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HRDC v. Ballard, KY, Settlement (Damages), Censorship, 2019

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Case: 3:17-cv-00057-GFVT-EBA Doc #: 62-1 Filed: 07/15/19 Page: 1 of 6 - Page ID#:
323

IN THE MATTER OF:
Human Rights Defense Center v. Ballard, eta!.
Case No. 3:17-cv-00057-GFVT
U.S. DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OF DAMAGES CLAIM
THIS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OF DAMAGES CLAIM (hereinafter referred to as

the “Damages Agreement”) is made and entered into as of the date this Damages Agreement is
signed, by and among the Kentucky Department of Corrections (“KDOC”), on behalf of itself
and all of its officers, directors, employees, former employees, agents, predecessors, divisions,
successors, administrators, and assigns, including but not limited to Rodney Ballard, Jim Erwin,
Kimberly Potter-Blair, Chris Kleynieyer, Ashley Short, Debbie Kays, Keith Helton, Tiffany
Ratliff, Kathy Litteral, Deedra Hart, Janet Conover, Randy White, Aaron Smith, James David
Green, Scott Jordan, Don Bottom, Ravonne Sims, Tim Lane, and Anna Valentine (collectively
referred to as “Defendants”), and the Human Rights Defense Center (“HRDC”), on behalf of
itself and all of its officers, directors, employees, former employees, agents, predecessors,
divisions, successors, administrators, and assigns. Defendants and HRDC collectively are “the
Parties”.
I. Recitals
A. At all times relevant hereto, the individual Defendants are or were employees of the
KDOC.
B. At all times relevant hereto, the Human Rights Defense Center is and was a not-forprofit charitable organization recognized under

§

501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,

incorporated in the state of Washington and with principal offices in Lake Worth, Florida.
HRDC publishes Prison Legal News, a monthly journal of corrections news and analysis.

Case: 3:17-cv-00057-GFVT-EBA Doc #: 62-1 Filed: 07/15/19 Page: 2 of 6 - Page ID#:
324

HRDC has thousands of subscribers in the United States and abroad, including prisoners,
attorneys, and judges.

Additionally, HRDC publishes and/or distributes dozens of different

softcover books about the criminal justice system, legal reference books, and self-help books of
interest to prisoners.
C. This Damages Agreement addresses and resolves HRDC’s claims for damages arising
from and relating to allegations that Defendants violated HRDC’s First and Fourteenth
Amendment rights as it relates to the handling and delivery of its publications at KDOC’s prison
facilities, and the alleged lack of due process associated with Defendants’ failure to provide
HRDC notice and opportunity to be heard regarding rejected or censored publications.
D. The Parties agree that the Defendants deny any liability in this case. However, in
order to avoid the expense, delay, uncertainty, and burden of litigation, Defendants have agreed
to a settlement of HRDC’s claim for damages, in addition to HRDC’s claim for injunctive relief
as memorialized by prior agreement. This written Damages Agreement memorializes the terms
of the settlement reached by Defendants and HRDC as to the claim for damages in this case.
E.

Defendants agree that HRDC is a “prevailing party” under 42 U.S.C. §1988 and is

entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in these proceedings, but the
parties reserve this issue for future negotiation, or resolution by the Court should the parties be
unable to reach agreement on the amount of reasonable fees and costs HRDC should recover.
IL Monetary Agreement and Dismissal
1. KDOC agrees to pay HRDC a total of $26,000.00 in full and final settlement of all
claims for damages that were brought in this matter or could have been brought in this matter.
KDOC will send direct payment to HRDC’s General Counsel, Sabarish Neelakanta, within 20
days of the entry of the Stipulation and Order to Dismiss by the Court.

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325

2. In consideration of the above terms agreed to by Defendants, HRDC agrees to dismiss
the damages claim in the instant case. Said dismissal will be with prejudice in the United States
District Court, though the Court shall retain jurisdiction for the purpose of entertaining
enforcement actions per the terms described in paragraph 3.
ill. Reservation of Jurisdiction
3. The Parties agree that the Court shall retain jurisdiction for the purpose of enforcing
the terms of this Damages Agreement, by entry of a Stipulated Order of Dismissal of the
damages claim stating the same.
IV. Miscellaneous Provisions
4. Defendants and HRDC acknowledge and agree that they have been represented by

legal counsel with respect to the matters that are the subject of this Damages Agreement and that
they have entered into this Damages Agreement freely and voluntarily.
5. The Parties agree that facsimile or PDF signatures are deemed to be originals and that

this Damages Agreement may be executed in counterparts. Upon signature of the Parties, and
the necessary approvals referenced in Section V, this Damages Agreement shall be deemed
executed, final, and binding.
6. The Parties agree that this ease concerns the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights
of a publisher, and is therefore not a case concerning prison conditions as defined in the Prison
Litigation Reform Act of 1996.
7. This Damages Agreement sets forth the entire understanding between the Parties with

respect to the claim for damages in this case, and there are no representations, warranties,
agreements, arrangements, or undertakings, oral or written, between or among the Parties hereto
relating to the subject matter of this Damages Agreement which are not INly expressed herein.

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326

This Damages Agreement supersedes all prior negotiations, representations, statements, or
promises between the Parties, whether written or oral, as to these claims.

However, this

Damages Agreement does not modify or supersede in any way the Settlement Agreement of
Injunctive Claims that was approved by the Court on March 26, 2019.
8.

This Damages Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the

Defendants and HRDC, and their respective successors and assigns.
9. The obligations imposed by this Damages Agreement are severable. If for any reason
a part of this Damages Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, that determination shall not affect
the remainder of this Damages Agreement.
10. This Damages Agreement and any of its provisions may be amended, modified, or
terminated only by written agreement signed by HRDC and Defendants. Such written
agreement(s) shall be effective only upon approval by the Court.
V. Necessary Approvals
11.

The Parties aclmowledge that 10 KAR 1:010, Section 6 sets out the settlement

approval process where the Commonwealth of Kentucky has agreed to pay money in settlement
of a civil matter. The Parties further acknowledge that this Agreement must be approved by both
the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of the Kentucky Finance and
Administration Cabinet before becoming final.
12.

The KDOC and its counsel agree to use their best efforts to ensure approval of

this Agreement by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of the Finance and
Administration Cabinet in a timely manner.

The KDOC shall immediately notify HRDC’s

counsel in the event the Attorney General andlor Secretary of the Finance and Administration
Cabinet decline to approve this Agreement. Upon disapproval by the Attorney General and/or

4

Case: 3:17-cv-00057-GFVT-EBA Doc #: 62-1 Filed: 07/15/19 Page: 5 of 6 - Page ID#:
327

Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, this Agreement shall be null and void and
have no binding effect on the Parties.

Stipulated and Agreed to:

ioner
i nath
in&Com
eky Department of Correclions

Date

?5aul Wrigt Executive Director
Human Rid1)ts Defense Center

Date

,

5



 

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