Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

No Constitutional Right To Watch T.V. In California Jail

California State pro se prisoner Andrew Andersen appealed the dismissal of his § 1983 and state violation action. He alleged television access violations, subjection to a single religion and misuse of prisoner funds while detained in the Orange County Jail. The dismissal was affirmed.

While awaiting trial at the jail Andersen brought the action against county sheriff's deputies for altering the jail's television schedule. He alleged punishment by subjection to children's shows, infomercials and shopping channels as well as showing programs regarding one religion only. He claimed that this violated the establishment clause and that the program deviation was a misuse of prisoner funds. The action was dismissed.

On appeal, the California Fourth Appellate District for the Court of Appeal held that there is no constitutional right to watch television while incarcerated or detained and hence no programming violation. It was further held that the act of changing a channel does not establish government endorsement or promotion of religion. See: Andersen v. Griffin, 2007 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7432.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Andersen v. Griffin