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The Habeas Citebook: Prosecutorial Misconduct

HRDC v. Santa Fe Co., et al., NM, Complaint, censorship, 2018

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Case 1:18-cv-00305 Document 1 Filed 04/02/18 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,

Case No.:

Plaintiff,

COMPLAINT FOR
DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF UNDER
THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT 42
U.S.C. § 1983 AND DAMAGES

v.
(1) SANTA FE COUNTY, NM;
(2) DEREK WILLIAMS, Warden,
individually and in his official capacity;

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

(3) MICHAEL OLIVER, Deputy Warden,
individually and in his official capacity;
(4) CARLOS MARKMAN-LOPEZ, Major,
individually and in his official capacity, and;
(5) 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 Santa Fe County Adult Correctional Facility (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

Case 1:18-cv-00305 Document 1 Filed 04/02/18 Page 2 of 11

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
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.
2.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

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 United States 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

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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.
III.
9.

PARTIES

The HRDC 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 Santa Fe 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 Derek Williams is the Warden of the Jail. Defendant Williams 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 Michael Oliver is the Deputy Warden of the Jail. Defendant Oliver 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

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and coordinating the mail policies and practices at the Jail. He is sued in his individual and official
capacities.
13.

Defendant Carlos Markman-Lopez is a Major at the Jail. Defendant Markman-

Lopez is employed by and is an agent of Defendant County, and is in charge of security-related
matters at the Jail, including the promulgation and enforcement of policies and practices dealing
with Jail security and the mail. He is sued in his individual and official capacities.
14.

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 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.
15.

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.
16.

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 Santa Fe County.
IV.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

A.

HRDC’s mission and outreach to the Santa Fe County Adult Correctional
Facility

17.

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

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redress for infringements of their constitutionally guaranteed and other basic human rights.
HRDC’s mission, if realized, has a salutary effect on public safety.
18.

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.
19.

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.
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.
HRDC distributes its publications to prisoners and law librarians in more than 2,600 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

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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.

HRDC has sent its monthly magazine, Prison Legal News, to numerous prisoners

at the Jail. As far as HRDC is aware, the magazine has not been censored by Defendants; instead,
it is delivered to the intended prisoner-recipients.
24.

Unlike the magazine, Defendants have adopted a policy and practice of arbitrarily

prohibiting receipt of HRDC’s books sent to individual prisoners at the Jail. Specifically, since
October 2017, HRDC has sent the following softcover books to prisoners held at the Jail: 1) 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, 2) Protecting Your
Health and Safety (“PYHS”), which describes the rights, protections, and legal remedies available
to prisoners concerning their incarceration, and 3) Prisoners’ Guerilla Handbook: A Guide to
Correspondence Programs in the United States and Canada (“Prisoners’ Handbook”), which
provides prisoners information on enrolling at accredited higher educational, vocational, and
training schools.
25.

Defendants censored these books and did not deliver them to the intended prisoner-

recipients at the Jail. Since October 1, 2017, HRDC separately sent copies of the books listed in
paragraph 24 in individually-addressed packages to various prisoners at the Jail. Eighty-five (85)
books were returned to HRDC in their original packaging with writing on the outside stating either
“Against Policy Unauthorized Material” or “Return to Sender Refused”.
26.

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

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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.

Defendants’ Unconstitutional Mail Policies and Practices

28.

Defendants’ mail policy and practice bans books 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.
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
non-profit 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,

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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 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 37 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

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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 44 of

the Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
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

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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.

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

58.

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

trial.

other applicable law.

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59.

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

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff, HRDC, 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

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-00305 Document 1-1 Filed 04/02/18 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

Santa Fe County, NM; Derek Williams; Michael Oliver; Carlos
Markman-Lopez; John and Jane Does 1-10

(b) County of Residence of First Listed Plaintiff

Palm Beach County, FL

County of Residence of First Listed Defendant

(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-00305 Document 1-1 Filed 04/02/18 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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