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Prison Legal News v. Columbia County, Complaint 2012

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Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

1

Document 1

4

Katherine C. Chamberlain, OSB# 042580

5

MacDonald Hoague & Bayless 

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500 

Seattle, Washington 98104-1745 

206-622-1604 


7


Page ID#: 1

Marc D. Blackman, OSB # 730338

3


6


Page 1 of 24

marc~ransomblackman.com

Ransom Blackman LLP
1001 SW 5th Ave Ste 1400 

Portland OR 97204 

503 228-0487

2

Filed 01/13/12

KatherineC~rnhb.com

8

9
10

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

11

DISTRICT OF OREGON

12
PORTLAND DIVISION
13

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PRISON LEGAL NEWS, a project of the
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER,

15

No·CV '12 - a071-~SI
COMPLAINT

Plaintiff,
16

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
v.

17
18
19

COLUMBIA COUNTY; COLUMBIA
COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE; JEFF
DICKERSON, individually and in his capacity
as Columbia County Sheriff,

20

Defendants.

21

22
23

I.

1.1

NATURE OF THE CASE

Plaintiff Prison Legal News, a project of the Human Rights Defense Center,

24

brings this action to enjoin Defendants' censorship of Prison Legal News' monthly publication,

25

and correspondence mailed to prisoners who are held in custody at the Columbia County Jail, in

26

violation of the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.

27

Defendants have adopted and implemented written mail policies and practices that

COMPLAINT - 1
9870.05 fa 122203

£iLl t7d5

MACDoNALD HOAGUE & SAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
TeI206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 2 of 24

Page ID#: 2

1

unconstitutionally restrict correspondence to and from prisoners to postcards only, and that

2

prohibit delivery of book catalogs and magazines to prisoners. Further, Defendants' policies and

3

practices do not afford due process notice and an opportunity to challenge the censorship as

4

required by the Constitution.

5
6

II.
2.1

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

This action arises under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United

7

States Constitution. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343,

8

2201, and 2202.

9

2.2

Venue is proper in the District of Oregon under 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (b)(2) because a

10

substantial part of the events complained of occurred in this District, and because the Defendants

11

reside in this District.

12
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III.
3.1

PARTIES

Plaintiff Prison Legal News (PLN) is a project of the Human Rights Defense

14

Center (HRDC), a Washington Non-Profit Corporation. The core ofHRDC's mission is public

15

education, prisoner education, advocacy, and outreach in support of the rights of prisoners and in

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furtherance of basic human rights. PLN publishes and distributes a monthly journal of

17

corrections news and analysis and certain books about the criminal justice system and legal

18

issues affecting prisoners, to prisoners, lawyers, courts, libraries, and the public throughout the

19

Country. PLN also maintains a website (www.prisonlegalnews.org) and operates an email list.

20

Prisoners of all types, family and friends of prisoners, and prisoner advocates, are among the

21

intended beneficiaries of PLN' s activities.

22
23

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3.2

Defendant Columbia County is a municipal corporation formed under the laws of

the State of Oregon.
3.3

Defendant Columbia County Sheriffs Office is a department of Columbia County

25

and operates the Columbia County laillocated in St. Helens, Oregon. The Columbia County Jail

26

facility houses convicted prisoners and pretrial detainees.

27

COMPLAINT 2
9870.0; ful22203

MACDONALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle. Washington 98104
Tel206.622.1604 fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

3.4

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 3 of 24

Page ID#: 3

Defendant Jeff Dickerson is the Sheriff of Columbia County. Sheriff Dickerson is

2

employed by and is an agent of Columbia County and the Sheriff's Office. He is responsible for

3

the operations of the Columbia County Jail, and the training and supervision of the Jail staffwho

4

interpret and implement the Jail's mail policy for prisoners. He is the policymaker for the Jail

5

policy governing mail for prisoners.

3.5

6

Each of the acts and omissions of persons alleged herein were taken under color

7

of state law and within the scope of their official duties as employees and officers of Columbia

8

County and the Columbia County Sheriffs Office.
IV.

9

10

4.1

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

Prison Legal News publishes and distributes a soft-cover monthly journal, and

11

publishes and distributes paperback books; about the criminal justice system and legal issues

12

affecting prisoners.

13

4.2

Prison Legal News has approximately 7,000 subscribers in the United States and

14

abroad, including prisoners, attorneys, journalists, public libraries, judges, and other members of

15

the public. PLN distributes its publication to prisoners and law librarians in approximately 2,200

16

correctional facilities across the United States, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the

17

Oregon Department of Corrections.

18

4.3

Prison Legal News engages in core protected speech and expressive conduct on

19

matters of public concern, such as operations of prison facilities, prison conditions, prisoner

20

health and safety, and prisoners' rights.

21

A.

22

CENSORSHIP AND LACK OF DUE PROCESS

4.4

Defendants have rejected PLN's monthly publications, book catalogs, book

23

offers, informational brochures, subscription forms, subscription renewal letters, fundraising

24

letters, and online articles mailed to prisoners held in custody at the Columbia County Jail. The

25

mail items rejected by Defendants include, but are not limited to, the items identified below.

26
27

COMPLAINT 3
9870.05 f.122203

l\IL\CDONALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle. Washington 98104
TeI206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Document 1

1

2
3
4

Filed 01/13/12

Page 4 of 24

Page ID#: 4

Monthly Publications
4.5

Prison Legal News sent its monthly journal to certain prisoners at the Columbia

County Jail by U.S. Mail.
4.6

PLN's monthly journal is a 56-page publication titled Prison Legal News:

5

Dedicated to Protecting Human Rights and contains various articles on corrections news and 


6

analysis, about prisoner rights, court rulings, management of prison facilities and prison 


7

conditions. 


8

9

4.7

On or about December 8, 2010 PLN mailed a December 2010 Prison Legal News

publication addressed to prisoner Rusty Campo at the Columbia County Jail. Rusty Campo was

10

a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail received the December 2010

11

Prison Legal News publication from PLN.

12

4.8

On or about January 13,2011, PLN mailed a January 2011 Prison Legal News

13

publication addressed to prisoner Rusty Campo at the Columbia County J ail. Rusty Campo was

14

a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail received the January 2011 Prison

15

Legal News publication from PLN.

16

17

4.9

News publication addressed to each ofthe following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:

18

Prisoner Name 

Daniel Butts 

Cory Dell 

Jacob Francoeur 

William Hess 


19
20
21

22
23
24
25

26

On or about January 31,2011, PLN mailed its September 2008 Prison Legal

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the
Jail received the September 2008 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.
4.10

On or about January 31,2011, PLN mailed its November 2009 Prison Legal

News publication addressed to prisoner Nicholas Bierman at the Columbia County Jail. Nicholas
Bierman was a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail received the
November 2009 Prison Legal News publication from PLN.

27

COMPLAINT - 4
9870.05 fa122203

MACDoNALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

1

4.11

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 5 of 24

Page ID#: 5

On or about January 31, 2011, PLN mailed its January 2010 Prison Legal News

2

publication addressed to prisoner Andrew Plumber at the Columbia County Jail. Andrew

3

Plumber was a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail received the January

4

2010 Prison Legal News publication from PLN.

5

6

4.12

publication addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:

7

Prisoner Name
Ezra St. Helen
Scott Thomas

8
9
10
11

12

On or about February 1,2011, PLN mailed its July 2009 Prison Legal News

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the
Jail received the July 2009 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.
4.13

On or about February 1,2011, PLN mailed its November 2009 Prison Legal

News publication addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:

13

Prisoner Name
Robert Beckwith
Scott Lavelle
Lloyd Myers
Alisha Vandolah
Jeffrey Vannatta

14
15
16

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the
17

Jail received the November 2009 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.
18

4.14

On or about February 3,2011, PLN mailed its January 2010 Prison Legal News

19
publication addressed to prisoner KanaanMeyers at the Columbia County JaiL Prisoner Meyers
20
was a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail received the January 2010
21
Prison Legal News publication from PLN.

22
4.15

On or about February 3,2011, PLN mailed its July 2009 Prison Legal News

23
publication addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:
24
Prisoner Name
Troy McCarter
Shane McNutt
Robert Meader
Jason Quade

25
26

27

COMPLAINT - 5
9370.05 fa122203

MACDoNALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel 206,622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 6 of 24

Page ID#: 6

1

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the

2

Jail received the July 2009 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.

3
4

4.16

On or about February 3, 2011, PLN mailed its September 2008 Prison Legal

News publication addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:
Prisoner Name
Nicholas Jones
Martin Kay

5
6
7

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the

8

Jail received the September 2008 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.

9

10

4.17

Onor about February 10, 2011, PLN mailed its February 2011 Prison Legal News

publication addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:

11

Prisoner Name
Troy McCarter
Ezra St. Helen

12
13

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the

14

Jail received the February 2011 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.

15

4.18

On or about March 10,2011, PLN mailed its March 2011 Prison Legal News

16

publication addressed to prisoner Ezra St. Helen at the Columbia County Jail. Ezra St. Helen

17

was a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail received the March 2011

18

Prison Legal News publication from PLN.

19

4.19

On or about April 11, 2011, PLN mailed its April 2011 Prison Legal News

20

publication addressed to prisoner Troy McCarter at the Columbia County Jail. Troy McCarter

21

was a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail received the April 2011

22

Prison Legal News publication from PLN.

23

4.20

On or about May 18, 2011, PLN mailed its May 2011 Prison Legal News

24

publication addressed to prisoner Ezra St. Helen at the Columbia County Jail. Ezra St. Helen

25

was a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail received the May 2011 Prison

26

Legal News publication from PLN.

27

COMPLAINT 6
9870.05 fal22103

MACDONALD "OAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel 206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

1

2

4.21

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 7 of 24

Page ID#: 7

On or about June 9, 2011, PLN mailed its June 2011 Prison Legal News 


publication addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail: 


3


Prisoner Name 

Ezra St. Helen 

Martin Kay

4

5

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the

6

Jail received the June 2011 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.

7
8

4.22

On or about June 30, 2011, PLN mailed its May 2008 Prison Legal News 


publication addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail: 


9


Prisoner Name 

George Lammi 

Jeffrey Murray 

Cindy Seaston 


10
11

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the
12
Jail received the May 2008 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.
13
4.23

On or about July 20, 2011, PLN mailed its May 2009 Prison Legal News

14
publication addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:
15
Prisoner Name
Mark Gift 

Ralph Patterson 

Barry Shaft 

William Temple 

Robert Westmoreland

16
17
18
19

The individuals identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the

20

Jail received the May 2009 Prison Legal News publications from PLN.

21
22
23

4.24

Defendants rejected each publication identified in paragraphs 4.7-4.23, and did

not deliver the publications to the prisoner-addressees.
4.25

Defendants rejected many but not all of the journals that Prison Legal News sent

24

to prisoners. Defendants returned a number of the rejected journals, but it is unknown whether

25

they returned them all. For the journals that Defendants returned to Prison Legal News,

26

Defendants: (a) placed a sticker on the mail stating: "As of April 1, 2010 The Columbia County

27

Jail ONLY ACCEPTS POSTCARDS, This applies to ALL incoming and out going mail"; (b)

COMPLAINT - 7
9870,05 fal22203

MACDONALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue. Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98\04
TeI206,622,]604 Fax 206343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 8 of 24

Page ID#: 8

1

stamped the mail "INSPECTED BY COLUMBIA COUNTY JAIL" and handwrote checkrnarks

2

next to "RETURN TO SENDER", and "REFUSE/VIOLATES SECURITY"; or (c) merely

3

stamped the mail "RETURN TO SENDER."

4
5
6
7
8
9
10

4.26

Defendants did not provide PLN due process notice or an opportunity to appeal

the censorship decisions.
4.27

Defendants did not provide the prisoner-addressees due process notice or an

opportunity to appeal the censorship decisions.
In addition to those identified above, PLN mailed other Prison Legal News

4.28

journals addressed to prisoners at the Columbia County Jail between January 201 I-January 2012.
On information and belief, Defendants rejected additional Prison Legal News

4.29

11

journals that PLN sent to prisoners, other 'than those identified above, and Defendants failed to

12

give PLN and the prisoners due process notice and an opportunity to be heard, and Defendants

13

continue to do so.

14
15

4.30

County J ail in the future.

16
17

PLN intends to continue sending its monthly journal to prisoners at the Columbia

Informational Brochures, Subscription Order Forms, Book Catalogs
4.31

Prison Legal News sent informational brochures about PLN and subscription

18

order forms, book catalogs, and book offers to prisoners at the Columbia County Jail in a white

19

standard # 10 envelopes via first-class mail.

20

4.32

Prison Legal News Brochure and Subscription Order Form: Prison Legal

21

News sent certain prisoners at the Columbia County Jail an informational brochure about its

22

organization and publications. The double-sided single-page brochure includes: a description of

23

the topics covered in PLN's monthly journal, subscription rates, special subscription offers, and

24

an order form; a description of three books available for purchase or included with a SUbscription

25

to Prison Legal News-Protecting your Health & Safety, With Liberty for Some: 500 Years of

26

Imprisonment in America, and Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration;

27

and other information about PLN's bookstore.

COMPLAINT 8
9S70,05 f3122203

:'VL-\CDOi'iALD HOAGUE & 8.-\ YLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel206,622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

1

4.33

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 9 of 24

Page ID#: 9

Book Catalog: Prison Legal News sent certain prisoners at the Columbia County

2

Jail its 2010 PLN Book List. The double-sided single-page book list includes a description of 43

3

books, dictionaries, and resource materials available for purchase. The books available for

4

purchase include information about a variety of topics, including but not limited to: the basic

5

rights ofprisoners regarding health and safety; the American criminal justice system; self­

6

representation in court; finding the right lawyer; DNA testing; issues related to imprisoned 


7

women; developing a successful re-entry plan upon release from prison; searching for a job; 


8

crime and poverty; and the mental health crisis in U.S. prisons and jails. 

4.34

9

Book Offers: Prison Legal News sent certain prisoners at the Columbia County

10

Jail a double-sided single-page informational brochure about two books for sale: The Habeas

11

Citebook: Ineffective Assistance ofCounsel, a handbook containing case citations, pleadings, and

12

forms designed to help a prisoner seek habeas corpus relief; and Prisoners' Guerrilla Handbook

13

to Correspondence Programs in the United States and Canada, a handbook on high school,

14

vocational, paralegal, undergraduate, and graduate courses available through correspondence

15

study.

16
17
18

19
20
21
22 	
23 	
24 	
25
26 	

27

4.35

Collectively, the PLN Brochure, Book List, and Book Offer described above in

paragraphs 4.31-4.34 are referred to as "Informational Brochure Packs" below.
4.36

Prison Legal News mailed Informational Brochure Packs addressed to each of the

following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:
Prisoner Name
Robert Beckwith
Daniel Butts
Cory Dell
Jacob Francoeur
Mark Gift
Nicholas Jones
Martin Kay
George Lammi
Scott Lavelle
Troy McCarter
Shane McNutt
Robert Meader
Kanaan Meyers
Jeffrey Murray 	

COMPLAINT 9
9870.05 fa 122203

Date Mailed to Prisoner 

January 31, 2011 

Februat:y 3, 2011 

February 3, 2011 

February 3, 2011
July 20, 2011
February 3, 2011
February 1,2011
June 30, 2011
January 31,2011
February 1, 2011
January 31,2011
February 3, 2011
January 31,2011 and February 4,2011
June 30, 2011
MACDONALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel 206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

2

3
4

5
6

Document 1

Lloyd Myers
Ralph Patterson
Andrew Plumber
Jason Quade
Cindy Seaston
Barry Shaft
Ezra St. Helen
William Temple
Scott Thomas
Alisha V ando lah
J effrey Vannatta
Robert Westmoreland

Filed 01/13/12

Page 10 of 24

Page ID#: 10

January 31,2011
July 20,2011
January 31, 2011
February 1, 2011
June 30, 2011
July 20,2011
February 1, 2011
July 20,2011
February 1, 2011
February 1, 2011
February 3,2011
July 20, 2011

7
8

9

4.37

The prisoners identified above in paragraph 4.36 were prisoners at the Columbia

County Jail at the time that the Jail received the Informational Brochure Packs addressed to each

10

prisoner from PLN.

11

4.38

12

13

Defendants rejected each Informational Brochure Pack sent by PLN and did not

deliver them to the prisoner-addressees.
4.39

For the Informational Brochure Packs that Defendants returned to Prison Legal

14

News, Defendants: (a) placed a sticker on the mail stating: "As of Apri11, 2010 The Columbia

15

County Jail ONLY ACCEPTS POSTCARDS, This applies to ALL incoming and out going

16

mail"; (b) stamped the mail "INSPECTED BY COLUMBIA COUNTY JAIL" and handwrote

17

checkmarks next to "RETURN TO SENDER" and "REFUSENIOLATES SECURITY"; or (c)

18

merely stamped the mail "RETURN TO SENDER."

19
20
21
22
23
24
25

4.40

Defendants did not provide PLN due process notice or an opportunity to appeal

the censorship decisions.
4.41

Defendants did not provide the prisoner-addressees due process notice or an

opportunity to appeal the censorship decisions.
4.42

In addition to those identified above, PLN mailed Informational Brochure Packs

addressed to other prisoners at the Columbia County Jail in 2011.
4.43

On information and belief, Defendants rejected additional Informational Brochure

26

Packs that PLN sent to prisoners, other than those identified above, and Defendants failed to give

27

due process notice and an opportunity to be heard to PLN and the prisoner-addressees.

COMPLAINT 10
9870.05 [.122:203

l\'iAcDOI"ALD HOAGliE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel 206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

4.44
2

Document 1

Page 11 of 24

Page ID#: 11

Prison Legal News intends to continue sending Informational Brochure Packs to

prisoners at the Columbia County Jail in the future.

Renewal Letters

3
4

Filed 01/13/12

4.45

Prison Legal News sent sUbscription renewal letters along with Informational

5

Brochure Packs ("Subscription Renewal Packs") to certain prisoners at the Columbia County Jail

6

in white standard # lO envelopes via first-class mail.

7

4.46

Each personalized subscription renewal letter mailed to a prisoner at the

8

Columbia County Jail included information for the prisoner-addressee that his individual

9

subscription was nearing its end.

lO
11
12
13
14
15

16

4.47

In May and June 2011, Prison Legal News mailed Subscription Renewal Packs

addressed to each of the following prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:
Prisoner Name
William Hess
Martin Kay
Troy McCarter
Shane McNutt
Andrew Plumber
Jason Quade
Ezra Sf. Helen
Alisha Vandolah

Date Sent
6116111
6116111
6116111
6/16111
6/16111
5/21111
6/16111
6116111

17
18

The prisoners identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the

19

Jail received the Subscription Renewal Packs addressed to each prisoner from PLN.

20
21
22

4.48

Defendants rejected each Subscription Renewal Pack sent by PLN and did not

deliver them to the prisoner-addressees.
4.49

For the Subscription Renewal Packs that Defendants returned to Prison Legal

23

News, Defendants: (a) placed a sticker on the mail stating: "As of April 1,2010 The Columbia

24

County Jail ONLY ACCEPTS POSTCARDS, This applies to ALL incoming and out going

25

mail"; or (b) merely stamped the mail "RETURN TO SENDER."

26
27

4.50

Defendants did not provide Prison Legal News due process notice or an

opportunity to appeal the censorship decisions.

COMPLAINT - 11
9870,05 fal22203

IVIACDONALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98! 04
Tel206,622,1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

1

2
3

4
5

4.51

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 12 of 24

Page ID#: 12

Defendants did not provide the prisoner-addressees due process notice or an

opportunity to appeal the censorship decisions.
4.52

In addition to those identified above, PLN mailed Subscription Renewal Packs

addressed to other prisoners at the Columbia County Jail in 2011.
4.53

On infonnation and belief, Defendants rejected additional Subscription Renewal

6

Packs that PLN sent to other prisoners, other than those identified above, and Defendants failed

7

to give due process notice and an opportunity to be heard to PLN and the prisoner-addressees.

8

9

4.54

Prison Legal News intends to continue sending Subscription Renewal Packs to

prisoners at the Columbia County Jail in the future.

10
11

Fundraising Letters and Brochures

4.55

Prison Legal News sent fundraising letters along with Infonnational Brochure

12

Packs ("Fundraising Pack") to certain prisoners at the Columbia County Jail in white standard #

13

10 envelopes via standard rate nonprofit mail.

14

4.56

Each fundraising letter mailed to a prisoner at the Columbia County Jail included

15

infonnation for the prisoner-addressee about PLN's history, PLN's efforts to protect civil rights

16

across the country, and its journal and books available for purchase.

17

4.57

In approximately November 2011, Prison Legal News mailed Fundraising Packs

18

addressed to prisoners William Temple and Barry Shaft at the Columbia County Jail. Mr.

19

Temple and Mr. Shaft were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the Jail

20

received the Fundraising Packs addressed to each of them from PLN.

21
22
23

4.58

Defendants rejected each Fundraising Pack sent by PLN and did not deliver them

to the prisoner-addressees.
4.59

For the Fundraising Packs that Defendants returned to Prison Legal News,

24

Defendants merely stamped them "RETURN TO SENDER" without stating a reason for

25

censorship.

26

4.60

27

Defendants did not provide Prison Legal News due process notice or an

opportunity to appeal the censorship decisions.

COMPLAINT - 12
9870,05 fal21203

MACDoNALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue. Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel 206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

1

2
3
4
5

4.61

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 13 of 24

Page ID#: 13

On infonnation and belief, Defendants did not provide the prisoner-addressees 


due process notice or an opportunity to appeal the censorship decisions. 

4.62

In addition to those identified above, PLN mailed Fundraising Packs addressed to

other prisoners at the Columbia County Jail in 2011.
4.63

On infonnation and belief, Defendants rejected additional Fundraising Packs that

6

PLN sent to other prisoners, other than those identified above, and Defendants failed to give due

7

process notice and an opportunity to be heard to PLN and the prisoner-addressees.

8

9

4.64

Prison Legal News intends to continue sending Fundraising Packs to prisoners at

the Columbia County J ail in the future.
PLN Online Article

10
11

12
13

4.65

An individual, Lucy Lennox, sent legal articles that she printed off ofPLN's

website to certain prisoners at the Columbia County Jail in standard #10 envelopes via U.S. Mail.
4.66

The legal articles mailed by Ms. Lennox to prisoners at the Columbia County Jail

14

include a critique ofprison privatization, and research findings about the goals and results of the

15

move toward privatization. The articles also identify a correspondence school book available

16

for sale, and include introductory descriptions ofPLN's 20 "Breaking News" headlines about

17

various topics, including but not limited to sex abuse in prison, poor forensics used to secure

18

criminal convictions, private prison companies behind Arizona's immigration law, and the death

19

penalty in Texas.

20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27

4.67

In December 2011, Ms. Lennox mailed PLN online articles to the following

prisoners at the Columbia County Jail:
Prisoner Name
Steven Adams
Arthur Bates Jr.
Toni Bertasso
Daniel Butts
Robert Clement
Anthony Deherrera
Kenna Haynes
Scott Lavelle
Billy Nelson
Samuel Oester

COMPLAlNT 13
9870,05 fa 122203

Date Sent 

12115/11

12115111 

12/21111

12115/11 

12115111 

12122111 

12122111 

12115111 

12115111 

12115111
MACDoNALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel206,622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Document 1

Cindy Seastone
Barry Shaft
William Temple
Timothy Turner
Alisha Vandolah

1

2
3

Filed 01/13/12

Page 14 of 24

Page ID#: 14

12/15/11
12115111
12/15/11
12/20/11
12/15/11

The prisoners identified above were prisoners at the Columbia County Jail at the time that the
4
Jail received the PLN articles addressed to each of them from Ms. Lennox.

5
4.68

Defendants rejected at least twelve PLN articles sent by Ms. Lennox and did not

6
deliver them to the prisoners to which they were addressed by name.

7
4.69

For the PLN articles that Defendants returned to Ms. Lennox, Defendants: (a)

8
placed a sticker on the mail stating: "As of April 1,2010 The Columbia County Jail ONLY
9
ACCEPTS POSTCARDS, This applies to ALL incoming and out going mail"; (b) stamped the

10
mail "INSPECTED BY COLUMBIA COUNTY JAIL" and handwrote checkmarks next to

11
"RETURN TO SENDER" and "REFUSENIOLATES SECURITY"; (c) stamped the mail
12
"INSPECTED BY COLUMBIA COUNTY JAIL" and handwrote checkmarks next to
13
"RETURN TO SENDER" and "CONTRABAND"; or (d) stamped the mail "INSPECTED BY
14
COLUMBIA COUNTY JAIL" and handwrote "no envelope mail".
15
4.70

Defendants did not provide Ms. Lennox due process notice or an opportunity to

16
appeal the censorship decisions.
17
4.71

Defendants did not provide the prisoner-addressees due process notice or an

18
opportunity to appeal the censorship decisions.
19

B.

JAIL POLICIES

20
4.72

On April 1, 2010, the Columbia County Jail implemented a new policy governing

21
mail to prisoners. A true copy of the policy is attached to this Complaint as Exhibit A.

22
4.73

Ban on Speech that is Not a Postcard: Effective April 1, 2010, Defendants

23
instituted a policy that requires all incoming and outgoing mail to prisoners to be in postcard

24
form (hereinafter "Postcard-Only Mail Policy").
25
4.73.1

The Jail's Postcard-Only Mail Policy states, in pertinent part:

26
Incoming Mail will be only accepted in the form of commercially­
produced postcards or a photograph used as a postcard.

27

COMPLAINT 14
98;0.05 fa[12203

MACDo~ALD HOAGliE

& BA HESS

705 Second Avenue. Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel206.622.1604 Fax 206343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 15 of 24

Page ID#: 15

See Exhibit A.

2

4.73.2

In addition, Defendants sometimes place a sticker on returned mail,

3

which states: "As of April 1,2010 The Columbia County Jail ONLY ACCEPTS POSTCARDS,

4

This applies to ALL incoming and out going maiL"
4.73.3

5

Defendants have used their Postcard-Only Mail Policy to censor

6

Plaintiff's Prison Legal News journal, Informational Brochure Packs, Renewal Brochure Packs,

7

Fundraising Packs, online articles, and other correspondence.

8
9

4.73.4

Defendants have used their Postcard-Only Mail Policy to censor

correspondence from other publishers, companies, organizations, prisoners and individuals. For

10

example, Defendants rejected numerous PLN articles that Lucy Lennox printed from the PLN

11

website and mailed to certain prisoners at the Columbia County Jail. The Jail's stated

12

justification for rejection was that "the Columbia County Jail ONLY ACCEPTS POSTCARDS"

13

or "no envelope mail" as the reason for rejection.

14

4.73.5

Defendants' Postcard-Only Mail Policy is unconstitutionally overbroad.

15

4.73.6

Defendants' Postcard-Only Mail Policy and their practice of enforcing

16

this policy unconstitutionally burdens Plaintiff's First Amendment rights, the First Amendment

17

rights of other correspondents who send mail to prisoners confined at the Columbia County Jail,

18

the First Amendment rights of the intended recipients of outgoing mail from prisoners confined

19

at the Columbia County Jail, and the First Amendment rights of prisoners at the Columbia

20

County Jail.

21

4.74

Ban on Speech that is a Magazine: Defendants' Mail Policy bans all magazines

22

(hereinafter "No-Magazines Mail Policy"). The Jail's No-Magazines Mail Policy states, in

23

pertinent part:

24

Publications: "We do not accept magazines." ...
Magazines: "Are not allowed inside the facility."

25
26

See Exhibit A.

27

COMPLAINT 15
98;0.05 fu122203

MACDO/i,<\LD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Te1206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

1

2

4.74.1

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 16 of 24

Page ID#: 16

On information and belief, Defendants have used their No-Magazines

Mail Policy to censor Plaintiffs Prison Legal News journal and other correspondence.

3

4.74.2

On information and belief, Defendants have used their No-Magazines

4

Mail Policy to censor magazines, journals, publications and other correspondence from other

5

publishers, book distributors, companies, organizations, and individuals.

6

4.74.3

Defendants' No-Magazines Mail Policy is unconstitutionally overbroad.

7

4.74.4

Defendants' No-Magazines Mail Policy and its practice of enforcing this

8

policy unconstitutionally burdens Plaintiffs First Amendment rights, the First Amendment rights

9

of other correspondents who send mail to prisoners confined at the Columbia County Jail, and

10
11

the First Amendment rights of prisoners at the Columbia County Jail.
4.75

Lack of Procedural Due Process Protections: Defendants' mail policies do not

12

require them to provide due process notice or an opportunity for the mail sender, intended

13

recipient, or prisoner to appeal the Jail's censorship decisions; and Defendants' practice likewise

14

does not provide due process notice or an opportunity for the mail sender, intended recipient, or

15

prisoner to appeal the Jail's censorship decisions. Defendants' policies and practices violate the

16

Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

17

4.76

Defendants' policies and conduct prohibiting delivery of Prison Legal News'

18

monthly journal, informational brochures, subscription forms, book catalogs, book offers,

19

renewal letters, fundraising letters, online articles, and other publications and correspondence to

20

prisoners confined at the Columbia County Jail, violate the First Amendment. Similarly,

21

Defendants' policies and conduct prohibiting delivery of incoming mail from correspondents

22

other than PLN, and prohibiting delivery of outgoing mail from prisoners to PLN or other

23

intended recipients, violate the First Amendment.

24
25
26
27

4.77

Defendants' policies and their censorship of the expressive activities set forth

above have a chilling effect on future speech.
4.78

Defendants' policies and practices described above frustrate Prison Legal News's

organizational mission and have caused Prison Legal News to divert its resources.

COMPLAINT - 16
98;0.05 fale2203

IVL-\cDoNALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle. Washington 98104
Tel 206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

4.79

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 17 of 24

Page ID#: 17

Defendants' policies and actions have violated, continue to violate, and are

2

reasonably expected to violate in the future Plaintiffs constitutional rights to communicate its 


3

political message to prisoners, to recruit new supporters, readers and subscribers, and have 


4

caused Plainti ff additional financial harm in the form of di version of its resources, lost 


5

subscriptions, and lost publication and book purchases.

6

4.80

Defendant Dickerson and other agents of Columbia County are responsible for or

7

personally participated in creating and implementing these unconstitutional policies, practices,

8

and customs, and for training and supervising the mail staff members whose conduct also have

9

injured and continue to injure Plaintiff and others, or ratified or adopted the polices or actions

10

described herein.

v.

11 	

CLAIM ALLEGATIONS

12

COUNT 1

13

FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

14

5.1

Plaintiffrealleges and incorporates by reference the preceding paragraphs.

15

5.2

The acts described above constitute violations of Plaintiff's rights, the rights of

16

other correspondents who have attempted to or intend to correspond with prisoners at the

17

Columbia County Jail, and the rights of prisoners confined at the Columbia County Jail, under

18

the First Amendment to the United States Constitution through 42 U.S.c. § 1983.

19 	
20
21

5.3

The acts described above have caused damages to Plaintiff, and will continue to

cause damage.
5.4

Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and nominal and compensatory

22

damages against all Defendants. Plaintiff seeks punitive damages solely against Defendant

23

Dickerson in his individual capacity.

M

COUNT 2

25

DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT

26

TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

27

5.5

Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by reference the preceding paragraphs.

COMPLAINT - 17
9870.05 fa122203

& BAYLESS
705 Second Avenue. Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel 206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961
MACDONALD HOAGL'E

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

5.6

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 18 of 24

Page ID#: 18

The acts described above constitute violations of Plaintiff's rights, the rights of

2

other correspondents who have attempted to or intend to correspond with prisoners at the

3

Columbia County Jail, and the rights of prisoners confined at the Columbia County Jail, under

4

the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution through 42 U.S.c. § 1983.

5
6
7

5.7

The acts described above have caused damages to Plaintiff, and will continue to

cause damage.

5.8

Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and nominal and compensatory 


8

damages against all Defendants. Plaintiff seeks punitive damages solely against Defendant 


9

Dickerson in his individual capacity.

10
11

VI.
6.1

INJUNCTION ALLEGATIONS

Defendants' unconstitutional policy, practices, and customs are ongoing and

12

continue to violate Plaintiff's constitutional rights and the rights of other correspondents and

13

prisoners, and as such there is no adequate remedy at law.

14

6.2

Plaintiff is entitled to injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from: refusing to

15

deliver or allow delivery of publications, books, informational brochures and subscription forms,

16

book catalogs, book offers, renewal letters, fundraising letters, online articles, and other

17

correspondence from Prison Legal News or other correspondents; censoring or rejecting mail on

18

the ground that it is not in the form of a postcard; censoring or rejecting a catalog on the ground

19

that it is a catalog or not a postcard; censoring or rejecting mail on the ground that it is a

20

magazine; and prohibiting Defendants from censoring mail without due process oflaw.

21

VII.

REQUEST FOR RELIEF

22

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff requests relief as follows:

23

7.1

24

25
26

A preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction preventing Defendants from

continuing to violate the Constitution, and providing other equitable relief.
7.2

A declaration that Defendants' policies, practices, and customs violate the

Constitution.

27

COMPLAINT - 18
9SiO.05 fu 112203

l\'IACDON..\LD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

705 Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98 \04
TeI206.622.J604 Fax 206343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

7.2
2
3

4

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 19 of 24

Page ID#: 19

An award of nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages for each violation of

its First Amendment rights to free speech and expression in an amount to be proved at trial.
7.3

An award of nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages for each violation of

its Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process in an amount to be proved at trial.

5

7.4

A trial by jury on damages.

6

7.5

Costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, under 42 U.S.C. § 1988, and under 


7

other applicable law. 


8

7.6

Pre-j udgment and post-judgment interest.

9

7.7

The fight to conform the pleadings to the proof and evidence presented at triaL

10

7.8

Such other relief as the Court deems just and equitable.

11

DATED this 13th day of January, 2012.

/l

RA7H

12

iLACKMAN

13
By:

14

~~TtT~~~~~~~~------

15

16

17
18
19

20
21
22
23

24
25

26
27

COMPLAINT - 19
98;0.05 fal22203

MACDoNALD HOAGUE & BAYLESS

70S Second Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, Washington 98 \04
Tel 206.622.1604 Fax 206.343.3961

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 20 of 24

Page ID#: 20

EXHIBIT A
TO
COMPLAINT

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Document 1

Inmate Mail
Last Updated Friday, 06 August 201016:48

Filed 01/13/12

Page 21 of 24

Page ID#: 21

Incoming Mail: 


Incoming Mail will be only accepted In the form of commercially-produced postcards or a
photograph used as a postcard. Themail is delivered to the Sheriff's Office Monday through
Saturday, excluding holidays.
Address 

Inmate's Name (Booking Number) 

Columbia County Jail 

901 Port Avenue 

St. Helens, Oregon 97051 


Prohibited Mail

Effective April 1, 2010 the Columbia County Sheriff's Office is changing the procedures 

that apply to inmate mail. 


MAIL VIOLATIONS: 

(Will result in the post card(s) being returned to sender) 


* No Inmate Name
* Incomplete Return Address
* Stickers of any kind (Includes address labels)
* Rubber Inked Stamps
* Tape
* Lipstick
* Colored Pencils
* Paperclips I Staples etc.
• Correction Tape / Fluid
• Crayon
* Paint
* Watercolor or colored markers
* Food / Beverage Stains
• Perfume I Cologne
• Any unidentifiable substance

1/4

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

Inmate Mail

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 22 of 24

Page ID#: 22

Last Updated Friday, 06 August 201016:48

The following mail will not be received or sent from the facility and will be returned to the
sender.
1. Mail from one inmate to another at this facility requires a supervisor's approval.
2. Mail that threatens blackmail or extortion.
3. Mail that concerns sending contraband into or out of our jail.
4. Mail that concerns escape plans.
5. Mail that concerns plans for activities in violation of the jail rules.
6. Mail that concerns plans for criminal activity.
7. Mail that contains information which, if communicated, would create a danger of violence or
physical harm to a person
8. Mail that is sensational. Sensationalism is writing or other printed material that poses a
threat to the security, safety, or good order of the jail.
9. Mail that contains any contraband materials.
10. No personal packages will be accepted through the mail or by the Sheriff's Office Clerks.
11. Polaroid or other instant developing photographs.
12. Picture frames or picture folders.
13. Photographs larger than 5" x 7".
14. Postage stamps, blank writing paper, or blank envelopes.
15. Mail that contains gang-related writings, drawings, or symbols on the outside of the
envelope or letter.
16. Mail that contains a foreign substance, bodily fluid, perfume or cologne.
17. Mail written in code or suspected code.
18. Sexually explicit materials.
19. Mail that encourages or instructs in a commission of a crime.
20. Mail falsely labeled "Official Mail."
21. Photographs that are not printed by a professional commercial source (photo labs or
kiosks) will not be accepted. (home printer produced pictures on regular paper are not allowed.)
22. Stickers, tape, and return address labels.

Legal Professional Mail Rules: 

Inmate legal mail and professional mail rules have not changed. 


Publications:

We do not accept magazines. Books must be sent directly from the publisher or bookstore. An
inmate may receive no more than three books per month.

Man Definitions and Frequently Asked Questions:

2/4

c.

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI
Inmate Mall

Document 1

Filed 01/13/12

Page 23 of 24

Page ID#: 23

Last Updated Friday, 06 August 201016:48

Incomplete return address: Return address is missing either part of the address or first and
last name of sender.

No Inmate Name: Inmate's first and last names are NOT on the post card.

Dead Mailed: There is no return address. In this case the postcard is returned to the Post 

Office. 


What happens to the postcard I send to an inmate when it arrives at the Facility? 

After the post card has been cleared through administration, it is reviewed for mail violations. If 

a violation is found, the Deputy will complete a Mail Violation Form and the mail will be placed in 

the inmate's property until their release, or it will be returned to the sender. 


Can I send a care package to an Inmate? 

Inmates housed in the Jail cannot receive care packages of any kind through the mail. Care 

packages 

which are not mail in can be purchased through 

www.columbia.icaredirect.eom 

. We only accept care packages by this method. 


Can Inmates have access to Books, Magazines, and Newspapers? 

The Columbia County Jail has certain legal publications as well as books for entertainment, and 

some faith-based materials. Books may be procured from outside the jail. however any such 

book, hardbound or otherwise, must be sent directly from the publisher or bookstore via the 

U.S. Mail. Newspapers maybe subscribed to in the inmate's name for delivery to the jail.

Magazines: Are not allowed inside the facility.

Religious Materials: Inmates can request a Bible from the Law Library. Inmates can also
attend a religious program and receive religious materials from the Columbia County Sheriff's
Office Volunteer who facilitates that particular program.

3/4

Case 3:12-cv-00071-SI

.

Document 1

Inmate Mail
Last Updated Friday, 06 August 2010 16:48

Filed 01/13/12

Page 24 of 24

Page ID#: 24

4/4



 

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