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$321.58 Settlement In WA Mail Censorship Suit

In 1998 Lonnie L. Burton a prisoner at the-Airway Heights Correctional
Facility (AHCC)in Washington, received five "offender mail rejections"
from the AHCC mail room. He appealed the mail rejection to the Director,
Division of Prisons within ten days of the rejection as the instructions
stated. Burton received a response stating that four of the five
publications that were rejected had been thrown away by the mail room.
After complaining to the mail room and facility officials by letter and
grievance he only received vague responses stating that his property was
discarded because he did not instruct the mail room not to discard the
items. Burton then filed a law suit against Cly Evans, Administrative
Program Manager, David Buss, mailroom sergeant, Ramona Smith, mailroom
employee, and the Washington State Department of Corrections for violating
his right to due process and his First Amendment right to free speech. He
argued that discarding his property while it was on appeal violated his
due process rights, and the unlawful restriction of his mail, violated his
rights as guaranteed be the First Amendment. The Department of Corrections
settled the case for $321.58 in 1998. See: Burton v. Washington State
Department of Corrections, USDC ED WA, Case No. 98-3124-LRS.

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Burton v. Washington State Department of Correctio

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