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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Ban on Typewriters in Nevada Prisons

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s ruling that allows the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) to ban prisoner typewriters. The case arose in December 2006, when Douglas Potter, a Nevada state prisoner, murdered another inmate using the roller pin of a typewriter as a weapon. Later, in March 2007, another inmate tried to stab an officer using a weapon made from a piece of typewriter. Multiple lawsuits were filed by prisoners claiming the typewriter ban to be in retaliation of prisoner lawsuits. NDOC filed for summary judgment in the district court, holding that they had a right to make typewriters unauthorized property. The district court granted NDOC’s motion for summary judgment, and the prisoners appealed.

The Ninth Circuit held that NDOC did have a legitimate security and correctional goal, upholding the district court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of NDOC. See: Nevada Department of Corrections v. Greene, No: 08-17091, D.C. No: 3:07-CV-00266 LRH-RAM (9th Cir., 2011).

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Related legal case

Nevada Department of Corrections v. Greene