))
’ 400 State Reapportionment
’ 410 Antitrust
’ 430 Banks and Banking
’ 450 Commerce
’ 460 Deportation
’ 470 Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations
’ 480 Consumer Credit
’ 490 Cable/Sat TV
’ 850 Securities/Commodities/
Exchange
’ 890 Other Statutory Actions
’ 891 Agricultural Acts
’ 893 Environmental Matters
’ 895 Freedom of Information
Act
’ 896 Arbitration
’ 899 Administrative Procedure
Act/Review or Appeal of
Agency Decision
’ 950 Constitutionality of
State Statutes

V. ORIGIN (Place an “X” in One Box Only)
’ 1 Original
Proceeding

’ 2 Removed from
State Court

’ 3

’ 6 Multidistrict
Litigation Transfer
(specify)
Cite the U.S. Civil Statute under which you are filing (Do not cite jurisdictional statutes unless diversity):
Remanded from
Appellate Court

’ 4 Reinstated or
Reopened

’ 5 Transferred from
Another District

’ 8 Multidistrict
Litigation Direct File

42 U.S.C. Sect. 1983

VI. CAUSE OF ACTION Brief description of cause:

Violation of publisher's First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights

’ CHECK IF THIS IS A CLASS ACTION
VII. REQUESTED IN
UNDER RULE 23, F.R.Cv.P.
COMPLAINT:
VIII. RELATED CASE(S)
(See instructions):
IF ANY
JUDGE
DATE

CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint:
’ Yes
’ No
JURY DEMAND:

DEMAND $

DOCKET NUMBER

SIGNATURE OF ATTORNEY OF RECORD

04/02/2018
FOR OFFICE USE ONLY
RECEIPT #

AMOUNT

Print

APPLYING IFP

Save As...

JUDGE

MAG. JUDGE

Reset

JS 44 Reverse (Rev. 06/17)

Case 1:18-cv-00355 Document 1-1 Filed 04/16/18 Page 2 of 2

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ATTORNEYS COMPLETING CIVIL COVER SHEET FORM JS 44
Authority For Civil Cover Sheet
The JS 44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replaces nor supplements the filings and service of pleading or other papers as
required by law, except as provided by local rules of court. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is
required for the use of the Clerk of Court for the purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. Consequently, a civil cover sheet is submitted to the Clerk of
Court for each civil complaint filed. The attorney filing a case should complete the form as follows:
I.(a)

(b)

(c)

Plaintiffs-Defendants. Enter names (last, first, middle initial) of plaintiff and defendant. If the plaintiff or defendant is a government agency, use
only the full name or standard abbreviations. If the plaintiff or defendant is an official within a government agency, identify first the agency and
then the official, giving both name and title.
County of Residence. For each civil case filed, except U.S. plaintiff cases, enter the name of the county where the first listed plaintiff resides at the
time of filing. In U.S. plaintiff cases, enter the name of the county in which the first listed defendant resides at the time of filing. (NOTE: In land
condemnation cases, the county of residence of the "defendant" is the location of the tract of land involved.)
Attorneys. Enter the firm name, address, telephone number, and attorney of record. If there are several attorneys, list them on an attachment, noting
in this section "(see attachment)".

II.

Jurisdiction. The basis of jurisdiction is set forth under Rule 8(a), F.R.Cv.P., which requires that jurisdictions be shown in pleadings. Place an "X"
in one of the boxes. If there is more than one basis of jurisdiction, precedence is given in the order shown below.
United States plaintiff. (1) Jurisdiction based on 28 U.S.C. 1345 and 1348. Suits by agencies and officers of the United States are included here.
United States defendant. (2) When the plaintiff is suing the United States, its officers or agencies, place an "X" in this box.
Federal question. (3) This refers to suits under 28 U.S.C. 1331, where jurisdiction arises under the Constitution of the United States, an amendment
to the Constitution, an act of Congress or a treaty of the United States. In cases where the U.S. is a party, the U.S. plaintiff or defendant code takes
precedence, and box 1 or 2 should be marked.
Diversity of citizenship. (4) This refers to suits under 28 U.S.C. 1332, where parties are citizens of different states. When Box 4 is checked, the
citizenship of the different parties must be checked. (See Section III below; NOTE: federal question actions take precedence over diversity
cases.)

III.

Residence (citizenship) of Principal Parties. This section of the JS 44 is to be completed if diversity of citizenship was indicated above. Mark this
section for each principal party.

IV.

Nature of Suit. Place an "X" in the appropriate box. If there are multiple nature of suit codes associated with the case, pick the nature of suit code
that is most applicable. Click here for: Nature of Suit Code Descriptions.

V.

Origin. Place an "X" in one of the seven boxes.
Original Proceedings. (1) Cases which originate in the United States district courts.
Removed from State Court. (2) Proceedings initiated in state courts may be removed to the district courts under Title 28 U.S.C., Section 1441.
When the petition for removal is granted, check this box.
Remanded from Appellate Court. (3) Check this box for cases remanded to the district court for further action. Use the date of remand as the filing
date.
Reinstated or Reopened. (4) Check this box for cases reinstated or reopened in the district court. Use the reopening date as the filing date.
Transferred from Another District. (5) For cases transferred under Title 28 U.S.C. Section 1404(a). Do not use this for within district transfers or
multidistrict litigation transfers.
Multidistrict Litigation – Transfer. (6) Check this box when a multidistrict case is transferred into the district under authority of Title 28 U.S.C.
Section 1407.
Multidistrict Litigation – Direct File. (8) Check this box when a multidistrict case is filed in the same district as the Master MDL docket.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NOT AN ORIGIN CODE 7. Origin Code 7 was used for historical records and is no longer relevant due to
changes in statue.

VI.

Cause of Action. Report the civil statute directly related to the cause of action and give a brief description of the cause. Do not cite jurisdictional
statutes unless diversity. Example: U.S. Civil Statute: 47 USC 553 Brief Description: Unauthorized reception of cable service

VII.

Requested in Complaint. Class Action. Place an "X" in this box if you are filing a class action under Rule 23, F.R.Cv.P.
Demand. In this space enter the actual dollar amount being demanded or indicate other demand, such as a preliminary injunction.
Jury Demand. Check the appropriate box to indicate whether or not a jury is being demanded.

VIII. Related Cases. This section of the JS 44 is used to reference related pending cases, if any. If there are related pending cases, insert the docket
numbers and the corresponding judge names for such cases.
Date and Attorney Signature. Date and sign the civil cover sheet.
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