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Washington DOC Pays $1,500 to Settle Legal Mail/Discipline Suit

In 1998, the Washington Department of Corrections paid $1,500 to Jenny Hall, a prisoner at Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor, WA. for the censorship of her legal mail. In 1996, Jenny Hall mailed a letter to her co-defendant William Jameson, a prisoner at Airway Heights, WA. The letter was inspected by a unit guard as part of a procedure if letters appear bulky. Later, the letter was to be intercepted and opened by defendant Teressa Mcsheery, a mail room guard at WCCW. Jenny Hall's co-defendant never received the letter. The contents were removed and divulged to Assistant Superintendent William Gilbert. Hall's cell was later searched by two guards who confiscated legal documents.

Hall was placed in segregation in retaliation for her litigation. Hall and her co-defendant were corresponding in regards to their case and the letter confiscated contained information concerning Jameson. Upon disciplinary action Hall received a major infraction, #654 (counterfeiting, forging, etc.) Defendants claimed that Hall had not paid for the copies of her documents and that she possessed another prisoner's legal work. Hall was found not guilty of the infraction when she received another an hour later. Hall was found guilty of that infraction and appealed it to Superintendent Alice Payne. Payne denied the appeal. Hall then filed suit in federal court in Tacoma, WA. claiming that such actions violated her first, fifth, sixth and fourteenth amendment rights of access to the courts. The Washington DOC paid Hall $1,500 to settle the suit. See: Hall v. Payne, USDC WD WA No. C96-5341-FDB.

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Related legal case

Hall v. Payne