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Humanists of Washington v. Lehman, Washington DOC censorship complaint. 1997.

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
AT TACOMA
HUMANISTS OF WASHINGTON; THE
NATIONAL PRISON PROJECT OF THE
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
FOUNDATION, INC.; ROLLIN WRIGHT;
BILLY BLANKENSHIP; KEITH CLOSSON;
MARK COOK; WILLIAM ROBERT HARRIS;
JERRY HAWKINS; MICHAEL PETERSON;
RANDY TOLLEFSEN; and PAUL WRIGHT,

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CO!v1PLAlNT FOR DECLARATORY
AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

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Plaintiffs,

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£97 -5499fD~

v.

JOSEPH D. LEHMAN; TOM ROLFS; ELDON
VAIL; TANA WOOD; KENNETH
DuCHARME; KAY WALTER; ROBERT
WRIGHT; and PHil.. STANLEY,

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Defendants.

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Plaintiffs Humanists of Washington, the National Prison Project of the American Civil
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Liberties Union Foundation, Inc. ( NPP-ACLUFtI), Rollin Wright, Billy Blankenship, Keith

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Closson, Mark Cook, William Robert Harris, Jerry Hawkins, Michael Peterson, Randy

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Tollefsen, and Paul Wright in and for their complaint, allege as follows:

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CO!v1PLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - I
[2S610-000 I/SL9627 IO.2S4j

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue, 40th Roor
Seattle. Washington 98101·3099
(206) 583·8888

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

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1.

This action arises under the First Amendment to the United States

Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C.

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§ 1983. This Court therefore has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question)

and 28 U.S.c. § 1343 (deprivation of civil rights).
2.

Defendants Lehman, Rolfs, Vail, DuCharme, Wright and Stanley reside in this

judicial district. In addition, some of plaintiffs' claims arose in Clallam County, Mason
County, Snohomish County and Thurston County, all of which lie within this judicial district.

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Venue in this Court is therefore proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). Insofar as this

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action involves confiscation of property in more than one judicial district within the State of

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Washington, venue in this Court is also proper pursuant to 28 U.S.c. § 1392(a).

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PARTIES

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3.

Plaintiff Humanists of Washington is a non-profit Washington corporation with

its principal place of business in Seattle, Washington.
4.

PlaintiffNPP-ACLUF is a project of the American Civil Liberties Union

Foundation, Inc., which is a non-profit New York corporation with its principal place of
business in New York, New York.

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5.

PlaintiffRoUin Wright is a resident of Lake Worth, Florida.

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6.

PlaintiffBilly Blankenship is a Washington state prison inmate incarcerated at

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the Airway Heights Corrections Center ("AHCC") in Airway Heights, Spokane County,
Washington.
7.

Plaintiff Keith Closson is a Washington state prison inmate incarcerated at the

Washington Corrections Center ("WCC") in Shelton, Mason County, Washington.

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 2
[25610.000 IISL96271 0.254)

PERKlNS COlE

1201 Third Avenue, 40th Aoor
Seattle, Washington 98101-3099

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8.

Plaintiff Mark Cook is a Washington state prison inmate incarcerated at the

Washington State Reformatory ("WSR") in Monroe, Snohomish County, Washington.
9.

Plaintiff William Robert Harris is a Washington state prison inmate

incarcerated atWSR in Monroe, Snohomish County, Washington.
10.

Plaintiff Jerry Hawkins is a Washington state prison inmate incarcerated at the

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Washington State Penitentiary ("WSP") in Walla Walla, Walla Walla County, Washington.
II.

Plaintiff Michael Peterson is a Washington state prison inmate incarcerated at

the WSP in Walk. Walla, Walla Walla County, Washington.
12.

Plaintiff Randy Tollefsen is a Washington state prison inmate incarcerated at

AHCC in Airway Heights, Spokane County, Washington.

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13.

Plaintiff Paul Wright is a Washington state prison inmate incarcerated at WSR

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in Monroe, Snohomish County, Washington.
14.

Defendant Joseph D. Lehman is the Secretary of the Washington State

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Department of Corrections. His office is located in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington.

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15.

Defendant Tom Rolfs is the Director of Prisons for the State of Washington.

His office is located in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington.
16.

Defendant Eldon Vail is the Assistant Director, Division of Prisons, for the

State of Washington. His office is located in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington.

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17.

Defendant Tana Wood is the Superintendent ofWSP, located in Walla Walla,

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Walla Walla County, Washington.

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18.

Defendant Kenneth DuCharme is the Superintendent ofWSR, located in

Monroe, Snohomish County, Washington.

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 3
(2S610.oo01/SL962710.2S41

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue. 40th Roor
Seattle. Washington 98101·3099
(206) 583·8888

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Defendant Kay Walter is the Superintendent of AHCC, located in Airway

Heights, ·Spokane County, Washington.

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20.

Defendant Robert Wright is the Superintendent of the Clallam Bay Corrections

Center, located in Clallam Bay, Clallam County, Washington.
21.

Defendant Phil Stanley isthe Superintendent ofWCC, located in Shelton,

Mason County, Washington.
22.

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Defendants, and each of them, are now, or were at times material hereto,

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agents, officials, and/or emplcyees of the Washington Department of Corrections. Defendants

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act or have acted under color of law, in their capacities as agents, officials, and/or employees

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of the Washington Department ofCorrections. Defendants are sued in both their official and

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individual capacities for declaratory and injunctive relief

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ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

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23.

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Plaintiffs Blankenship,· Closson, Cook, Harris, Hawkins, Peterson, Tollefsen,

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and Paul Wright ("Prisoner Plaintiffs") have each filed institutional grievances and exhausted

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all available avenues ofadministrative relief, without obtaining corrective action. The
Prisoner Plaintiffs therefore havenb adequate remedy at law other than the relief requested
herein.

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FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF-VIOLATION OF PRISONER PLAINTIFFS' FIRST AMENDMENT
RIGHTS--BULK MAIL POLICY
(on behalf of Plaintiffs Blankenship, Closson,Cook, Harris, Hawkins,
Peterson, Tollefsen, and Paul Wright)

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24.

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference, as if set forth in full, the allegations set forth

above in paragraphs 1 through 23.

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 4
(25610..000 I/SL96211 0.2541

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue. 40lh Roor
Seanle. Washington 98101-3099

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25.

WSR, WSP, WCC and AHCC have each adopted field instructions or other

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policies and procedures under which they will no longer process or deliver to inmates any mail

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received as "bulk mail". "Bulk mail" is defined or interpreted by prison officials to include all
mail sent to inmates at Third Class or Fourth Class rates, including but not limited to
publications and non-profit literature.
26.

Defendants Lehman, Rolfs, Vail, Wood, Walter, Stanley and DuCharme have

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refused to allow delivery of publications to one or more of the Prisoner Plaintiffs under the
bulk-mail policies adopted at WSR, WSP, WCC and AHCC even though defendants or
persons who report to defendants had approved these plaintiffs' subscriptions to publications .
that defendants now refuse to deliver.

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Publications that have been confiscated and/or discarded rather than delivered

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solely because they were mailed to the Prisoner Plaintiffs as bulk mail include publications that

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contain political speech and religious speech, both of which are entitled to the highest

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protection under the United States Constitution.

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Plaintiffs, as made applicable to the State of Washington through the Fourteenth Amendment

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28.

Defendants' refusal to allow delivery of publications to which the Prisoner

Plaintiffs have subscribed constitutes a violation of the First Amendment rights of the Prisoner

to the United States Constitution.

29.

Defendants' refusal to allow delivery of publications to which the Prisoner

Plaintiffs have subscribed constitutes a violation of the civil rights of the Prisoner Plaintiffs

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under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

30.

The Prisoner Plaintiffs are entitled to a declaration that all regulations and field

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instructions on which defendants base their refusal to allow delivery of publications for which

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 5
[2S610..()()OIlSL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE
1201 Third Avenue. 40th Floor
Seattle. Washington 98101-3099
(206) 583-8888

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the Prisoner Plaintiffs have a subscription, solely because the publications were mailed to the
Prisoner Plaintiffs as bulk mail, are unconstitutional both on their face and as applied, in

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violation of the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

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plaintiffs of publications to\Vhich the Prisoner Plaintiffs have a subscription solely because

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The Prisoner Plaintiffs are entitled to entry of an injunction prohibiting

defendants from enforcing their bulk mail policies so as to preclude delivery to the Prisoner

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such publications were mailed as "bulk mail," and requiring defendants to deliver to the
Prisoner Plaintiffs any and all· su.bscribed-topublication~ that were confiscated rather than
delivered as a result of defendants' bulk mail policies. .
SECOND CLAIM FORRELIEF-VIOLATION OF PUBLISHERS' FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS-.
BULK MAIL POLICY
(on beha'fofplaintifTs Humanists of Washington, NPP-ACLUF and
Rollin Wright)
32.

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference, as if set forth in full, the allegations set forth

above in paragraphs 1 through 3 I.
33.

Plaintiff Humanists of Washington is the publisher of Secular Humanist Press,

a quarterly journal of news and opinion related to issues pertinent to secular humanism,

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including topics such as free speech issues, abortion rights, right-to-die issues and drug

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legalization.

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34.

PlaintiffNPP-ACLUF is the publisher of the National Prison Project's Journal

("NPP Journal"), a quarterly publication which seeks to further the goals of the NPP-ACLUF,
i.e., (1) to strengthen and protect the rights of adult and juvenile offenders, (2) to improve
overall conditions in correctional facilities, and (3) to encourage a rational debate on the overuse and misuse of imprisonment in the United States. The NPP Journal covers issues of

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 6
[2S610-0001/SL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE
1201 Third Avenue. 40th Floor
Seaule. Washington 9&101·3099
_ " , ...

'0"

0000

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interest to attorneys, corrections officials, civil rights groups, academics, and prisoners and
their families. Topics include in-depth analysis of the most significant new legislation and
litigation affecting prisons, summaries of all recent noteworthy cases, articles on new
developments in corrections, medical care and other issues, and reports on NPP-ACLUF
activities including its current docket and the work of its AIDS education project.

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35.

Plaintiff Rollin Wright is the publisher of Prison Legal News, a monthly

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magazine of news and analysis pertaining to legal and political developments affecting those

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involved in the criminal justice system.

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speech, including political and/or religious speech, and violate no prison policies or

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regulations other than the bulk mail policies and regulations at issue.

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Secular Humanist Press, NPP Journal and Prison Legal News are protected

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37.

Defendants Lehman, Rolfs, Vail, Wood, Walter, Stanley and DuCharme have

refused to deliver or allow delivery of copies of Secular Humanist Press, NPP Journal and
Prison Legal News to prisoners in Washington State correctional facilities who had subscribed

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to these publications solely on grounds that these publications were mailed to Washington

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NPP-ACLUF and Rollin Wright (together, the "Publisher Plaintiffs"), as. made applicable to

State inmates as bulk mail.

38.

Defendants' refusal to deliver or allow delivery of Secular Humanist Press,

NPP Journal and/or Prison Legal News to inmates who have subscribed to these publications
constitutes a violation of the First Amendment rights of plaintiffs Humanists of Washington,

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the State of Washington through the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States

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Constitution.

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 7
[2S610-o00 I/SL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE
1201 Third Avenue, 40th Floor
Seattle, Washington 98101·3099
(206) 583-8888

1

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39.

Defendants' refusal to deliver or alIow delivery of Secular Humanist Press,

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NPP Journal and/or Prison Legal News to inmates who have subscribed to these publications

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constitutes a violation ofthecivil rights of the Publisher Plaintiffs under 42 U.S.c. § 1983.

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40.

The Publisher Plaintiffs are entitled toa declaration that all regulations and/or

field instructions on which defendants base their refusal to deliver or allow delivery of Secular

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HumanistPress, NPP Journal and/or Prison Legal News to inmates who have a subscription,

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solely because these pUblications were mailed to inmates as bulk mail, are unconstitutional

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both on their face and as applied, in violation of the First Amendment, the Fourt<-enth

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Arnendmerttand 42 U.S.C.§ 1983.
41.

The Publisher Plaintiffs are entitled to entry of an injunction prohibiting

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defendants from refusing toprocessartd deliver, or allow delivery of, Secular Humanist Press,

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NPP Journal and/or Prison Legal News to inrnateswhohave a subscription solely on grounds

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that these publications were mailed as bulk mail.

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THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF-VIOLATION OF PRISONER PLAINTIFFS' FIRST AMENDMENT
RIGHTS--PERSONAL SUBSCRIPTION POLICY
(on behalf of Plaintiff Hawkins)

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42.

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference,as if set forth in full, the allegations set forth

above in paragraphs 1 through 41.

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Defendant Wood, or persons under her direction, have refused delivery to

plaintiffHawkins of copies of USA Today, for which he has a subscription, solely because his

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subscription was paid for by his parents rather than with funds from his personal inmate

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account. Defendant Wood and persons acting under her direction have relied upon WSP Field

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 8
(2S61 O..()()O lISL96271 O.2S4]

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue, 40lh Aoor
Seattle. WashingtOn 98101·3099

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Instruction 450.100 to justify their refusal to deliver USA Today to plaintiff Hawkins on this

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basis.

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44.

The refusal by defendant Wood to deliver or allow delivery of USA Today to

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plaintiff Hawkins solely because plaintiff Hawkins did not pay for his subscription with funds

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in his personal inmate account constitutes a violation of the rights of plaintiff Hawkins under

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the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and 42 U.S.C.

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§ 1983.

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45.

Plaintiff Hawkins is. entitled to a declaration that defendant Wood's refusal to

allow delivery of USA Today to him, and all regulations on which defendant Wood bases her
refusal to allow delivery of USA Today to him, based solely on the fact that payment for such
publication was not made with funds from inmate accounts, violates the First Amendment, the

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Fourteenth Amendment, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
46.

Plaintiff Hawkins is entitled to entry of an injunction prohibiting defendant

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Wood and persons under her command from refusing. to deliver publications to him based

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solely on the fact that plaintiff Hawkins did not pay for the publications with funds from his

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personal inmate account, and requiring defendant Wood to deliver to him any and all copies of

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USA Today that were confiscated and denied to him based on the fact that plaintiff Hawkins

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did not pay for his subscription with funds from his personal inmate account.

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FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF-VIOLATION OF PRISONERS' FffiST AMENDMENT
RIGHTS--MIM NOTES
(on behalf of Plaintiffs Cook and Paul Wright)

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47.

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference, as iffully set forth herein, the allegations set

forth above in paragraphs 1-46.

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 9
[2S610-o001/SL962710.2S41

PEIlKJNS COlE

1201 Third Avenue. 40th Aoor
Seattle. Washington 98101-3099
(206) 583-8888

1

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48.

Plaintiffs Cook and Paul Wright are subscribers to a twice-monthly newsletter

entitled MIM Notes, which is published by the Maoist Internationalist Movement. MIM

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Notes contains political speech, which is entitled to the highest degree of protection under the
Constitution of the United States.
49.

Defendant Rolfs issued a statewide order requiring that prison officials refuse

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delivery of each issue ofMlM Notes, based on DOC Policy 450.100E.3.b, on grounds that
each and every issue of the publication incites violence and is a threat to legitimate penological
objectives.
50.

Defendant Rolfs' objection to MIM Notes is based on the sole fact that every

issue describes MIM's organizational purpose as "struggl[ing to] end oppression by build[ing]
public opinion to seize power through armed struggle. "
51.

Based on defendant Rolfs' direction, defendant DuCharme has refused to allow

delivery ofMIM Notes to plaintiffs Cook and Paul Wright.

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52.

The refusal by defendants Rolfs and DuCharme to permit delivery ofMlM

Notes to plaintiffs Cook and Paul Wright, as described above, constitutes a violation of the
rights of plaintiffs Cook and Paul Wright under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution.

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53.

The refusal by defendants Rolfs and DuChanneto permit delivery ofMIM

Notes to plaintiffs Cook and Paul Wright, as described above, constitutes a violation of

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plaintiffs' civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

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54.

Plaintiffs Cook and Paul Wright are entitled to a declaration that DOC Policy

450.100E.3.b, both on its face and as applied with respect toMIM Notes, violates the First

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 10
(2S61O..o00 I/SL9627 I0.2S4J

PERKINS COlE
1201 Third Avenue, 40Ih Roor
Seattle, Washin2tOn 98101-3099

I

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II
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Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United
States Constitution and 42 U. S. C. § 1983.
55.

defendants from refusing to deliver MIM Notes based solely upon its statement of
organizational purpose, and requiring defendants to deliver to them any and all copies ofMIM
Notes that defendants confiscated and did not deliver to them.

FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEFVIOLATION OF PLAINTIFFS' FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTSSEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIALS
(on behalf of Plaintiff Paul Wright)

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Plaintiffs Cook and Paul Wright are entitled to an injunction prohibiting

56.

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference, as if fully set forth herein, the allegations set

forth above in paragraphs 1 through 55.
57.

Defendants Rolfs and DuCharme and/or persons acting under their direction

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have refused to deliver or allow delivery of publications to plaintiff Paul Wright on grounds

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that they contained sexually explicit materials, relying on DOC Policy No. 450.100 and

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institutional field instructions based thereon. Defendants have not made any determination
that the publications denied to plaintiff were obscene either in whole or in part.
58.

In making the decision to refuse delivery of publications to plaintiff Paul

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Wright, prison personnel have reviewed the entire publication, line by line, to locate

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statements or other depictions of sexual conduct that allegedly violate prison regulations and

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field instructions.
59.

In most, if not all, instances, defendants Rolfs and DuCharme have determined

to refuse delivery of an entire publication based on no more than a single sentence, a single

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 11
(2S610-OO01/SL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE
1201 Third Avenue, 40th Roor
Seattle, Washington 98101-3099
(206) 583-8888

1

photograph or even a single cartoon panel that depicts sexual conduct deemed by prison

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officials to be objectionable, often times in an·advertisement contained in the publication.
60.

The actions of defendants Rolfs and DuCharme in refusing to deliver or allow

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the delivery of publications to plaintiff Paul Wright solely because such publications contain

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rights of plaintiff Paul Wright under the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to

sexually explicit material deemed objectionable by defendants, constitute a violation of the

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the United States Constitution.
61.

The actions of defendants Rolfs and DuCharme in refusing to deliver or allow

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the delivery of publications to plaintiff Paul Wright, as set forth above, constitutes a violation

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of plaintiff's civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

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62.

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Plaintiff Paul Wright is entitled to a declaration that all regulations that prohibit

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delivery to him of publications solely because they contain sexually explicit statements or

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depictions,·but which taken as a whole are not obscene, are either unconstitutional on their

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face or a.s applied and constitute a violation of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

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63.

PlaintitrPaul Wright is entitled to an injunction prohibiting defendants from

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refusing to deliver magazines, for which he has a subscription, solely on the grounds that they
contain sexually explicit statements or depictions, even though taken as a whole the
publications are not obscene, and requiring defendants to deliver to him any and all

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publications that were confiscated rather than delivered to him·on grounds that they violated

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restrictions on sexually explicit materials. .

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 12
(2S610..Q001/SL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue. 40th Roor
SeaUle. Washin2lOn 98101-3099

I

SIXTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF-VIOLATION OF PLAINTIFFS' FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTSSEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIALS
(on behalf of Plaintiff Harris)

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II

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64.

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference, as iffully set forth herein, the allegations set

forth above in paragraphs 1 through 63.
65.

Defendants Rolfs and DuCharme and/or persons acting under their direction

have infracted plaintiff Harris for possessing a catalog, delivered to him by prison officials,
which they subsequently deemed to violate restrictions on possession of sexually explicit
materials. In so acting, defendants relied on WAC 137-28-260(728).
'"

66.

In making the decision to infract plaintiff Harris, prison personnel have

reviewed the entire catalog, line by line, to locate statements or other depictions of sexual
conduct that allegeqly violate prison regulations. In issuing an infraction to plaintiff Harris,

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moreover, neither defendants nor persons acting under their direction made any determination

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that the catalog in plaintiff Harris' possession was obscene, either in whole or in part.

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67.

The actions of defendants Rolfs and DuCharme in issuing and upholding the

infraction to plaintiff Harris constitute a violation of the rights of plaintiff Harris under the
First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
68.

The actions of defendants Rolfs and DuCharme, as set forth above, constitute a

violation of plaintiff Harris' civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
69.

Plaintiff Harris is entitled to a declaration that all regulations that prohibit

possession of publications solely because they contain sexually explicit statements or
depictions, but which taken as a whole are not obscene, are either unconstitutional on their
face or as applied and constitute a violation of their civil rights under 42 U. S. C. § 1983.

46

47

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 13
(2S61 0-000 lISL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue, 40th Floor
Seattle, Washington 98101-3099
(206) 583-8888

1

70.

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3
4

PlaintiffHarris is entitled to an injunction (a) prohibiting defendants from

infracting or otherwise punishing him for possessing catalogs or other written materials, solely

5
6
7
8
9
10
II
12
13
14

on the grounds that they contain sexually explicit statements or depictions, even though taken
as a whole the publications are not obscene; and (b) requiring defendants to expunge from the
record infractions previously entered against him for possessing such catalogs and/or other
written materials.

SEVENTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF-PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS VIOLATIONS
(on behalf of allplaintifTs)

15
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18

71.

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21

forth above in paragraphs 1-70.

22

72.

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25

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27
28

29
30
31
32
33
34

35

to censorship of prisoner mail, which include:
(a)

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41

42
43
44

45
46

47

requiring that administrative appeals of censorship decisions be made to

the person(s) responsible for imposing the censorship;
(b)

refusing to allow the Prisoner Plaintiffs to inspect the censored

publications in connection with their efforts to draft administrative appeals;

36

39

Defendants have denied plaintiffs their right to due process under the

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by imposing practices, with respect

(c)

37

38

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference, as if fully set forth herein, the allegations set

with respect to denial of bulk mail, refusing to notify the Prisoner

Plaintiffs that bulk mail has been received and confiscated or discarded by prison authorities;
and
(d)

with respect to denial of bulk mail, refusing to notify the Publisher

Plaintiffs that publications which they have sent to inmates as bulk mail were confiscated or
discarded rather than delivered.

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 14
(2S610-o001/SL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue. 40th Roor
Seattle, Washington 9&101-3099
,...t'\L"

~o'"

0000

I
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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12
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73.

Defendants' actions, as described above, also constitute a violation of plaintiffs'

civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
74.

The Prisoner Plaintiffs are entitled to a declaration that defendants have

violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983
by denying them administrative appeal procedures that meet the minimum requirements of due
process and by refusing to notify them when publications mailed to them as bulk mail have
been received and confiscated or discarded rather than delivered.
75.

The Prisoner Plaintiffs are entitled to an injunction that prohibits defendants

18

from: (1) denying the Prisoner Plaintiffs their right to due process in connection with the

19
20
21

appeal of censorship decisions, including through (A) requirements that administrative appeals

22

filed by the Prisoner Plaintiffs be determined by the person responsible for the initial decision

23

24
25

to censor receipt of mail, and (B) refusing to allow the Prisoner Plaintiffs to inspect mail that

26
27
28

has been denied to them in order to facilitate their administrative appeals, and (2) enacting and
enforcing policies to confiscate and/or discard publications received as bulk mail without

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30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41

42
43
44

notification to the Prisoner Plaintiffs of the receipt, confiscation and/or discarding of such
publications.
76.

The Publisher Plaintiffs are entitled to a declaration that defendants have

violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983
by refusing to notify them when publications that they have mailed to inmates as bulk mail
have been confiscated and/or discarded rather than delivered to the subscribing inmates.
77.

The Publisher Plaintiffs are entitled to an injunction prohibiting defendants

from enacting and enforcing policies to confiscate and/or discard publications received as bulk

45
46
47

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 15
[2S610-o001lSL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue, 40th Roor
Seattle. Washington 98101-3099
(206) 583-8888

1

2
3

mail without notification to the publisher that such publications have been confiscated and/or

4

discarded rather than delivered.

5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14

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16

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23

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2S

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28

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30

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32

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34

35

EIGHTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF-CENSORSHIP OF LEGAL-RELATED MAIL
(on behalf of Plaintiffs Closson and Paul Wright)
78.

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference, as if fully set forth herein, the allegations set

forth above in paragraphs 1-77.
79.

Defendants Wright and Stanley and persons acting under their direction on

numerous occasions have refused to deliver or allow delivery oflaw-related materials mailed
by plaintiff Paul Wright to prisoners incarcerated at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center and
the Washington Corrections Center, including plaintiff Closson. Defendants Rolfs and Vail on
many occasions hav~ upheld such decisions. Law-related materials at issue include but are not
limited to settlement agreements, published and unpublished opinions of the Ninth Circuit, and
unpublished District Court rulings and magistrate's reports and recommendations.
80.

The seizure of and refusal to deliver mail containing law-related materials

constitute a content-based censorship of mail for purposes unrelated to any legitimate
penological interest.
81.

The refusal by defendants Wright, Stanley, Rolfs and Vail to deliver or allow

36
37

delivery of law-related materials based on their content constitutes a violation of the First

38
39

Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United

40
41

42
43
44

45
46

47

States Constitution, and also violates the civil rights of plaintiffs Closson and Paul Wright
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
82.

Plaintiffs Closson and Paul Wright are entitled to a declaration that defendants

Wright, Stanley, Rolfs and Vail and persons acting under their direction have violated their

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 16
[2561 O..QOO lISL96271 0.254 J

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue, 40th Floor
Scanie. Washington 98101-3099

1

2
3

rights under the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States

4

Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by refusing to allow delivery oflaw-related materials based

5
6
7
8
9
10
11

solely on their content and without any legitimate penological reason to do so.

12

contains copies of law-related documents, including settlement agreements and both published

13
14
15

and unpublished decisions of the Ninth Circuit and other courts.

83.

Plaintiffs Closson and Paul Wright are entitled to an injunction that prohibits

defendants Wright, Stanley, Rolfs and Vail from refusing to deliver mail solely because it

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20
21

22
23

24
25

26
27

28
29
30
31

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34

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45

NINTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF-CONVERSION
(on behalf of Plaintiffs Blankenship and Tollefson)
84.

Plaintiffs incorporate by reference, as if fully set forth herein, the allegations set

forth above in paragraphs 1-83.

85.

After prison officials refused to deliver copies of Prison Legal News to them

because they had been mailed as bulk mail, plaintiffs Blankenship and Tollefson each arranged
with the publisher of Prison Legal News to have subsequent copies of their subscription
mailed to them as first class mail.
86.

When Prison Legal News arrived as first class mail, defendant Walter or

persons acting under her direction confiscated the publication and refused to deliver it to
plaintiffs Blankenship and Tollefson, without notice to these plaintiffs of the arrival and/or
confiscation of this first class mail.

87.

Defendant Walter or persons acting under her direction retained copies of

Prison Legal News which had been mailed to plaintiffs Blankenship and Tollefson as first class
mail, and used them as evidence in other proceedings and otherwise retained them and used

46

47

COWLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 17
[2S61O.Q00 I/SL96271 0.2S4)

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue, 40th Floor
Seattle, Washington 98101·3099
(206) 583-8888

1

2

them in manners inconsistent with, and in derogation of, the property rights and interests of

3

4

plaintiffs Blankenship and Tollefson.

5

6

88.

Plaintiffs Blankenship and Tollefson are entitled to an order of replevin

7

8

requiring defendant Walter to deliver to plaintiffs Blankenship and Tollefson all copies of

9
10

Prison Legal News mailed to them as first class mail that have been seized and retained by

11

12

prison officials.

13
14

PRAYERFOR RELIEF

15

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17

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs pray for relief as follows:

18

A.

All plaintiffs request a declaration by the Court that defendants' rejection of

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20

mail addressed to inmates, including the Prisoner Plaintiffs, on the sole ground that such mail

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22

is sent as bulk mail violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the

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24
2S
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28

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
B.

Plaintiff Jerry Hawkins requests a declaration by the Court that defendants'

rejection of a publication addressed to him on the sole ground that such publication was not

29
30
31

paid for by plaintiff with funds in his personal inmate account violates the First Amendment to

32
33
34

the United States Constitution,' the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

35
36
37

C.

Plaintiffs Mark Cook and Paul Wright request a declaration by the Court that

38

defendants' rejection ofMIM Notes on the sole ground that such publication states the

39
40
41

publishing organization's purpose to end oppression by building public opinion to seize power

42

through armed struggle violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the

43
44
45
46

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.·

47

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 18
[2S610-o00IlSL962710.2S4)

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue, 40th Roor
Seattle, Washington 93101·3099
nIV.\ <ll'\.IUI.RR

1

D.

2
3
4

Plaintiff Paul Wright requests a declaration by the Court that defendants'

rejection of mail addressed to him solely on grounds that such mail contains sexually explicit,

5
6
7

but not obscene, statements or depictions violates the First Amendment to the United States

8
9
10
11
12
13

Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 US.c.

14
15
16

defendants' infraction of him for possessing mail delivered to him by prison personnel, solely

§ 1983.

E.

Plaintiff William Robert Harris requests a declaration by the Court that

on grounds that such mail contains sexually expiicit, but not obscene, statements or depictions

17
18
19

violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment

20

to the United States Constitution and 42 US.C. § 1983.

21

22

F.

Plaintiffs Billy Blankenship, Keith Closson, Mark Cook, William Robert Harris,

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24

Jerry Hawkins, Michael Peterson, Randy Tollefsen, and Paul Wright request a declaration by

25

26
27

the Court that defendants' restrictions on their ability to file meaningful administrative appeals,

28

by means that include (1) requiring that the person who issued the censorship order determine

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30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37

38

the appeals and (2) refusing to allow plaintiffs to review the mail that was censored or
otherwise denied to them in order to prepare their appeals, violates plaintiffs' right to due
process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and plaintiffs' civil
rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

G.

All plaintiffs request a declaration by the Court that defendants' refusal to

39

40

notify both the receiving inmate and the publisher that publications mailed to an inmate as bulk

41

42

mail were confiscated and/or discarded rather than delivered violates plaintiffs' right to due

43
44

process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and their civil

45
46

rights under 42 US.C. § 1983.

47

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 19
[2S610-o001lSL962710.2S41

PERKINS COlE
1201 Third Avenue, 40th Floor
Seattle. Washington 98101-3099
(206) 583-8888

1
2

H.

Plaintiffs Keith Closson and Paul Wright request a declaration by the Court

3

in~luding

4

that defendants' refusal to deliver mail to inmates that contains legal materials,

5
6

settlement agreements and published and unpublished court decisions, is an impennissible,

7
8
9
10
11

12
13
14

content-based restriction in violation of their rights under the First and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution and their civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

I.

Plaintiffs Billy Blankenship and Randy Tollefsen request entry of an order

affirmatively requiring defendant Walter to deliver all converted property, including but not

15
16

17
18
19
20
21
22
23

24

limited to copies of Prison Legal News, to them.

1.

AIl plaintiffs request that the Court enjoin defendants and their agents from

rejecting and refusing to deliver mail addressed to inmates (including the.Prisoner Plaintiffs)
sole1yon grounds that the mail is sent as bulk mail.

K.

Plaintiff Jerry Hawkins requests that the Court enjoin defendants and their

25

26
27
28
29
30
31

32

agents from rejecting and refusing to deliver pre-paid, subscribed-to publications addressed to
him solely on grounds that the subscriptions were notoaid for by plaintiff with funds from his
personal inmate account.

L.

Plaintiffs Mark Cook and Paul Wright request that the Court enjoin defendants

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34

and their agents from rejecting mail addressed to them on grounds that the mail (in the case of

35

36
37

MIM Notes) contains a statement of organizational purpose of struggling to end oppression

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39
40
41

by building public opinion to seize power through anned struggle.

42

from rejecting mail addressed to him on grounds that the mail contains sexually explicit (but

43
44

not obscene) statements or depictions.

M.

Plaintiff Paul Wright requests that the Court enjoin defendants and their agents

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46

47

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 20
[2S6 10-000 I/SL962710.2S4]

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue. 40Ih Roor
Seattle. Washington 98101·3099

1

2

N.

Plaintiff William Robert Harris requests that the Court enjoin defendants and

3
4

their agents from infracting or otherwise punishing him solely for possessing mail which

5

6

contains sexually explicit (but not obscene) statements or depictions, and order that infractions

7
8
9

previously entered against him for possession of such mail be expunged from the record.

10
11
12
13
14
15

16
17
18

O.

Plaintiffs Billy Blankenship, Keith Closson, Mark Cook, William Robert Harris,

Jerry Hawkins, Michael Peterson, Randy Tollefsen, and Paul Wright request that the Court
enjoin defendants and their agents from restricting plaintiffs' ability to file meaningful
administrative appeals, such ('.s by (1) requiring that the person who issued the censorship
order determine the appeals and by (2) refusing to allow plaintiffs to review the mail that was

19

20

censored or otherwise denied to them in order to prepare their appeals.

21

22

P.

All plaintiffs request that the Court enjoin defendants, either directly or

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24

indirectly through their agents, from refusing to notify the receiving inmate and the sender that

25

26

27
28

mail addressed to an inmate was confiscated and/or discarded rather than delivered.

Q.

Plaintiffs Keith Closson and Paul Wright request that the Court enjoin

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30
31
32
33
34

defendants either directly or indirectly through their agents from refusing to deliver mail that
contains law-related materials, including settlement agreements and published and unpublished
court decisions.

3S

36

R.

All plaintiffs request that defendants be ordered to deliver to them publications

37

38

or other mail which defendants have confiscated from and/or refused to deliver to them on any

39

40

of the grounds described in this complaint.

41

42
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44

S.

All plaintiffs request an award of costs and attorneys fees pursuant to

42 U.S.C. § 1988.

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47

COrvIPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 21
(2S610-000IlSL962710.2S4]

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue. 40th Aoor

Seattle. Washington 98101-3099
(206) 583-8888

1

2

T.

All plaintiffs request that the Court grant any other relief that the Court may

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4

5
6

deem just and appropriate.
DATED this

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8
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10

_]

1h_

day of August, 1997.

PERKINS COlE

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By

~rin;an,~3-6---­

1201 Third Avenue, 40th Floor
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 583-8888
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

BRICKLIN & GENDLER, LLP

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23

By

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25

~ IV. ~ ~ ~;(~~

Michael W. Gendler, WSBA #8429
1424 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1015
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 621-8868
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

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28

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35
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37
38
39
40
41

Cooperating Attorneys for American Civil
Liberties Union of Washington

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - 22
[25610-000 !/SL96271 0.254]

PERKINS COlE

1201 Third Avenue. 40th Roor
Seattle. Washington 98101-3099



 

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