0n March 30, 1999, PLN sued the San Juan county jail in Utah over its ban on third class mail (AKA "bulk mail"). The jail has a policy under which it refuses to deliver mail paid for at third class postage rates to its prisoners. PLN is mailed at third class non profit rates.
PLN and San Juan jail prisoner subscribers Ronald Cowles, Ray Moore, Troy Harris and Ray Warden, filed suit claiming that he bulk mail ban violates their right to free speech under the U. S. and Utah constitutions. The lack of any notice regarding the censorship also violates the plaintiffs right to due process of law.
The jail also bans "sexually explicit" materials. The prisoner plaintiffs are challenging that ban as violative of their free speech rights as well.
The parties are seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, money damages, attorney fees and costs. PLN has successfully litigated bulk mail bans against the Utah and Washington prison systems and has a suit pending on this issue against the Oregon DOC. The plaintiffs are represented in this action by Brian Bernard and James Harris of the Utah Legal Clinic. We will report the outcome of the case. See: Prisoners' Legal News a Christensen, USDC D UT, Case No. 2:99-CV-01496.
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Related legal case
Prisoners' Legal News v. Christensen
|USDC D UT, 2:99-CV-0149G
The complaint is available in the brief bank.