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Massachusetts Prisoner Awarded $3000 for Destroyed Mail

A federal district court in Massachusetts held that a guard violated the
First Amendment by destroying two letters addressed to a segregated
prisoner. The prisoner brought a § 1983 lawsuit challenging the mailroom's
action. The United States District Court agreed with the prisoner's claim
of the importance of the correspondence, since he was incarcerated 23
hours a day and was allowed limited contact with immediate family and free
world people. The defendant read the prisoner's letters and then
intentionally destroyed them. The Memorandum of Decision issued by the
court awarded the prisoner $3,000 ($2,000 in punitive and $1,000 in actual
damages). The court concluded that the guard had no authority to read or
destroy the prisoner's mail. [Ed. Note: Unpublished cite]. See: Nichols v.
Knowles, 1985 WL 17644 (D. Mass.).

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Related legal case

Nichols v. Knowles