AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Corrections Law
for Jails, Prisons and Detention Facilities



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Mail

     Monthly Law Journal Article: Prisoner Mail Legal Issues, 2007 (6) AELE Mo. L.J. 301.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Prisoners and Sexually Explicit Materials, 2010 (2) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Prisoners and Foreign Language Mail, 2016 (12) AELE Mo. L. J. 301.

In General


     A death row inmate appealed the dismissal of his claim that the correctional policy and practice of inspecting inmates’ outgoing legal mail violated his Sixth and First Amendment rights. The federal appeals court reversed, finding that the current inspection policy did not satisfy previously adopted legal standards. The policy called for an improper page-by-page content review of inmates; confidential outgoing legal mail. The policy also does not satisfy the four-part test identified in Turner v. Safley, #85-1384, 482 U.S. 78 (1987), because the defendants did not produce evidence of a threat to prison security sufficient to justify the policy, and because feasible, readily available alternatives were apparent. Nordstrom v. Ryan, #16-15277, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 8716 (9th Cir.).

     An Idaho prisoner filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming that prison employees on four occasions had opened legal mail before it was delivered to him rather than opening it in his presence. He asserted that there was a policy or custom of ignoring the improper handling of legal mail. The trial court dismissed the complaint at the pre-screening stage under 28 U.S.C. 1915A. A federal appeals court found that two of the four claims should not have been dismissed. Prisoners do have a protected First Amendment interest in having properly marked legal mail opened only in their presence and a plaintiff need not allege a longstanding practice of violating his First Amendment rights in order to state a claim for relief on a direct liability theory. Additionally, a plaintiff need not show any actual injury beyond the free speech violation itself to state a constitutional claim. The other two claims were properly dismissed, as the prisoner had not met the burden of showing that those items were legal mail. Mail from the United States courts, as opposed to from an attorney, is not legal mail that must be opened in the prisoner’s presence. Hayes v. Idaho Correctional Center, #14-35078,  2017 U.S.App. Lexis 3851 (9th Cir.).
      A prisoner serving a 65-year sentence for murder placed an order for the death certificate of the woman he killed. The death certificate arrived in the mail from the county clerk's office, along with an unsigned note that stated "There is a place in hell waiting for you, as you must know you will reap what you have sowed!" Prison staff members confiscated the certificate as posing a threat to prison safety and security and for having a negative impact on the prisoner's rehabilitation. A federal trial court upheld this action, finding that it would decrease the risk that other prisoners would retaliate against "boasting inmates" such as the plaintiff, and would protect the victim's family from being identified. A federal appeals court reversed, except for claims against a staff member not involved in the confiscation. It ruled that prisoners have a clearly established right to read the mail they receive so long as it would not infringe on legitimate interests. The prison needed to show "some evidence" justifying the restriction. While the prison had a legitimate safety interest in preventing boasting inmates displaying "trophies," the prisoner claimed that he had a need for the death certificate in connection with state court post-conviction proceedings, and the defendants presented no evidence to dispute it. Williams v. Hansen, #15-2236, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 17183 (7th Cir.).
    An inmate claimed that officials violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by improperly censoring and confiscating his mail. The trial court failed to issue a ruling as to whether an official was entitled to qualified immunity. When a defendant official properly and timely files a motion for dismissal or for summary judgment asserting qualified immunity as a defense, they are entitled to a reviewable order either granting or denying qualified immunity before being required to progress further in the litigation. The trial court was ordered to issue such a ruling. Payne v. Britten, #12-3872, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 7055 (8th Cir.).
     A federal district court judge ruled that a county jail that adopted a rule that restricted incoming and outgoing personal inmate mail to only postcards was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The court ruled that it violated the rights of the inmates themselves, individuals who write to them, and the publishers of the Prison Legal News publication. The interest in keeping contraband out of the facility and reducing costs in screening mail did not outweigh the free speech rights involved. Prison Legal News v. Columbia County, #3:12-cv-00071, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 58669 (D. Ore.).
     U.S. Supreme Court overturns an appeals court decision that a prison policy forbidding certain very dangerous and "recalcitrant" prisoners access to newspapers, magazines, and photographs violated the First Amendment as a matter of law. Policy was justified by prison officials' legitimate interest in providing such prisoners with incentives for improvement of their behavior. Beard v. Banks, #04-1739 2006 U.S. Lexis 5176. [2006 JB Aug]
     Court held that prison regulations prohibiting inmate to inmate correspondence rule was reasonably related to legitimate security concerns but that regulations prohibiting inmate marriages unless warden determines that there were compelling reasons for the marriage, was not reasonably related to any legitimate penological objective. Turner v. Safley, 107 S.Ct. 2254 (1987). The court set forth a four point test to determine "reasonableness". See 107 S.Ct. at 2262.
     Restrictions on mail privileges were unconstitutional; restrictions on law students and paralegals as inmate legal counsel also were improper. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 94 S.Ct. 1800 (1974).
     » For earlier case discussions see: Guarjardo v. Estelle, 580 F.2d 748 (5th Cir. 1978); Ford v. Schmidt, 577 F.2d 408 (7th Cir. 1978); Zaczek v. Hutto, 448 F.Supp. 155 (W.D. Va. 1978); Smith v. Shimp, 562 F.2d 423 (7th Cir. 1977); Cofone v. Manson, 409 F.Supp. 1033 (D. Conn. 1976); Morgan v. LaVallee, 526 F.2d 221 (2d Cir. 1975); Tate v. Kassulke, 409 F.Supp. 651 (W.D. Ky. 1975); Berch v. Stahl, 373 F.Supp. 412 (W.D. N.Car. 1974); Barlow v. Amuss, 477 F.2d 896 (5th Cir. 1973); Wilkinson v. Skinner, 462 F.2d 670 (2d Cir. 1972); Goodwin v. Oswald, 462 F.2d 1237 (2d Cir. 1972); Sostre v. McGinnis, 442 F.2d 178 (2d Cir. 1971); Gates v. Collier, 349 F.Supp. 881 (N.D. Miss. 1972).

Nonlegal: Incoming

     A federal district court judge ruled that a county jail that adopted a rule that restricted incoming and outgoing personal inmate mail to only postcards was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The court ruled that it violated the rights of the inmates themselves, individuals who write to them, and the publishers of the Prison Legal News publication. The interest in keeping contraband out of the facility and reducing costs in screening mail did not outweigh the free speech rights involved. Prison Legal News v. Columbia County, #3:12-cv-00071, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 58669 (D. Ore.).
     Prisoners convicted of sex crimes were kept incarcerated long after their sentences ended, remaining in state custody as sexually violent civil detainees. They claimed that their civil rights were violated because they were denied the ability to have face to face social opportunities with civil detainees in other pods of their facility and because they were not allowed to contact other civilly committed detainees using the facility's own internal mail system, instead being required to use the U.S. mail for that purpose. The limits on direct socialization were justified as a security measure. Due process did not require input from health professionals before restrictions were put on the in-person association opportunities of the detainees. There was no violation of First Amendment rights in requiring the plaintiffs to use the U.S. mail rather than the facility's internal mail system to communicate with other civil detainees. Lane v. Williams, #11-3373, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 17922 (7th Cir.).
     A prisoner convicted of terrorism-related crimes involving the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya was subjected to special administrative measures forbidding him from receiving two Arabic language newspapers he had previously received and prohibiting him from corresponding with his nieces and nephews. A federal appeals court rejected a claim that these measures violated his First Amendment rights. The government's interestin restricting his rights was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, and the prisoner had the burden of showing that there was no legitimate, rational basis for the increased communication restrictions. Given the belief that the prisoner had a "proclivity for violence" based on his conviction for acts of terrorism, the warden expressed the concern that “communications or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury to persons.” This was a rational basis for the restrictions. The restriction on the Arabic newspaper was similarly upheld as justified by the need to prevent him from receiving information and instructions in a manner difficult to detect. Al-Owhali v. Holder, #11-1274, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 16401 (10th Cir.).
     A man who completed his sentence for multiple sexual crimes against children was then civilly committed. The staff at the psychiatric facility to which he was sent seized CDs and DVDs numbering in the hundreds from him, and he claimed that they took too long before returning them after screening them for possible sexually explicit material, in violation of his First and Fourth Amendment rights. Staff members were entitled to qualified immunity from liability, since it was objectively reasonable to believe that their actions were legal. The interest of the state in security, order and treatment of the plaintiff outweighed any property interest the plaintiff had in quickly getting back his things or receiving a detailed explanation at the time of the seizure. The court also rejected the plaintiff's claim that some of his incoming non-legal mail was withheld. He had not shown that it was withheld without justification, and there was a strong interest in preventing him from obtaining inappropriate images which outweighed his weak interest in immediately receiving commercial mail seized for screening. Ahlers v. Rabinowitz, #10-1193, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 7035 (2nd Cir.).
     A prison did not violate the First Amendment, Eighth Amendment, or Fourteenth Amendment rights of a prisoner suffering from chronic medical conditions by refusing to permit him to possess copies of the books "Physician's Desk Reference," and "the Complete Guide to Drugs." While the prisoner argued that he should be allowed to have these books to learn about possible side effects to medications he was prescribed for his medical problems, it was reasonable to limit prisoner access to books about drugs. Munson v. Gaetz, # 11–1532, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 4960 (7th Cir.).
    Wisconsin prison officials did not violate the First Amendment in preventing inmates from receiving copies of "The New Abolitionist," (subsequently renamed Wisconsin Prison Watch), a prison reform newsletter mailed to them, since the record showed that they could properly conclude that it contained "misleading information, encourages distrust of prison staff, and could potentially undermine the prison's rehabilitative initiatives." The plaintiffs failed to show that classifying the publication as harmful was unreasonable. Van Den Bosch v. Raemisch, #09-4112, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 19031 (7th Cir.).
     Prison personnel might be liable to a prisoner for violating his First Amendment rights by prohibiting him from receiving mail containing a comic book deemed too violent in its depicted story. While material that might incite violence may be screened out, the prisoner asserted that the comic book in question did no such thing. He noted that the comic book depicted stories that Japanese children watch on television, and argued that the prison allows other publications depicting violence, including wrestling, boxing, karate, and gun magazines. Kaden v. Slykhuis, #10-2751, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 17747 (8th Cir.).
     A prison's prohibition on inmates advertising for pen pals or receiving information from publications and websites that publish such ads did not violate their rights under the First Amendment. The regulation was reasonably related to a legitimate objective of preventing inmates from committing fraud through the mail. Woods v. Commissioner of the Indiana Dept. of Corrections, #10-3339, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 14732 (7th Cir.).
     Upholding a jury's rejection of a prisoner's lawsuit banning his receipt of certain gift publications, a federal appeals court ruled that there was evidence from which the jury could find that that the private prison's policy was necessary to promote security and administrative interests. The jury was properly instructed that prisoners have a First Amendment right to receive mail and gift publications, but that a policy barring receipt of some such publications could be legal if reasonably related to legitimate penological or correctional goals. Blaisdell v. Corr. Corp. of Am., #09-17795, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 7600 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
     A Wyoming prisoner, as chairman of the Wyoming Prisoners' Association and an official of the Wyoming chapter of the Citizens United for Rehabilitation, published a combined newsletter for these organizations, reporting on legal issues of interest to prisoners. He shipped 693 copies of the newsletter together in one box addressed to the Wyoming State Penitentiary. Inside the box, each newsletter was addressed to an individual prisoner. The warden refused to deliver the newsletters to prisoners, while he would deliver newsletters which were individually addressed and sent. A federal appeals court upheld as constitutional the rule in question, which prohibited all bulk mailings, regardless of content. The policy was reasonably related to prison security, and unsolicited bulk mailings could increase tensions and result in disruptive behavior. The policy did not violate the plaintiff's First Amendment rights. Parkhurst v. Lampert, #10-8078, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 6567 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     A prisoner classified as a sex offender was denied a number of issues of subscription music publications such as Rolling Stone, Maxim, Blender, and Spin, based on the presence of photos of females thought to be sexually oriented, in violation of restrictions on the types of materials he could receive. He failed to show how such restrictions violated his First Amendment rights, and the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. The prisoner was allowed numerous issues of such publications, and only those containing materials believed to be adverse to his rehabilitation as a sex offender were withheld. Frazier v. Ortiz, #10-1133, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 6381 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     The publisher of "Crime, Justice & America," which addresses criminal justice topics of interest to inmates, challenged mail policies at two California county jails, under which officials refused to distribute to prisoners unsolicited copies of the publication sent through the mail. Reversing summary judgment for the defendants, a federal appeals court found that there were unresolved material questions of fact as to whether the distribution of the mailed materials would have required the defendants to expend "significant" additional resources. Hrdlicka v. Reniff, #09-15768, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 1914 (9th Cir.).
     A Louisiana prisoner claimed that his right to religious freedom had been violated by withholding from him a publication sent to him by the religious organization "Yahweh Ben Yahweh" Prison officials determined the publication to be detrimental to security and racist. Rejecting the prisoner's claim, the court found that regulations that bar publications that advocate racial, religious, or nation hatred, creating a serious risk of violence, are valid. The appeals court examined the material at issue, and agreed with prison authorities that it was racially inflammatory. Toliver v. Travis, #2010 CA 0279, 2010 La. App. Lexis 1239 (Unpub. 1st Cir.).
     A Wisconsin inmate claimed that his First Amendment rights were violated by a prison policy denying prisoners access to commercially produced photos, and limiting to 50 the number of photos inmates may possess, as well as by prison officials' actions in not delivering to him a number of photos that he claimed were not within the definition of prohibited pornography, although they were "risque." A Wisconsin appeals court found that defendant officials were entitled to qualified immunity, as the prisoner had no clearly established constitutional right to receive commercially sold photos, or to possess in excess of 50 photos. The prison had a legitimate interest in conserving staff resources that would be needed to screen such photos, and there were alternate ways of prisoners seeing such things as celebrity photos, such as in magazine subscriptions. Examining the particular photos withheld, the court also concluded that the majority were properly withheld under rules prohibiting material that is pornographic or features nudity. Four photos, however, were improperly withheld under the pornography ban, prior to the ban on commercial photos being adopted, as they were found to be mere "swimsuit" pictures in which the swimsuits fully covered each model's pubic area, and areola. But because the swimsuits were "skimpy," and composed of thin fabric, and the models were provocatively posed, they came "so close" to pornography and nudity that a prison official might reasonably come "to a different conclusion" when reviewing them, so the individual defendants were also entitled to qualified immunity on this claim. Lacy v. Huibregtse, #2008AP1870, 2010 Wisc. App. Lexis 568 (Unpub. 4th Dist.).
     A newspaper that reports on prison legal issues claimed that California prison officials violated its First Amendment rights by refusing to deliver its publications to some prisoners, and by refusing to deliver certain hardcover books that the publisher wished to send to prisoners. The parties reached a settlement agreement which included delivery of the publications to prisoners, and the payment of $65,100 in damages. Ultimately $458,000 in attorneys' fees and costs were also paid by the state. A federal appeals court has now upheld a trial court award of an additional $137,502.46 in attorneys' fees and costs for work done monitoring the state's compliance with the settlement agreement, including corresponding with inmates. Prison Legal News v. Schwarzenegger, #09-15006, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 11690 (9th Cir.).
     A prisoner claimed that correctional employees violated his rights when they refused to deliver to him and other inmates copies of a newsletter that were sent together in a single box but which were addressed to individual recipients. The material was rejected under a prison policy barring non-privileged mail containing material intended for other persons than the addressees. Because the prisoner could not show that his right to receipt of a newsletter sent in this manner was clearly established, the individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity on the money damages claims. Further proceedings were ordered on the claim for injunctive relief. Parkhurst v. Lampert, #08-8069, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 15850 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     Massachusetts inmates challenged a state regulation that banned their receipt of sexually explicit publications or publications featuring nudity, as well as a correctional policy against displaying such materials in their cells. Rejecting the plaintiffs' First Amendment claims, the federal appeals court found that there was a rational connection between legitimate governmental interests and the means used to further them. Prison security concerns supported the cell display policy. Josselyn v. Dennehy, #08-1095, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 12272 (1st Cir. Cir.).
     A prison policy that only allowed the receipt of books that were sent directly from a publisher or that had a publisher's invoice enclosed was a legitimate one, aimed at preventing the introduction of contraband into the facility. The plaintiff prisoner was denied the receipt of two religious books sent to him by his sister because there was no publisher's invoice enclosed, not because of any intent to interfere with his religious freedom rights. Even though there was an eight-month delay in him receiving the books, prison employees did deliver the books to him as soon as it was determined that the publisher's invoices were received. Additionally, the prisoner had access to similar religious books through the prison's library. Heleva v. Kramer, #08-3408, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 11021 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
     Prison regulations providing for censorship of sexually explicit material and materials promoting violence were not facially violative of the First Amendment, as they were intended to promote legitimate governmental interests. A prisoner could, however, pursue his claim that officials improperly applied the regulations to exclude publications that were not inflammatory. He could also pursue claims concerning a prohibition on publications because they contained posters, stickers, or other free items, since the defendant officials failed to state their justification for this prohibition, and the prisoner further claimed that it was unevenly applied, leading to improper content-based decisions. The defendants also failed to show why the suggested alternative of removing these items from the publications would be burdensome. Dean v. Bowersox; #08-1558, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 8477 (Unpub. 8th Cir.).
     The fact that a Kansas regulation banning sexually explicit materials from being mailed to prisoners covered a broader range of materials in its definition of nudity than regulations at other prison systems was not a sufficient basis to invalidate it. Strope v. Collins. #08-3188, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 3713 (10th Cir.).
     Federal prisoner failed to show that the Ensign Amendment, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 530C(b)(6) violated his First Amendment rights in restricting his access to sexually explicit publications, specifically certain magazines and a book that were sent to him. Restricting such materials was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests in security and rehabilitation. The court did rule, however, that Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Program Statement 5266.10, Sec. 7 was unconstitutional in allowing a rejected publication to be returned to the publisher before an administrative review was completed, and the enforcement of that Program Statement was enjoined. Jordan v. Sosa, Civil Action #05-cv-01283, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 53006 (D. Colo.).
     Prisoner's claims concerning the opening and reading of his mail by prison authorities was frivolous, as these actions did not violate his constitutional rights. He also could not pursue a constitutional claim regarding the alleged deprivation of his SSI benefits check, because there were adequate post-deprivation remedies available under Texas state law for deprivations of property. Malone v. Pedigo, #07-11025, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13006 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
     Prisoner failed to show that he suffered any injury because of the prison's failure to deliver mail on Saturday, or from his inability to go to the law library on the day he was notified of a filing requirement in a pending legal case. The court also noted that it was established by prior caselaw that the prisoner's nonprivileged outgoing mail could be opened and inspected. Caldwell v. Beard, #08-2432, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 27027 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
     Prison officials did not violate the plaintiff prisoner's First Amendment rights or "censor" his mail in opening his mail, as it was properly subject to inspection in order to prevent the introduction of contraband into the facility. Ransom v. Greenwood, #06-56500, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16754 (9th Cir.).
     A newspaper's refusal to accept a paid subscription from a prisoner based on a corporation policy against supplying subscriptions to prisoners did not violate his First Amendment rights, and the corporate action was not compelled by a city resolution that "urged" the corporation to adopt such a policy. Henderson v. Huibregtse, #07-2571, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 12671 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
     Court upholds Massachusetts state regulation banning all sexually explicit publications and items from prisons. The rule banned the receipt, possession, and display of almost all materials with nude or semi-nude images or other sexually explicit content, except in a medical, educational, or anthropological context. The court ruled that there was a rational relationship between the rule and the legitimate interest that correctional facilities had in safety and rehabilitation. Under the rule, publications were individually reviewed to determine whether their content fell within the scope of the ban. Moses v. Dennehy, #06-10164, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 85359 (D. Mass.).
     A prison's ban on inmates receiving commercially-produced pictures of celebrities, including actresses such as Jennifer Aniston, did not violate a prisoner's First Amendment rights. The court found that the prison's economic interest in saving staff resources that would otherwise be needed to process incoming individual commercial photographs and to screen them for possible inappropriate content was legitimate. The prisoner had adequate alternative means of exercising any right he had to see a photo of Jennifer Aniston by subscribing to a magazine which might, in some issue, contain a photo of her. The court commented, in a footnote: "If possessing a photo of a movie star in a prison cell can even be deemed a 'right' protected by the First Amendment." The ban on celebrity photos was found to be reasonably related to legitimate penological objectives. The rules in place did allow prisoners to receive photos of family members. Jackson v. Frank, #07-2314 (7th Cir.).
     Prisoner who was formerly in a maximum-security unit in a prison, and then subjected to a policy barring him from receiving publications in the mail, was not entitled to continue his pursuit of claims challenging that policy when he had been released from maximum security and not returned there in over two years. He would not benefit from the declaratory and injunctive relief sought in his lawsuit, since he was no longer subjected to the policy in question. His challenge was now moot, and a ruling on the policy would now be an unconstitutional "advisory opinion." Incumaa v. Ozmint, #04-7824, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 25309 (4th Cir.).
    Federal appeals court rejects challenge to county jail's regulations barring prisoner receipt and access to both sexually explicit and technical publications, but orders further proceedings on a ban on receipt of catalogs. Jones v. Salt Lake County, #04-4185, 04-4186 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 22990 (10th Cir.).
     While the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2004 ruled that prison policies prohibiting all prisoner access to mail containing materials downloaded from the internet was unconstitutional in Clement v. California Department of Corrections, #03-15006, 364 F.3d 1148 (9th Cir. 2004), there was no clearly established law on the subject in 2001, when this plaintiff prisoner's mail containing such materials was returned, so that the prison warden was entitled to qualified immunity. Butler v. Yarborough, #03-5420, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 56667 (E.D. Cal.). 
     U.S. Supreme Court overturns an appeals court decision that a prison policy forbidding certain very dangerous and "recalcitrant" prisoners access to newspapers, magazines, and photographs violated the First Amendment as a matter of law. Policy was justified by prison officials' legitimate interest in providing such prisoners with incentives for improvement of their behavior. Beard v. Banks, #04-1739 2006 U.S. Lexis 5176. [2006 JB Aug]
    Prison officials' actions in preventing prisoner from receiving mail containing legal materials bought for him by a person with a relationship to another prisoner did not violate his rights. The restriction imposed was justified by legitimate interest in prevention of extortion, contraband smuggling, and unauthorized bartering among prisoners assisted by persons outside the facility.  Wardell v. Maggard, No. 05-1210, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 29404 (10th Cir.). [N/R]
     North Dakota state prison rules prohibiting inmates from possessing property, such as religious magazines, received from other prisoners, and classifying such "passed-on" property as contraband, upheld as reasonable. Larson v. Schuetzle, #20050418, 712 N.W.2d 617 (N.D. 2006). [2006 JB Aug]
     Correctional officials offered no evidence showing a legitimate penological interest to support a policy of preventing prisoners from receiving free, softbound religious materials from the plaintiff religious organization. The Department's voluntary change of its policy, allowing the receipt of the softbound materials following an inspection did not make the lawsuit moot. Jesus Christ Prison Ministry v. Calif. Dept. of Corrections, #CIV-S-05-0440, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 73813 (E.D. Cal.). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court rules that, in pro se lawsuit filed by prisoner over denial of access to a controversial religious text, the trial court should have considered whether the prisoner had a claim under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal law requiring the showing of a compelling governmental interest before infringing on free exercise of religion, even though the plaintiff did not refer to that statute in his complaint. Summary judgment for prison officials is upheld, however, under the less stringent First Amendment legal standard. Smith v. Johnson, #03-2014, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 27178 (3rd Cir.). [2006 JB Dec]
     Prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity in former prisoner's lawsuit claiming that they improperly restricted his ability to subscribe to certain newspaper, magazine, and newsletter publications based on his classification status, which was based on his behavior, as their actions did not violate any clearly established right. Calia v. Weholtz, #05-3201, 426 F. Supp. 2d 1210 (D. Kan. 2006). [N/R]
     Requirement that prisoner's exhaust available administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit over prison conditions applies to a claim by a prisoner in a privately run prisoner over the alleged confiscation of several magazines by a prison employee. Roles v. Maddox, #04-35280, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 5037 (9th Cir.). [2006 JB Apr]
    First Amendment right of prisoners to receive gift publications was not "clearly established" in the middle of 2000, when a Kansas state prison rule barred such receipt, so that prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity from damages in lawsuit filed by inmates and the non-profit publisher of a periodical focusing on legal issues of interest to prisoners. Prison Legal News, Inc. v. Simmons, #02-4054, 401 F. Supp. 1181 (D. Kan. 2005). [N/R]
     Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of regulations prohibiting prisoners from receiving incoming publications found to be obscene, as well as of statute criminalizing the importation of such publication into prisons or their possession by prisoners. Inmates' lawsuit challenged the withholding of Penthouse magazine and several others available to the general adult public. Payne v. Commonwealth Dept. of Corrections, J-83-2004, 871 A.2d 795 (Pa. 2005). [2005 JB Dec]
     Prison policy that barred prisoners placed in long term security unit based on their past behavior from possessing any newspapers or magazines except for religious or legal publications, and that further barred possession of family photos, was subject to First Amendment challenge. Appeals court panel overturns trial court decision upholding policy without trial. Banks v. Beard, #03-1245, 399 F.3d 134 (3d Cir. 2005) [2005 JB Jun]
     Alleged failure of prison supervisory personnel to properly supervise and train officers in proper distribution of mail to prisoners was not a violation of a prisoner's rights when he failed to show that he had been deprived of his mail, that other inmates' possession of some of his mail caused him any actual harm, or that the alleged violation of the prison's mail policy prevented him from filing a specific legal document with the court. Sandoval v. Fox, #04-41251, 135 Fed. Appx. 691 (5th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Prison officials could not punish an inmate for writing a letter to a private company informing them of what he believed to be an illegal program planned at the prison which would damage its business as a supplier to the facility. The statements, while critical or unflattering, did not damage institutional security, and punishing him for their content would violate the First Amendment. Gandy v. Ortiz, #04-1225, 122 Fed. Appx. 421 (10th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB May]
     Ban on non-subscription bulk mail and catalogs was not rationally related to a legitimate penological interest and therefore violated the First Amendment, but correctional officials were entitled to qualified immunity. Prison Legal News v. Lehman, #03-35608, 397 F.3d 692 (9th Cir. 2005) [2005 JB Apr]
     Prisoner's First Amendment rights were not violated by denying him receipt and possession of a racist magazine, Pagan Revival, which the inmate himself admitted contained "hatred." Censoring such publications, a federal appeals court held, was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests in institutional order and security. Lindell v. McCaughtry, #03-4094, 115 Fed. Appx. 872 (7th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Prison officials actions in preventing an inmate from corresponding with a former prisoner with whom he had formed a romantic attachment did not violate his rights. Nasir v. Morgan, #01-2519 , 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 24013, 350 F.3d 366 (3rd Cir.) [2004 JB Jan]
     California State Department of Corrections administrative bulletin banning sexually explicit materials depicting frontal nudity did not violate a prisoner's First Amendment rights. Correctional officials properly sought to reduce sexual harassment of female guards and prevent the development of a hostile work environment and also enhance prison security. Further, depriving prisoners of such sexually explicit materials did not impose an "atypical and significant hardship" in relation to the "ordinary incidents of prison life," and was therefore not a violation of due process. Additionally, the prisoner did not successfully show a violation of equal protection rights, as he did not claim that he was treated any differently than similarly situated prisoners with respect to the possession of such materials. Munro v. Tristan, No. 03-16770, 116 Fed. Appx. 820 (9th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Notifying only the prisoner, and not the publisher, when a periodical was not delivered to a prisoner, was inadequate to protect the publisher's First Amendment rights. Federal appeals court also orders further proceedings on constitutionality of policies limiting inmates' monthly spending on publications to $30 and prohibiting gift subscriptions. Jacklovich v. Simmons, #03-3227, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 26550 (10th Cir. 2004). [2005 JB Feb]
     Regulations banning gift subscriptions of publications to prisoners and limiting their own purchase of such subscriptions was rationally related to legitimate interests in rehabilitation and institutional security. Rice v. State of Kansas, #89,759, 95 P.3d 994 (Kan. 2004). [2004 JB Nov]
     Prison did not violate inmate's rights by limiting his ability to correspond with family members in Spanish. Prisoner was fluent in English, and was allowed to correspond in Spanish with a family member who only knew that language. Rule limiting correspondence in foreign languages, subsequently abandoned, had been reasonably related to legitimate security concerns. Ortiz v. Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, #03-1868, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 10200 (8th Cir.).[2004 JB Jul]
     While a prisoner stated a claim under the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000cc, for money damages and injunctive relief based on refusal to allow him to use his Islamic religious name to send or receive mail, trial court declined to issue a preliminary injunction requiring that he be allowed to use that religious name on his mail because the merits of his claims were "tenuous," and he could obtain damages if he prevailed. Further, any harm he suffered was not "irreparable," since he could still receive mail under his incarceration name, and could use his religious name inside the mail. Shidler v. Moore, #3:05-CV-804, 409 F. Supp. 2d 1060 (N.D. Ind. 2006). [N/R]
     Prisoner's lawsuit alleging that prison officials tampered with his outgoing mail was insufficient to state a claim and frivolous, when it was clearly shown that his mail was actually sent out and that he even received responses, in many instances, from courts to which he sent correspondence. Smith v. Bruce, #04-3043, 103 Fed. Appx. 342 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     New York prisoner's claim that correctional employees deliberated tampered with his mail, including both incoming and outgoing legal, personal, and political mail, without cause or justification, adequately asserted a claim for violation of his First Amendment rights. Nash v. McGinnis, 315 F. Supp. 2d 318 (W.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
    California prison ban on mail containing printed-out downloads from the Internet violated the First Amendment. Clement v. California Department of Corrections, #03-15006, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 7576 (9th Cir.). [2004 JB Jun]
     Federal court properly rejected prisoner's federal civil rights claim since the First Amendment rights of inmates to receive commercial bulk mail was not "clearly established" when he was refused receipt of a "Green Lantern" comic book, so that prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity. Court upholds rejection of other magazines with sexual ads or "role-playing content." Further proceedings ordered, however, on state law free speech claims. Bahrampour v. Lamper, #02-3519, 356 F.3d 969 (9th Cir. 2004). [2004 JB May]
     Federal court strikes down as unconstitutional Arizona statute prohibiting prisoners from communicating with Internet websites through the mails or otherwise or receiving mail from them. Court finds that prohibition is not reasonably related to a legitimate penological purpose and that other statutes and policies already prohibit communication involving fraud, harassment of victims, communication with minors, and other purported purposes of the ban on communication with Internet service providers. Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty v. Ryan, 269 F. Supp. 2d 1199 (D. Ariz. 2003). [2003 JB Nov]
     Federal appeals court rules that prison's requirement that books received from vendors have special shipping labels attached or else not be delivered to prisoners unduly burdened inmates' First Amendment rights. Policy was unreasonable and arbitrary, as it was applied to packages of books and other publications but not to other packages that could just as easily contain contraband. Ashker v. California Department of Corrections, #02-17077, 350 F.3d 917 (9th Cir. 2003). [2004 JB Mar]
     Prison security and rehabilitation goals were not sufficient to justify a complete ban on gifts of periodicals to prisoners. Rice v. State of Kansas, No, 89,759, 76 P.3d 1048 (Kan. App. 2003). [2004 JB Feb]
     Refusal of West Virginia prison officials to allow prisoner to receive or possess certain books found to be obscene did not violate his First Amendment or due process rights. Policy applied advanced legitimate penological interests in security and rehabilitation. Cline v. Fox, 266 F. Supp. 2d 489 (N.D.W. Va. 2003). [2003 JB Nov]
     Prison policies prohibiting the receipt of free or gift subscriptions to publications, preventing some inmates in a lower offender classification from purchasing publications, and limiting other inmates to spending no more than $30 per month to purchase publications did not violate prisoners' First Amendment or due process rights and were rationally related to legitimate interests in controlling, managing, and tracking property in order to identify prohibited activities, promote institutional order through privileges and incentives, and making sure there were sufficient assets to collect inmates' other financial obligations, such as restitution and child support. Failure to notify publishers when prisoners were denied receipt of mailed publications did not violate the publishers' constitutional due process rights. Zimmerman v. Simmons, 260 F. Supp. 2d 1077 (D. Kan. 2003). [N/R]
     Prisoner failed to present any evidence that prison employees, rather than the postal system, were responsible for the failure to deliver his outgoing or incoming mail. Further, one specific incident where he allegedly did not receive the full contents of a letter from his wife was "such a random and isolated incident" that it was "insufficient to establish" a constitutional violation. Okoro v. Scibana, #02-1439, 63 Fed. Appx. 182 (6th Cir. 2003).[N/R]
    Magazines sent to prisoner through the mails were obscene despite not showing sexual penetration when they did depict simulated sexual activity and discharged sexual fluids, but factual issues remained as to whether prison mail room employees improperly censored or returned to sender non-obscene letters and photographs sent to inmate by individual female correspondent and whether some materials sent to him were improperly "converted" for their "own personal use." Elliott v. Cummings, #01-3317, 49 Fed. Appx. 220 (10th Cir. 2002). [2003 JB Feb.]
     Prison policy prohibiting prisoners from receiving publications, such as books and magazines, as gifts, violated their First Amendment rights, but federal appeals court rules that the law on this subject was not "clearly established" until it had upheld a similar ruling in another case on appeal, entitling defendant prison officials to qualified immunity from liability. Sorrels v. McKee, #01-35222, 287 F.3d 1213 (9th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Aug]
    Self-professed Wiccan witch was not entitled to injunctive relief on his claim that prison chaplain and librarian failed to deliver to him his religious mail concerning his continuing education in the field of "metaphysical theology." Benham v. Priest, #01-2360, 34 Fed. Appx. 465 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Prisoner's claim that an officer intentionally deprived him of one issue of a magazine to which he subscribed because the officer disliked the magazine's views, and lied about doing so, was sufficient to state a First Amendment free speech claim. Prisoner did not, however, state a valid claim for violation of his right to religious freedom, since, while the Pagan Revival magazine purported to have a religious theme, he did not claim that the magazine had anything to do with his religious practices or that his failure to receive it interfered with the exercise of his religion. Lindell v. Doe, #01-2527, 58 Fed. Appx. 638 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
    Pennsylvania State Department of Corrections policy which barred inmate receipt of incoming publications found by a committee of employees to contain obscene materials did not violate prisoners' rights under free speech guarantees of the Pennsylvania state Constitution, Article 1, sec. 7, since there is no constitutional protection for obscene materials. Payne v. Com. Dept. of Corrections, 813 A.2d 918 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002). [N/R]
     Prison's requirement that books received from vendors have special shipping labels attached or else not be delivered to prisoners found to unduly burden inmates' First Amendment rights. Federal court finds policy was arbitrary and unreasonable and that legitimate security interests in preventing introduction of contraband were adequately protected by other existing policies. Ashker v. California Department of Corrections, 224 F. Supp. 2d 1253 (N.D. Cal. 2002). [2003 JB Feb.]
     Virginia correctional policy limiting prisoner's incoming general purpose mail to one ounce per envelope did not violate prisoners' First Amendment rights and served legitimate penological interests in reducing avenues for smuggling contraband into the prisons. Policy did not apply to legal, special purpose, educational correspondence, or mail from vendors or governmental agencies. Hall v. Johnson, 224 F. Supp. 2d 1058 (E.D. Va. 2002). [2003 JB Feb.]
     293:73 Washington state prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity from money damages for barring receipt of newsletter containing the names of current prison employees out of concern for employees' safety; qualified immunity, however, did not properly bar claims for declaratory and injunctive relief. Prison Legal News v. Washington State Dept. of Corrections, #00-35095, 2001 U.S. App. Lexis 5165.
     293:72 Oregon prison rule prohibiting prisoners from receiving non-profit organization's newsletter about "prison legal news" because it was sent as bulk "standard rate" mail violated the First Amendment rights of both prisoners and the publisher of the newsletter. Prison Legal News v. Cook, #99-36084, 238 F.3d 1145 (9th Cir. 2001).
     293:67 California prison rule prohibiting the receipt, through U.S. mail, of Internet generated material, including e-mail, was rationally related to prison's legitimate security concerns; appeals court overturns order allowing prisoner to receive printouts of e-mails sent to his internet web page, created via an arrangement with an outside company. Collins, In Re, 86 Cal. App. 4th 1176, 104 Cal. Rptr. 2d 108 (2001).
     289:7 Federal trial court denies summary judgment to Wisconsin prison officials in lawsuit over regulation under which a picture of the Sistine Chapel and various other magazines and correspondence was withheld from prisoners because of depicted nudity or discussion of sex. Aiello v. Litscher, 104 F. Supp. 2d 1068 (W.D. Wis. 2000).
     284:119 Illinois prison employees did not violate prisoners' rights when they inspected their incoming mail and seized as contraband copies of travel vouchers submitted by members of the state's Prisoner Review Board obtained by prisoners' relatives under the state's Freedom of Information Act; prisoner access to these vouchers presented a possible threat to the safety and security of Review Board members. Holloway v. Meyer, #2-98-1641, 726 N.E.2d 678 (Ill. App. 2000).
     279:40 UPDATE: Federal appeals court rules that Arizona county jail system's policy prohibiting the possession of all material depicting nudity, including such magazines as Playboy was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests in protecting employees and inmates against sexual harassment or assault. Mauro v. Arpaio, #97-16021, 188 F.3d 1054 (9th Cir. 1999).
     275:166 Pre-trial detainee retained some privacy interest in the contents of his incoming and outgoing non- legal correspondence, but trial court declines to apply exclusionary rule to suppress evidence discovered during reading and copying of his correspondence pursuant to warrant; remedy for allegedly overbroad copying of personal correspondence was the sealing of material which was not incriminating. U.S. v. Heatley, 41 F.Supp.2d 284 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).
     281:67 "Short-term and sporadic" delays in delivery of non-legal mail to prisoner that ranged from 2 days to 26 days from the postmark date did not violate the First Amendment rights of either the prisoner or the correspondent. Rowe v. Shake, #98-4207, 196 F.3d 778 (7th Cir. 1999).
     285:135 Wisconsin appeals court rules that a state notice of claim statute was not an "administrative remedy" that a plaintiff prisoner was required to "exhaust" before proceeding with his federal civil rights lawsuit, filed in state court, challenging the exclusion of all material containing nudity or pornography from state prisons. Ledford, State Ex Rel., v. Cir Ct. for Dane County, #99-0939-W, 599 N.W.2d 45 (Wis. App. 1999).
     273:134 Prison rule banning receipt of mail which advocated racial or religious hatred in a manner which created a serious danger of violence did not violate the religious freedom rights of a prisoner who was denied access to Aryan Nations materials. Chriceol v. Phillips, #98-30380, 169 F.3d 313 (5th Cir. 1999).
     274:149 Federal statute barring sexually explicit publications or those featuring nudity from federal prisons is upheld by appeals court; U.S. Supreme Court denies review. Amatel v. Reno, #97-5293, 97-5294, 97-5295, 156 F.3d 192 (D.C. Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 119 S. Ct. 2365 (1999).
     265:7 Prison rule prohibiting possession of all material depicting nudity, which resulted in ban on prisoner receiving Playboy was overbroad and violated First Amendment. Mauro v. Arpaio, #97-16021, 147 F.3d 1137 (9th Cir. 1998).
     253:5 Federal court strikes down "Ensign Amendment" barring all sexually explicit publications or publications featuring nudity, including non-obscene ones, from federal prisons. Amatel v. Reno, 975 F.Supp. 365 (D.D.C. 1997).
     256:55 Florida detention facility did not violate prisoner's First Amendment rights by denying him access to publications with nude photos when each publication was individually reviewed by at least three correctional officials before being rejected, and internal grievance mechanism with three levels of review was available if prisoner objected. Owen v. Wille, 117 F.3d 1235 (11th Cir. 1997).
     257:71 Federal trial court upholds prison rule barring receipt in the mail of unapproved catalogs, sexually explicit materials with objectionable themes, loose stamps, and oversized greeting cards. Allen v. Wood, 970 F.Supp. 824 (E.D. Wash. 1997).
     259:101 Prison officials did not violate Muslim prisoner's free speech or religious freedom rights by denying him receipt of entire issues of "Muhammad Speaks" magazine which were determined to create a danger of violence "by advocating racial, religious, or national hatred"; prisoner's suggestion that offending articles instead be cut out was not reasonable alternative in light of cost to implement. Shabazz v. Parsons, 127 F.3d 1246 (10th Cir. 1997).
     [N/R] Prisoner did not show that prison mail supervisor failed to process his mail for delivery; supervisor entitled to qualified immunity. Treff v. Galetka, 74 F.3d 191 (10th Cir. 1996).
     246:85 Prison policy prohibiting the receipt of all "free advertising" or bulk rate mail (such as catalogs) by prisoners did not violate inmates' First Amendment rights, federal appeals court rules. Sheets v. Moore, 97 F.3d 164 (6th Cir. 1996).
     239:166 Publisher of "adult" magazine had a constitutional First Amendment interest in receiving notice and due process when prison officials prohibited inmate subscribers from receiving issues of the magazine deemed obscene; federal appeals court orders trial court to fashion "appropriate remedy." Montcalm Publishing Corp. v. Beck, 80 F.3d 105 (4th Cir. 1996).
     233:70 Federal prison officials refusal of request by two inmates, who claimed common law marriage, to correspond with each other did not violate their First Amendment right when state in which inmates had lived does not recognize "common law" marriages. Howard v. Keohane, 898 F.Supp. 459 (E.D.Ky. 1995). » Editor's Note: Also see Farrell v. Peters, 951 F.2d 862 (7th Cir. 1992) (First Amendment was not violated when an Illinois state prisoner was denied permission, pursuant to state Department of Corrections policy, to correspond with his alleged common-law wife, an Illinois state prisoner in another Illinois prison).
     236:119 Destruction of inmate's beard trimmer, received in the mail, without prior hearing on whether it was contraband, did not violate his due process rights when there were adequate state-law post-deprivation remedies available to seek compensation for his property. Diaz v. Coughlin, 909 F.Supp. 146 (S.D.N.Y. 1995).
     233:69 Prison officials showed compelling interest in withholding delivery of issues of newspaper inciting racial violence; fact that newspaper was published by a church did not alter result or violate prisoner's rights under Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Reimann v. Murphy, 897 F.Supp. 398 (E.D. Wis. 1995). [Cross-reference: Religion].
     234:88 Federal appeals court rules that prison policy excluding all newspaper clippings from prisoner's incoming correspondence may violate First Amendment; prison officials were entitled, however, to qualified immunity from personal liability, since right to receive such clippings was not "clearly established." Allen v. Coughlin, 64 F.3d 77 (2nd Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith) Immunity].
     235:101 Prison officials could properly exclude issues of publications which incited to violence or criminal activity, but not those which, while critical of prison or government authorities, only promoted "peaceful protests" or complaint letter writing. Knecht v. Collins, 903 F.Supp. 1193 (S.D. Ohio 1995).
     225:140 Prison policy requiring inmate with new religious name to also use his "committed" name on all correspondence incoming and outgoing did not violate prisoner's rights. Fawaad v. Herring, 874 F.Supp. 350 (N.D. Ala. 1995).
     229:9 Prison policy allowing receipt and possession of commercially produced erotic literature, but barring receipt and possession of nude or semi-nude photographs of inmates' wives and girlfriends upheld by federal appeals court. Giano v. Senkowski, 54 F.3d 1050 (2d Cir. 1995).
     217:6 Federal appeals court orders further proceedings on prisoner's claims for injunctive and declaratory relief against alleged prison policy of excluding all Japanese language mail without any effort to screen or translate it; prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity from damage liability, however, since the right to receive foreign language mail was not "clearly established." Kikumura v. Turner, 28 F.3d 592 (7th Cir. 1994).
     223:104 Prison policy banning the delivery of any bulk mail to prisoners did not violate their First Amendment rights. Kalasho v. Kapture, 868 F.Supp. 882 (E.D. Mich. 1994).
     223:104 Prison could properly withhold sexually explicit magazine from prisoners based on assertion that material had a "negative impact" on "security, discipline, order, public safety, and rehabilitation." Hodges v. Com. of Virginia, 871 F.Supp. 873 (W.D. Va. 1994).
     226:152 Texas prison mail clerk not liable for withholding from inmate publications which contained graphic descriptions of sexual acts illegal under state law. Montana v. Patterson, 894 S.W.2d 812 (Tex. App. 1994).
     Prison rule prohibiting inmates from receiving newspapers or newspaper clippings from nonpublisher sources upheld as constitutional. Montgomery v. Coughlin, 605 N.Y.S.2d 569 (A.D. 1993).
     Policy prohibiting inmates from receiving cassette recordings from sources other than publishers was a constitutional policy aimed at enhancing institutional security; exception to policy for religious tapes was a permissible accommodation for prisoners' religious exercise rights, and did not invalidate general policy. Ennis v. Berg, 509 N.W.2d 33 (N.D. 1993).
     Rule prohibiting short-term pre-trial detainees from receiving outside publications did not violate their First Amendment rights. Hause v. Vaught, 993 F.2d 1079 (4th Cir. 1993).
     Sexually explicit materials could be withheld from prisoner based on a finding that they would be detrimental to his rehabilitation because they would encourage deviate criminal sexual behavior. Thompson v. Patteson, 985 F.2d 202 (5th Cir. 1993).
     Prisoner's First Amendment rights were not violated by prison's decision not to allow him to possess documents and photographs relating to the Ku Klux Klan; prisoner was allowed to read and view the materials, but possession of them within the prison could result in other prisoners being incited to violence. Grooms v. Caldwell, 806 F.Supp. 807 (N.D. Ind. 1991).
     Prisoner's First Amendment rights were not violated by prison's withholding of "sexually explicit" photographs of women he ordered through the mail. Lambrix v. Dugger, 610 So.2d 1366 (Fla. App. 1992).
     Prison policies prohibiting inmates from receiving blank greeting cards, softcover books, newspaper or magazines, except from a vendor, publisher or bookstore, did not violate prisoner's First amendment or due process rights. Avery v. Powell, 806 F.Supp. 7 (D.N.H. 1992).
     Prison mail clerk did not violate prisoner's due process rights by confiscating a letter to him without giving him notice of the confiscation; letter contained threats and information about prison prostitution activities, and notification would have interfered with an ongoing investigation of criminal conduct within the prison. Wilson v. Holman, 793 F.Supp. 920 (E.D. Mo. 1992).
     Prisoner's rights were not violated by regulations precluding his receipt of sexually explicit material advocating felonious acts such as incest and sexual abuse of children. Cox v. Embly, 784 F.Supp. 685 (E.D. Mo. 1992).
     Blanket rule prohibiting all correspondence with members of the press was unconstitutional, but claim for damages by inmate was barred by qualified immunity of prison officials individually, and Eleventh Amendment immunity of prison officials in their official capacity. Mujahid v. Sumner, 807 F.Supp. 1505 (D. Hawaii 1992).
     Withholding of female prison guard's letters to inmate as part of investigation into whether guard was having an impermissible affair with inmate did not violate prisoner's First Amendment or due process rights. Knight v. Lombardi, 952 F.2d 177 (8th Cir. 1991).
     Failure to inform prisoner of receipt of obscene mail addressed to him was at most negligence, which could not be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit. Harris v. Bolin, 950 F.2d 547 (8th Cir. 1991).
     Prison superintendent was entitled to qualified immunity on prisoner's claim that his First Amendment rights were violated by regulation requiring that softcover books and magazines be received only directly from the publishers. Johnson v. Moore, 948 F.2d 517 (9th Cir. 1991).
     Jail's withholding of both incoming and outgoing mail of pretrial detainee thought to be planning escape did not violate his First Amendment rights. Martucci v. Johnson, 944 F.2d 291 (6th Cir. 1991).
     Prison's refusal to allow inmate to receive an educational brochure about paralegal correspondence school mailed to him by another inmate violated his First Amendment rights. Eckford-El v. Toombs, 760 F.Supp. 1267 (W.D. Mich. 1991).
     Inmate awarded $1 in damages and $10,000 attorneys' fees for prison officials' failure to allow him to receive military surplus catalog. Allen v. Higgins, 902 F.2d 682 (8th Cir. 1990).
     Jail could limit access to magazines to those received directly from publisher. Ward v. Washtenaw Co. Sheriff's Dept., 881 F.2d 325 (6th Cir. 1989).
     Jail officials not entitled to qualified immunity for prohibiting receipt of hardcover books. Jackson v. Elrod, 881 F.2d 441 (7th Cir. 1989).
     Withholding inmate's mail from organization advocating sex with juvenile males did not violate first amendment. Harper v. Wallingford, 877 F.2d 728 (9th Cir. 1989).
     Federal judge orders Iowa prison to allow access to "adult" magazines; prison opens "porno reading room" to comply. New York Times, page 6, February 6, 1989.
     Treating all incoming mail as openable unless specially marked as from attorneys did not violate inmate's rights. Martin v. Brewer, 830 F.2d 76 (7th Cir. 1987).
     Jail's blanket ban on all hardcover books violates first amendment; jail must notify detainees of rejection of books. Jackson v. Elrod, 671 F.Supp. 1508 (N.D. Ill. 1987).
     Prisoner's claim that his daily newspaper and other publications were permanently withheld states possible first amendment violation. Sizemore v Williford, 829 F.2d 608 (7th Cir. 1987).
     Prison mail policy allowing censorship if justified on security or safety grounds was not unconstitutional; allegation of delay of mail from religious group, however, stated claim. Valiant-Bey v. Morris, 829 F.2d 1441 (8th Cir. 1987).
     Burden is on prison to show that receipt of publications would damage security, order or rehabilitation. Abbott v. Meese, 824 F.2d 1166 (D.C. Cir. 1987).
     Suit to continue against correctional officers for allegedly denying one inmate self-help books on alcoholism, while allowing fellow inmates to receive "girly" magazines. Jackson v. Elrod, 655 F.Supp. 1130 (N.D. Ill. 1987).
     Publications advocating homosexuality banned from prison for reasons of security, unless they're of a medical or religious nature. Espinoza v. Wilson, 814 F.2d 1093 (6th Cir. 1987).
     Prison officials cannot ban publications supporting white supremacy unless they advocate violence; censorship must be based on a review of each piece of mail. Murphy v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, 814 F.2d 1252 (8th Cir. 1987).
     Prisoner's suit seeking access to books to continue. Pratt v. Sumner, 807 F.2d 817 (9th Cir. 1987).
     Court held that prison regulations prohibiting inmate to inmate correspondence rule was reasonably related to legitimate security concerns but that regulations prohibiting inmate marriages unless warden determines that there were compelling reasons for the marriage, was not reasonably related to any legitimate penological objective. Turner v. Safley, 107 S.Ct. 2254 (1987). The court set forth a four point test to determine "reasonableness". See 107 S.Ct. at 2262.
     Court approves inspection of business mail; absent a constitutional right, least restrictive means need not be employed. Lucas v. Scully, 509 N.Y.S.2d 640 (A.D. 2 Dept. 1986).
     Fourth circuit departs from eighth circuit holding and rules inmate-to-inmate correspondence requires warden's approval. Vester v. Rogers, 795 F.2d 1179 (4th Cir. 1986).
     Co. jail's policy of banning newspapers and magazines unconstitutional. Mann v. Smith, 796 F.2d 79 (5th Cir. 1986).
     Blanket ban on magazine subscription unconstitutional censorship must be based on each monthly publication of drug- related magazine. Mahan v. Maschner, 717 P.2d 1059 (Kan. App. 1986).
     General grievance procedure insufficient for censorship issues. Martin v. Kelley, 803 F.2d 236 (6th Cir. 1986).
     Prison officials ban publication depicting inmates as "societal victims". Travis v. Norris, 805 F.2d 806 (8th Cir. 1986).
     Prison officials stopped from banning religious publication that focuses on mistreatment of blacks. Lawson v. Wainwright, 641 F.Supp. 312 (S.D. Fla. 1986).
     Policy of reading intrajail mail upheld. People v. McCaslin, 223 Cal.Rptr. 587 (App. 1986).
     Controversial mail directive ordered resolved. Jones v. Smith, 784 F.2d 149 (2nd Cir. 1986).
     Procedure for receiving property upheld; correspondence regulation unconstitutional. Champagne v. Commissioner of Correction, 480 N.E.2d 609 (Mass. 1985).
     No hearing required before returning unauthorized interprison mail. Esposito v. Leddy, 618 F.Supp. 1362 (D.C. Ill. 1985).
     Officials find stolen money and drug-smuggling instructions inside inmate's letter. State v. Dunn, 478 So.2d 659 (La. App. 1985).
     Court sets forth manner in which mail restrictions may be reinforced to disciplined inmates. Gregory v. Auger, 768 F.2d 287 (8th Cir. 1985).
     9th Circuit allows prison officials to read and search inmate's mail. Nakao v. Campbell, San Francisco Recorder, California 7/19/85.
     The following three cases reach various conclusions regarding the "publishers only" rule. Kines v. Day, 754 F.2d 28 (1st Cir. 1985); Spruytte v. Walters, 753 F.2d 498 (6th Cir. 1985); and Hurd v. Williams, 755 F.2d 306 (3rd Cir. 1985).
     Routine inspection of business mail and mail to media unconstitutional. Milburn v. McNiff, 486 N.y.S. 2d 19 (A.D. 2 Dept. 1985).
     Opening letter at halfway house upheld; sender convicted of trafficking with "inmate". Sureeporn Roll v. State, 473 N.E.2d 161 (Ind. 1985).
     Commercial nude photos permissible, but not home snap-shots; pictures depicting homosexual acts prohibited. Hunter v. Koehler, 618 F.Supp. 13 (D.C. Mich. 1984).
     Prior approval necessary for inmates to correspond with each other by mail. Dooley v. Quick, 598 F.Supp. 607 (D. R.I. 1984).
     Inmate in punitive segregation accuses warden of changing mail policy to avoid liability. Jones v. Sargent, 737 F.2d 766 (8th Cir. 1984).
     Current guidelines regarding routine reading of inmates' general correspondence mail are discussed. Heimerle v. Atty. Gen. U.S.A., 558 F.Supp. 1292 (S.D. N.Y. 1983).
     Prison regulations O.K. - reading of mail and limitations on amount of free postage. Meadows v. Hopkins, 713 F.2d 206 (6th Cir. 1983).
     Adequate state remedy for inmate's lost personal mail forecloses 1983 federal claim. Thompson v. Steele, 709 F.2d 381 (5th Cir. 1983).
  Warden liable for disclosing contents of private letter from priest to inmate. Trudeau v. Wyrick, 713 F.2d 1360 (8th Cir. 1983).
     Inmate in punitive segregation can be denied certain types of mail. Guajardo v. Estelle, 568 F.Supp. 1254 (S.D. Tex. 1983).
     Appeals court holds that mail sent to inmate in prison was not protected by reasonable expectation of privacy: allows introduction of letter describing armed robbery. State v. Kennedy, 294 S.E.2d 770 (N.C. App. 1982).
     Prison regulations on outgoing mail were invalid. Davidson v. Scully, 694 F.2d 50 (2nd Cir. 1982).
     Eighth Circuit finds mail restriction between inmate and former correctional officer unconstitutional. Stevens v. Ralston, 674 F.2d 759 (9th Cir. 1982).
     California federal court finds state prison rule prohibiting prisoner correspondence with nonrelative minors to be unconstitutional. Hearn v. Morris, 526 F.Supp. 267 (E.D. Ca. 1981).
     Federal district court in Pennsylvania grants summary judgment for prison officials due to lack of evidence showing that they illegally opened prisoner's mail. West v. Robinson, 519 F.Supp. 451 (E.D. Pa. 1981).
     Appeals court allows prison officials to withhold magazines which showed detailed gun mechanisms; remands case on issue to whether legal mail must be opened in the presence of the prisoner. Sherman v. MacDougall, 656 F.2d 528 (9th Cir. 1981).
     California court rules that husband and wife prisoners had no reasonable expectation of privacy as to interspousal communications. People v. Rodriguez, 168 Cal.Rptr. 92 (App. 1980).
     Federal appeals court affirms Angola. Louisiana warden and State Secretary of Corrections refusal to permit prison newsletter to be distributed to inmates. Vodicka v. Phelps, 624 F.2d 569 (5th Cir. 1980).
     Inmate had no privacy right in letter given to guard for delivery to second inmate. Thomas v. State, 404 A.2d 257 (Md. App. 1979).
     Restrictions on mail privileges were unconstitutional; restrictions on law students and paralegals as inmate legal counsel also were improper. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 94 S.Ct. 1800 (1974).

Nonlegal: Outgoing

     A federal district court judge ruled that a county jail that adopted a rule that restricted incoming and outgoing personal inmate mail to only postcards was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The court ruled that it violated the rights of the inmates themselves, individuals who write to them, and the publishers of the Prison Legal News publication. The interest in keeping contraband out of the facility and reducing costs in screening mail did not outweigh the free speech rights involved. Prison Legal News v. Columbia County, #3:12-cv-00071, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 58669 (D. Ore.).
     Prisoners convicted of sex crimes were kept incarcerated long after their sentences ended, remaining in state custody as sexually violent civil detainees. They claimed that their civil rights were violated because they were denied the ability to have face to face social opportunities with civil detainees in other pods of their facility and because they were not allowed to contact other civilly committed detainees using the facility's own internal mail system, instead being required to use the U.S. mail for that purpose. The limits on direct socialization were justified as a security measure. Due process did not require input from health professionals before restrictions were put on the in-person association opportunities of the detainees. There was no violation of First Amendment rights in requiring the plaintiffs to use the U.S. mail rather than the facility's internal mail system to communicate with other civil detainees. Lane v. Williams, #11-3373, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 17922 (7th Cir.).
     A prisoner convicted of terrorism-related crimes involving the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya was subjected to special administrative measures forbidding him from receiving two Arabic language newspapers he had previously received and prohibiting him from corresponding with his nieces and nephews. A federal appeals court rejected a claim that these measures violated his First Amendment rights. The government's interestin restricting his rights was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, and the prisoner had the burden of showing that there was no legitimate, rational basis for the increased communication restrictions. Given the belief that the prisoner had a "proclivity for violence" based on his conviction for acts of terrorism, the warden expressed the concern that “communications or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury to persons.” This was a rational basis for the restrictions. The restriction on the Arabic newspaper was similarly upheld as justified by the need to prevent him from receiving information and instructions in a manner difficult to detect. Al-Owhali v. Holder, #11-1274, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 16401 (10th Cir.).
    A Florida administrative regulation that prohibited prisoners from soliciting for pen pals did not violate the First Amendment and was reasonable. It was adopted for the legitimate purpose of preventing prisoners from making use of pen pal solicitation services to commit fraud. The rule did not prohibit prisoners from corresponding with a pen pal, but merely from advertising to solicit obtaining one. Florida prison officials permit one pen pal service to operate in its facilities because it does one-to-one matching between prisoners and non-prisoner pen pals, rather than circulating lists of prisoners and non-prisoners available as pen pals. This was believed to decrease the likelihood of scams "because an inmate does not receive a list with numerous individuals’ names, addresses, and contact information." Perry v. Department of Corrections, #11-10694, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 25561 (11th Cir.).
     A prison's prohibition on inmates advertising for pen pals or receiving information from publications and websites that publish such ads did not violate their rights under the First Amendment. The regulation was reasonably related to a legitimate objective of preventing inmates from committing fraud through the mail. Woods v. Commissioner of the Indiana Dept. of Corrections, #10-3339, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 14732 (7th Cir.).
     A pretrial detainee under an Illinois Sexually Violent Person Act claimed that his constitutional privacy rights and rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Pub. L. #104-191, 110 Stat. 1936 (1996), were violated by the "stigmatizing effects" of the stamp that the facility affixes to his outgoing mail, which reads "sexually violent person treatment center." Rejecting this claim, a federal appeals court ruled that the prisoner's claim was essentially for defamation, and that the prisoner's "interest in his reputation, by itself, is not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment." As to any claim under HIPAA, the trial court correctly found that the statute does not provide for a private right of action. Carpenter v. Phillips, #10-3176, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 9417 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
     A Wyoming prisoner, as chairman of the Wyoming Prisoners' Association and an official of the Wyoming chapter of the Citizens United for Rehabilitation, published a combined newsletter for these organizations, reporting on legal issues of interest to prisoners. He shipped 693 copies of the newsletter together in one box addressed to the Wyoming State Penitentiary. Inside the box, each newsletter was addressed to an individual prisoner. The warden refused to deliver the newsletters to prisoners, while he would deliver newsletters which were individually addressed and sent. A federal appeals court upheld as constitutional the rule in question, which prohibited all bulk mailings, regardless of content. The policy was reasonably related to prison security, and unsolicited bulk mailings could increase tensions and result in disruptive behavior. The policy did not violate the plaintiff's First Amendment rights. Parkhurst v. Lampert, #10-8078, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 6567 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     A Wisconsin prisoner claimed that a correctional officer and a captain violated his First Amendment and due process rights by intercepting and confiscating his outgoing letter. Upholding summary judgment for the defendants, the appeals court ruled that these actions were proper in that the letter appeared to be an attempt to put the prisoner's correspondent in contact with the leader of a gang known as the Traveling Vice Lords. The mail was being monitored because the prisoner was believed to have a significant role in that gang. Release of the letter would have undermined the prisoner's rehabilitation and signaled that the prison tolerated gang activity, as well as increasing tensions in the prison between members of that gang and unaffiliated prisoners, the defendants contended. The prisoner was subsequently sanctioned after a hearing for writing the letter, and the letter then classified as contraband and destroyed. These actions were reasonable restrictions on the prisoner's First Amendment rights. Williams v. Mierzejewski, #10-2022, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 24372 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
     A Nebraska prisoner attempted to send drawings of a marijuana leaf and a bare-breasted woman to his mother and to a communist group, the "Maoist Internationalist Movement." When prison officials prevented him from doing so, he sued, claiming a violation of his First Amendment rights. The trial court directed a verdict in the prisoner's favor, awarded him nominal damages of $1, and ordered two defendants to pay approximately $25,000 in attorneys' fees. The appeals court rejected the defendants' defenses of failure to exhaust available administrative remedies and mootness as not properly preserved for appeal.  It also upheld a determination that the prisoner, since he was awarded nominal damages, was a prevailing plaintiff, entitled to an award of attorneys' fees. But the appeals court also held that 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e(d)(2) of the Prison Litigation Reform Act limited the award of attorneys fees to 150% of the damages awarded, or $1.50, since no injunctive or declaratory relief was awarded. Keup v. Hopkins, #09-1079, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 4538 (8th Cir.).
     A prisoner claimed that he suffered an Eighth Amendment violation because prison employees verbally harassed him, tried to place him in a chow hall seating area where he could have been attacked by other prisoners, and "stared" at him for approximately five minutes when he was tied down to his bed wearing only boxer shorts, with his legs spread apart. Finding these claims frivolous, the court noted that he did not claim physical injury, did not show any indication of a use of excessive force, and did not show that a defendant made any comments to him of a sexual nature. The court also rejected the prisoner's First Amendment claims regarding the handling of his mail, finding that allegedly crossing out the Zip code on a letter he mailed did not amount to a constitutional violation, and that he suffered no harm from the alleged opening of his legal mail. Crownhart v. Sullivan, #08-1483, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 21814 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     A prisoner claimed that a letter he wrote to his girlfriend had been "stolen" from his cell and improperly used in a disciplinary hearing against him. The court pointed out that the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures did not apply in the context of a prison cell. The prisoner failed to show any interference with his right of reasonable correspondence with the outside world. He failed to show any due process violation, as the sanctions imposed were not an atypical or significant hardship. Perry v. Lackawanna County, #09-2403, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 20781 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
     A prisoner claiming that prison officials refused to allow him to send out legal mail established nothing other than that they determined that certain mail he wished to send did not qualify as legal mail under existing regulations, and rejected other items he wished to send because he failed to comply with those regulations. He failed to show that he suffered any prejudice from the rejection of the mail, so that his claim for denial of access to the courts was not viable. Finally, prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity on the prisoner's claim that they erroneously determined that his outgoing mail did not qualify for free postage, in the absence of any "invidious intent." Wesolowski v. Washburn, #03-CV-6424, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 42297 (W.D.N.Y.).
     A prisoner's right to religious freedom was not violated by a Texas correctional policy prohibiting prisoners from "decorating" their outgoing mail envelopes. In this case, the prisoner was prevented from putting religious messages on the outside of his envelopes. The court held that communicating such messages to people handling his mail, as opposed to those to whom the mail was addressed, was a "benefit" not generally available, and that restricting such communication did not substantially burden the prisoner's exercise of his religion. There was no restriction on the prisoner's ability to state religious messages inside the envelope. Smithback v. Crain, #07-10274, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 4493 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
     A prisoner had no protected First Amendment right to make disrespectful comments about prison officials in his outgoing mail to them, calling them "evil," "unmerciful," and "inhumane." The court rejected the prisoner's claim that prison officials had unlawfully retaliated against him for his statements, in violation of his First Amendment rights. Huff v. Mahon, #08-6568, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 3605 (Unpub. 4th Cir.).
     Prisoner's claims concerning the opening and reading of his mail by prison authorities was frivolous, as these actions did not violate his constitutional rights. He also could not pursue a constitutional claim regarding the alleged deprivation of his SSI benefits check, because there were adequate post-deprivation remedies available under Texas state law for deprivations of property. Malone v. Pedigo, #07-11025, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13006 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
     A prisoner failed to present evidence to dispute prison officials' argument that requiring him to place his name of conviction on outgoing mail, rather than his current legal name, which he had changed for religious reasons, was a policy that furthered prison order. Barring him from instead using his legal name did not violate his First Amendment right to practice his religion. Ghashiyah v. Litscher, #07-3670, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 10729 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
     Prisoner failed to show that he suffered any injury because of the prison's failure to deliver mail on Saturday, or from his inability to go to the law library on the day he was notified of a filing requirement in a pending legal case. The court also noted that it was established by prior caselaw that the prisoner's nonprivileged outgoing mail could be opened and inspected. Caldwell v. Beard, #08-2432, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 27027 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
     Prisoner stated a possible claim for violation of his First Amendment rights based on the alleged failure of jail officials to process his outgoing mail. Further proceedings were also needed on his claim that they prevented him from taking his legal mail to a state hospital while confined there, as an inquiry was needed as to whether that action was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. Brown v. Saline County Jail, #08-3145, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 26066 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     Trial court should not have dismissed a prisoner's lawsuit claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated when prison officials allegedly censored his outgoing mail and cited him for violating prison disciplinary rules by using offensive and vulgar racist language describing prison officials. The trial judge could not decide, on the basis of merely the pleadings, whether the actions taken furthered substantial governmental interests or went no further than needed to protect those interests. Barrett v. Belleque, #06-35667, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 20087 (9th Cir.).
     Prisoner's claim's concerning the alleged "censorship" of his correspondence with the media was properly dismissed when he failed to specify who engaged in the alleged censorship, and what the "censorship' consisted of. The court also properly rejected the prisoner's claim concerning alleged denial of access to the law library when he failed to show that this interfered with his ability to pursue a particular legal claim. While he mentioned an adoption case, he did not state that his parental rights were at stake in the case. Shupe v. Morganflash, #07-8087, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18588 (10th Cir.).
     Trial court improperly failed to recognize that a prisoner could have a First Amendment right to make "unflattering" statements to prison staff members in outgoing mail to his parents. The court should have analyzed whether the letters in question, which were allegedly censored and/or seized, fell within any identifiable categories of mail presented a threat to security and order. The court ordered further proceedings on the prisoner's claims concerning his personal correspondence, as well as on claims that he faced retaliation for statements made in the letters. Berenguel v. Bell, #07-10066, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13597 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
     Prison officials were not entitled to dismissal of prisoner's claims that they violated his First Amendment rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech in refusing to mail 13 letters he tried to send to Baptist churches and ministers to seek prayer partners and religious pen pals. These actions were taken to enforce a rule barring correspondence soliciting or advertising for "money, goods or services," including seeking pen pals. Prison officials, in the trial court, failed to offer any explanation of the reason for the rule or what governmental interest it was advancing. While they might yet justify the rule and their actions, they had failed, to date, to do so, as a result of which the dismissal of the case was premature. Adamson v. McDonough, #06-12579, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 28969 (11th Cir.).
     A Muslim inmate who was an Egyptian citizen failed to show that the vegetarian meal plan offered him violated any of his personal religious beliefs, and a nutritional analysis of the food offered indicated that it satisfied recommended dietary allowances. Additionally, the plan offered was created after consultation with a Muslim clergyman. The court also found that the prisoner did not have an unqualified or absolute right to send confidential mail from the prison to the Egyptian embassy or consulate, so that the alleged refusal to allow him to do so could not be the basis of a civil right claim. Sefeldeen v. Alameida, #05-15809, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 13508 (9th Cir.).
     Texas prisoner failed to produce sufficient evidence to pursue a claim that a correctional officer and mailroom supervisor improperly interfered with his outgoing mail complaining about alleged defects in the grievance procedures at the prison. Merely showing that his mail had been opened did not, by itself, state a constitutional claim. Henderson v. Johnson, #04-50540, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 24900 (5th Cir.). [N/R]
     Disciplinary determination that prisoner violated a disciplinary rule prohibiting sending outgoing mail containing material for persons other than the addressee on the envelope overturned when there was no evidence in the record that the prison superintendent had authorized the opening and reading of his mail. Under a New York administrative regulation, such a mail watch is permitted when the superintendent of a facility reasonably believes that the mail may threaten institutional safety or security or the safety of any person. Keesh v. Smith, #99196, 2006 N.Y. App. Div. Lexis 11510 (3rd Dept.). [N/R]
     Prison officials, in preventing inmate from mailing out a copy of an internal investigation report concerning his escape attempt, violated his First Amendment rights, when the report had been properly obtained through discovery in a criminal case, and was available to the public in the court files of both the criminal prosecution and the prisoner's civil rights lawsuit. Arnett v. Markel, #5-04-0082, 845 N.E.2d 752 (Ill. App. 2006). [2006 JB Jul]
    Prison rules limiting inmates to one free stamp a month for non-legal mail, and prohibiting them from receiving stamps in the mail from friends and family did not violate prisoner's rights and was reasonably related to legitimate security concerns. Johnson v. Goord, #03-249, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 9887 (2d Cir.). [2006 JB Jun]
     While a prisoner stated a claim under the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000cc, for money damages and injunctive relief based on refusal to allow him to use his Islamic religious name to send or receive mail, trial court declined to issue a preliminary injunction requiring that he be allowed to use that religious name on his mail because the merits of his claims were "tenuous," and he could obtain damages if he prevailed. Further, any harm he suffered was not "irreparable," since he could still receive mail under his incarceration name, and could use his religious name inside the mail. Shidler v. Moore, #3:05-CV-804, 409 F. Supp. 2d 1060 (N.D. Ind. 2006). [N/R]
     Prisoner's allegation that a prison official violated his constitutional right to send and receive email was "conclusory" and insufficient to support a federal civil rights claim. Al-Hizbullahi v. Nimrod, #03-17340, 122 Fed. Appx. 349 (9th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Censorship of a prisoner's outgoing mail under a Wisconsin regulation on the basis that it was believed to contain "encoded" references to gang activities did not violate his free speech rights. Koutnik v. Brown, #04-C-911, 396 F. Supp. 2d 978 (W.D. Wis. 2005). [N/R]
     Federal government was entitled to sovereign immunity in prisoner's lawsuit claiming that his books and manuscript, mailed to his home by prison officials, were lost. While he claimed that this was due to negligence by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and post office, an exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1346(b), 2680(b) for "loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matters" barred liability. Georgacarakos v. U.S., #04-1363, 420 F.3d 1185 (10th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Prison did not violate inmate's rights by limiting his ability to correspond with family members in Spanish. Prisoner was fluent in English, and was allowed to correspond in Spanish with a family member who only knew that language. Rule limiting correspondence in foreign languages, subsequently abandoned, had been reasonably related to legitimate security concerns. Ortiz v. Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, #03-1868, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 10200 (8th Cir.).[2004 JB Jul]
     Prisoner's lawsuit alleging that prison officials tampered with his outgoing mail was insufficient to state a claim and frivolous, when it was clearly shown that his mail was actually sent out and that he even received responses, in many instances, from courts to which he sent correspondence. Smith v. Bruce, #04-3043, 103 Fed. Appx. 342 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Prison officials actions in preventing an inmate from corresponding with a former prisoner with whom he had formed a romantic attachment did not violate his rights. Nasir v. Morgan, #01-2519 , 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 24013, 350 F.3d 366 (3rd Cir.) [2004 JB Jan]
     New York prisoner's claim that correctional employees deliberated tampered with his mail, including both incoming and outgoing legal, personal, and political mail, without cause or justification, adequately asserted a claim for violation of his First Amendment rights. Nash v. McGinnis, 315 F. Supp. 2d 318 (W.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
     Federal court strikes down as unconstitutional Arizona statute prohibiting prisoners from communicating with Internet websites through the mails or otherwise or receiving mail from them. Court finds that prohibition is not reasonably related to a legitimate penological purpose and that other statutes and policies already prohibit communication involving fraud, harassment of victims, communication with minors, and other purported purposes of the ban on communication with Internet service providers. Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty v. Ryan, 269 F. Supp. 2d 1199 (D. Ariz. 2003). [2003 JB Nov]
     There was substantial evidence to support a finding of guilt of a prison disciplinary offense of harassment based on the action of the prisoner, a convicted rapist, in sending an unsolicited 4-1/2 page letter to a female employee in a college registrar's office. Prisoner only knew of the employee because she had responded to his earlier letter in which he requested a copy of his transcript, and the letter he then sent contained repeated use of sexual innuendo, requests for personal information and intimate details, and a "suggestion of in-person contact in the near future." Van Bramer v. Selsky, 758 N.Y.S.2d 170 (A.D. 3d 2003). [N/R]
     Evidence was sufficient to find prisoner guilty of violating correctional correspondence procedures when there was testimony that he had previously been notified that his cousin, to whom he mailed a letter, had been added to his "negative correspondence list." Even if prisoner was correct that the addition of the name to the list was unauthorized, he was not entitled to ignore the listing and mail the letter. Gibson v. Goord, 741 N.Y.S.2d 577 (A.D. 2002). [N/R]
     A jail employee's alleged accidental opening of pretrial detainee's legal mail outside of his presence was insufficient to constitute a violation of his First Amendment rights. Appeals court also finds no violation of First Amendment rights in actions preventing detainee from sealing his outgoing personal mail because of jail policy of inspecting such mail for security risks. Beese v. Liebe, #02-1401, 51 Fed. Appx. 979 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Prisoner failed to present any evidence that prison employees, rather than the postal system, were responsible for the failure to deliver his outgoing or incoming mail. Further, one specific incident where he allegedly did not receive the full contents of a letter from his wife was "such a random and isolated incident" that it was "insufficient to establish" a constitutional violation. Okoro v. Scibana, #02-1439, 63 Fed. Appx. 182 (6th Cir. 2003).[N/R]
     275:166 Pre-trial detainee retained some privacy interest in the contents of his incoming and outgoing non- legal correspondence, but trial court declines to apply exclusionary rule to suppress evidence discovered during reading and copying of his correspondence pursuant to warrant; remedy for allegedly overbroad copying of personal correspondence was the sealing of material which was not incriminating. U.S. v. Heatley, 41 F.Supp.2d 284 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).
     278:23 Prison warden did not violate inmate's rights by routinely opening and inspecting his outgoing mail for contraband; plaintiff prisoner's attempt to mail a homemade knife out in one such letter "underscored" the need to conduct such inspections for legitimate security reasons. Altizer v. Deeds, #97-7111, 191 F.3d 540 (4th Cir. 1999).
     267:37 Federal appeals court rules that prisoner on death row, convicted of murdering police officer, was entitled to injunction against enforcement of rule prohibiting him from carrying on "business or profession" of writing articles and books; prison allowed another inmate to publish and promote a novel, and did not show that plaintiff prisoner's writings burdened prison resources or threatened security; special scrutiny to prisoner's legal correspondence was improper. Abu-Jamal v. Price, # 96-3756, 154 F.3d 128 (3rd Cir. 1998).
     258:86 N.Y. correctional policy limiting the number of stamps that prisoners can buy each month to send non-legal mail was reasonably related to legitimate penological goals. Davidson v. Mann, 129 F.3d 700 (2nd Cir. 1997).
     259:100 Prison officials had good cause to open and inspect prisoner's outgoing correspondence to his wife when it had insufficient postage and therefore was reclassified as incoming correspondence. Minigan v. Irvin, 977 F.Supp. 607 (W.D.N.Y. 1997).
     236:123 Prisoner's right to use his legally adopted religious name on outgoing mail together with his committed name was clearly established in 1990, federal appeals court rules, and prison officials were not entitled to qualified immunity for allegedly punishing him for doing so; notary, however, was entitled to qualified immunity for refusing to notarize document when signature presented did not match prison identification shown. Malik v. Brown, 71 F.3d 724 (9th Cir. 1995).
     236:115 Co. jail's complete lack of law library or legally trained personnel to assist prisoners did not violate constitutional rights of prisoner confined there for brief 18 day period, in absence of any showing of prejudice to prisoner's legal claims; federal appeals court also upholds correctional officials' inspection of prisoner's outgoing non-legal mail. Beville v. Ednie, 74 F.3d 210 (10th Cir. 1996).
     [N/R] Prisoner did not show that prison mail supervisor failed to process his mail for delivery; supervisor entitled to qualified immunity. Treff v. Galetka, 74 F.3d 191 (10th Cir. 1996).
     233:70 Federal prison officials refusal of request by two inmates, who claimed common law marriage, to correspond with each other did not violate their First Amendment right when state in which inmates had lived does not recognize "common law" marriages. Howard v. Keohane, 898 F.Supp. 459 (E.D.Ky. 1995). » Editor's Note: Also see Farrell v. Peters, 951 F.2d 862 (7th Cir. 1992) (First Amendment was not violated when an Illinois state prisoner was denied permission, pursuant to state Department of Corrections policy, to correspond with his alleged common-law wife, an Illinois state prisoner in another Illinois prison).
     229:8 "Cursory visual inspection" of contents of envelope Nevada inmate wanted to send to state Attorney General did not violate inmate's rights; regulation providing for inspection served legitimate security interest. Giano v. Senkowski, 54 F.3d 1050 (2d Cir. 1995).
    234:87 Change of policy eliminating provision of free postage for inmates' non-legal correspondence did not violate inmate's First Amendment rights. Dawes v. D.S.P. Carpenter, 899 F.Supp. 892 (N.D.N.Y. 1995).
     225:140 Prison policy requiring inmate with new religious name to also use his "committed" name on all correspondence incoming and outgoing did not violate prisoner's rights. Fawaad v. Herring, 874 F.Supp. 350 (N.D. Ala. 1995).
     Photocopying of prisoner's outgoing non-legal correspondence to give to state law enforcement agency investigator who feared they were planning to intimidate or murder witnesses in an upcoming trial did not violate prisoner's First Amendment free speech rights. Gassler v. Wood, 14 F.3d 406 (8th Cir. 1994).
     Wisconsin correctional officer did not violate prisoner's rights by intercepting letter he wrote to another inmate concerning prison disturbances; notice to prisoner that letter was not delivered because it concerned matters which would violate state or federal law was adequate and notice need not specify which laws the letter's content might involve. Yoder v. Palmeri, 502 N.W.2d 903 (Wis. App. 1993).
     Prisoner who was disciplined for writing letter to his brother stating that mail room clerk was a "dyke" who was "hoping to read a letter" talking "dirty" so "she could go in the bathroom and masturbate" awarded $102.50 in damages and $25,000 in attorneys' fees for violation of his First Amendment rights. Loggins v. Delo, 999 F.2d 364 (8th Cir. 1993).
     Disciplining a prisoner for making derogatory statements about prison staff members in a letter sent to his brother violated the prisoner's First Amendment rights; prisoner awarded $80 in damages for two days spent in disciplinary solitary confinement. Bressman v. Farrier, 825 F.Supp. 231 (N.D. Iowa 1993).
     Disciplining a prisoner for making derogatory statements about prison staff members in a letter sent to his brother violated the prisoner's First Amendment rights; prisoner awarded $80 in damages for two days spend in disciplinary solitary confinement. Bressman v. Farrier, 825 F.Supp. 231 (N.D. Iowa 1993).
     Prison regulation barring inmate from mailing sealed letters to private university containing college transcripts did not violate his constitutional rights or rights under federal Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act. Stow v. Grimaldi, 993 F.2d 1002 (1st Cir. 1993).
     Prison could require that inmates' letters to reporters and clergymen be sent to the mailroom unsealed for purposes of inspection for contraband and proper addressing. Smith v. Delo, 995 F.2d 827 (8th Cir. 1993).
     Blanket rule prohibiting all correspondence with members of the press was unconstitutional, but claim for damages by inmate was barred by qualified immunity of prison officials individually, and Eleventh Amendment immunity of prison officials in their official capacity. Mujahid v. Sumner, 807 F.Supp. 1505 (D. Hawaii 1992).
     Prison's policy honoring the request of the trustee of a prisoner's estate that the prisoner no longer be allowed to send mail to him did not violate the prisoner's First Amendment rights or right of access to the courts. Berdella v. Delo, 972 F.2d 204 (8th Cir. 1992).
     Prisoner awarded $250 for emotional distress suffered because a correctional officer intercepted his romantic letters to another inmate's ex- wife, copied those letters, and showed them to the other inmate. Jolivet v. Deland, 966 F.2d 573 (10th cir. 1992).
     Use of prison rule to prevent inmate from writing to his "common law wife," an inmate at another prison, did not violate the First Amendment when the state in which they cohabited did not recognize common law marriage. Farrell v. Peters, 951 F.2d 862 (7th Cir. 1992).
     Terminating a male prisoner's correspondence with a female prisoner at another facility after he wrote a threatening letter to the superintendent of her prison was rationally related to legitimate security interests. Purnell v. Lord, 952 F.2d 679 (2nd Cir. 1992).
     Prison's refusal to allow inmate to receive an educational brochure about paralegal correspondence school mailed to him by another inmate violated his First Amendment rights. Eckford-El v. Toombs, 760 F.Supp. 1267 (W.D. Mich. 1991).
     Enclosing a summary of inmate's record of sex crime offenses in his outgoing correspondence did not violate his First Amendment rights following prison officials' discovery that he had been writing to female elementary and junior high students. Turner v. Ralls, 770 F.Supp. 605 (D. Kan. 1991).
     Regulation allowing opening and inspection of mail to prevent enclosure of correspondence intended for person other than addressee was constitutional, but prison official had no reason to believe that inmate was engaging in such practice. Ode v. Kelly, 552 N.Y.S.2d 475 (A.D. 1990).
     Regulations preventing inmates from sending unopened and uncensored mail to public officials, government agencies and media representatives violated First Amendment rights. In the Matter of Rules Adoption Regarding Inmate Mail to Attorneys, Public Officials, and News Media Representatives, 120 N.J. 137, 576 A 2d 274 (1990).
     Random spot checking of outgoing prison mail did not violate first Amendment rights; prisoner's statement, in letter to his mother, that he would assault guards if necessary to obtain a transfer violated prison rule. Gross v. State, 460 N.W.2d 882 (Iowa App. 1990).
     Prison officials did not violate prisoner's first amendment rights by censoring an article charging inmates are used as "guinea pigs" for experimental drugs. Malik v. Coughlin, 552 N.Y.S.2d 182 (A.D. 1990).
     Inmate was not entitled to damages for prison official's warning about writing further letters to his congressmen. Wilder v. Tanouye, 779 P.2d 390 (Hawaii, 1989).
     Prison did not violate inmate's first amendment rights by prohibiting him from publishing leaflets to be mailed to the general public. Hendrix v. Evans, 715 F.Supp. 897 (N.D. Ind. 1989).
     Prison was justified in returning mail to prisoner unsent when he sealed it and labeled it "legal mail", but it was not addressed to attorneys or other legal entities. Willis v. Lane, 738 F.Supp. 1198 (C.C. Ill. 1989).
     Rubber stamping outgoing mail with address did not violate inmate's rights even if it covered part of religious message on envelope. Rogers v. Isom, 709 F.Supp. 115 (E.D. Va. 1989).
     Regulations permitting inspection of all outgoing business mail and prohibiting "kiting" served valid penological purposes. Lucas v. Scully, 526 N.Y.S.2d 927 (N.Y. 1988).
     Millionaire prisoner was entitled to free postage because policy limiting free stamps to poor inmates was not properly adopted. Jordan v. Department of Corrections, 418 N.W.2d 914 (Mich. App. 1987).
     Prison's refusal to send inmates sealed business mail did not violate first amendment; officials immune from liability under eleventh amendment. Rodriguez v. James, 823 F.2d 8 (2d Cir. 1987).
     Court held that prison regulations prohibiting inmate to inmate correspondence rule was reasonably related to legitimate security concerns but that regulations prohibiting inmate marriages unless warden determines that there were compelling reasons for the marriage, was not reasonably related to any legitimate penological objective. Turner v. Safley, 107 S.Ct. 2254 (1987). The court set forth a four point test to determine "reasonableness". See 107 S.Ct. at 2262.
     Fourth circuit departs from eighth circuit holding and rules inmate-to-inmate correspondence requires warden's approval. Vester v. Rogers, 795 F.2d 1179 (4th Cir. 1986).
     Written letters, even those that aren't sent, create grounds to discipline for sexual misconduct. Guy v. State, 396 N.W.2d 197 (Iowa App. 1986).
     Policy of reading intrajail mail upheld. People v. McCaslin, 223 Cal.Rptr. 587 (App. 1986).
     Controversial mail directive ordered resolved. Jones v. Smith, 784 F.2d 149 (2nd Cir. 1986).
     Procedure for receiving property upheld; correspondence regulation unconstitutional. Champagne v. Commissioner of Correction, 480 N.E.2d 609 (Mass. 1985).
     No hearing required before returning unauthorized interprison mail. Esposito v. Leddy, 618 F.Supp. 1362 (D.C. Ill. 1985).
     Officials find stolen money and drug-smuggling instructions inside inmate's letter. State v. Dunn, 478 So.2d 659 (La. App. 1985).
     Court sets forth manner in which mail restrictions may be reinforced to disciplined inmates. Gregory v. Auger, 768 F.2d 287 (8th Cir. 1985).
     9th Circuit allows prison officials to read and search inmate's mail. Nakao v. Campbell, San Francisco Recorder, California 7/19/85.
     No right to inspect mail to media. Burton v. Foltz, 599 F.Supp. 114 (E.D. Mich. 1984).
     Prior approval necessary for inmates to correspond with each other by mail. Dooley v. Quick, 598 F.Supp. 607 (D. R.I. 1984).
     Prison stamp on outgoing mail upheld. Nachtigall v. Board of Charities and Corrections, 590 F.Supp. 1223 (S. S.D. 1984).
     Inmate in punitive segregation accuses warden of changing mail policy to avoid liability. Jones v. Sargent, 737 F.2d 766 (8th Cir. 1984).
     Current guidelines regarding routine reading of inmates' general correspondence mail are discussed. Heimerle v. Atty. Gen. U.S.A., 558 F.Supp. 1292 (S.D. N.Y. 1983).
     Eighth Circuit finds mail restriction between inmate and former correctional officer unconstitutional. Stevens v. Ralston, 674 F.2d 759 (9th Cir. 1982).
     California federal court finds state prison rule prohibiting prisoner correspondence with nonrelative minors to be unconstitutional. Hearn v. Morris, 526 F.Supp. 267 (E.D. Ca. 1981).
     Federal district court in Pennsylvania grants summary judgment for prison officials due to lack of evidence showing that they illegally opened prisoner's mail. West v. Robinson, 519 F.Supp. 451 (E.D. Pa. 1981).
     Ninth Circuit orders lower court to reconsider postsentencing order prohibiting prisoner from communicating with 10 individuals. Wheeler v. United States, 640 F.2d 1116 (9th Cir. 1981).
     California court rules that husband and wife prisoners had no reasonable expectation of privacy as to interspousal communications. People v. Rodriguez, 168 Cal.Rptr. 92 (App. 1980).
     Prison official who refused to mail letter from prisoner to his girlfriend held to have violated inmate's constitutional rights. McNamara v. Moody, 606 F.2d 621 (5th Cir. 1979).
     Letter from pretrial detainee to second inmate admissible in detainee's criminal trial. People v. Garvey, 160 Cal.Rptr. 73 (App. 1979).
     Inmate had no privacy right in letter given to guard for delivery to second inmate. Thomas v. State, 404 A.2d 257 (Md. App. 1979).
     Eighth Circuit denies damages to inmate writ writer who was reprimanded as a result of attempts to communicate with inmate housed in another institution. Watts v. Brewer, 588 F.2d 646 (8th Cir. 1978).
     Restrictions on mail privileges were unconstitutional; restrictions on law students and paralegals as inmate legal counsel also were improper. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 94 S.Ct. 1800 (1974).

Nonlegal: Foreign Language Mail

     An inmate claimed that correctional officials violated his rights by censoring his Chinese-language mail and denying him the ability to make phone calls to China. A federal appeals court upheld the rejection of his First Amendment claim as the restrictions were reasonably related to legitimate concerns about security. The regulations were neutral in furthering a substantial governmental interest unrelated to the suppression of expression. His equal protection claim was rejected as there was no evidence that the different treatment of Chinese speaking inmates from Spanish speaking inmates was motivated by race or national origin or was a pretext for discrimination. The government was not required to bear the financial burden of paying for Chinese translations. Yang v. MO Dep't of Corr., #15-2231, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 14924 (8th Cir.).
     A prisoner convicted of terrorism-related crimes involving the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya was subjected to special administrative measures forbidding him from receiving two Arabic language newspapers he had previously received and prohibiting him from corresponding with his nieces and nephews. A federal appeals court rejected a claim that these measures violated his First Amendment rights. The government's interestin restricting his rights was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, and the prisoner had the burden of showing that there was no legitimate, rational basis for the increased communication restrictions. Given the belief that the prisoner had a "proclivity for violence" based on his conviction for acts of terrorism, the warden expressed the concern that “communications or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury to persons.” This was a rational basis for the restrictions. The restriction on the Arabic newspaper was similarly upheld as justified by the need to prevent him from receiving information and instructions in a manner difficult to detect. Al-Owhali v. Holder, #11-1274, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 16401 (10th Cir.).
     Prison did not violate inmate's rights by limiting his ability to correspond with family members in Spanish. Prisoner was fluent in English, and was allowed to correspond in Spanish with a family member who only knew that language. Rule limiting correspondence in foreign languages, subsequently abandoned, had been reasonably related to legitimate security concerns. Ortiz v. Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, #03-1868, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 10200 (8th Cir.).[2004 JB Jul]
     230:20 Prohibiting prisoner from corresponding with relatives in Spanish and Apache languages did not violate his constitutional rights; English-only rule was based on legitimate security concerns and hiring interpreters to translate mail would have been unduly burdensome; prison officials were, however, liable for retaliatory transfer of prisoner for filing grievances and lawsuits concerning the policy. Sisneros v. Nix, 884 F.Supp. 1313 (S.D. Iowa 1995). [Cross-References: First Amendment; Prisoner Transfer].
     217:6 Federal appeals court orders further proceedings on prisoner's claims for injunctive and declaratory relief against alleged prison policy of excluding all Japanese language mail without any effort to screen or translate it; prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity from damage liability, however, since the right to receive foreign language mail was not "clearly established." Kikumura v. Turner, 28 F.3d 592 (7th Cir. 1994).
     Federal appeals court upholds $4,000 jury award to prisoner, whose native language was Lao, in suit challenging prison rule requiring that all his correspondence, except to parents and grandparents, be in English. Thongvanh v. Thalacker, 17 F.3d 256 (8th Cir. 1994).

Nonlegal: Sexually Explicit
     A man who completed his sentence for multiple sexual crimes against children was then civilly committed. The staff at the psychiatric facility to which he was sent seized CDs and DVDs numbering in the hundreds from him, and he claimed that they took too long before returning them after screening them for possible sexually explicit material, in violation of his First and Fourth Amendment rights. Staff members were entitled to qualified immunity from liability, since it was objectively reasonable to believe that their actions were legal. The interest of the state in security, order and treatment of the plaintiff outweighed any property interest the plaintiff had in quickly getting back his things or receiving a detailed explanation at the time of the seizure. The court also rejected the plaintiff's claim that some of his incoming non-legal mail was withheld. He had not shown that it was withheld without justification, and there was a strong interest in preventing him from obtaining inappropriate images which outweighed his weak interest in immediately receiving commercial mail seized for screening. Ahlers v. Rabinowitz, #10-1193, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 7035 (2nd Cir.).
     A prisoner classified as a sex offender was denied a number of issues of subscription music publications such as Rolling Stone, Maxim, Blender, and Spin, based on the presence of photos of females thought to be sexually oriented, in violation of restrictions on the types of materials he could receive. He failed to show how such restrictions violated his First Amendment rights, and the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. The prisoner was allowed numerous issues of such publications, and only those containing materials believed to be adverse to his rehabilitation as a sex offender were withheld. Frazier v. Ortiz, #10-1133, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 6381 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     A Wisconsin inmate claimed that his First Amendment rights were violated by a prison policy denying prisoners access to commercially produced photos, and limiting to 50 the number of photos inmates may possess, as well as by prison officials' actions in not delivering to him a number of photos that he claimed were not within the definition of prohibited pornography, although they were "risque." A Wisconsin appeals court found that defendant officials were entitled to qualified immunity, as the prisoner had no clearly established constitutional right to receive commercially sold photos, or to possess in excess of 50 photos. The prison had a legitimate interest in conserving staff resources that would be needed to screen such photos, and there were alternate ways of prisoners seeing such things as celebrity photos, such as in magazine subscriptions. Examining the particular photos withheld, the court also concluded that the majority were properly withheld under rules prohibiting material that is pornographic or features nudity. Four photos, however, were improperly withheld under the pornography ban, prior to the ban on commercial photos being adopted, as they were found to be mere "swimsuit" pictures in which the swimsuits fully covered each model's pubic area, and areola. But because the swimsuits were "skimpy," and composed of thin fabric, and the models were provocatively posed, they came "so close" to pornography and nudity that a prison official might reasonably come "to a different conclusion" when reviewing them, so the individual defendants were also entitled to qualified immunity on this claim. Lacy v. Huibregtse, #2008AP1870, 2010 Wisc. App. Lexis 568 (Unpub. 4th Dist.).
     Massachusetts inmates challenged a state regulation that banned their receipt of sexually explicit publications or publications featuring nudity, as well as a correctional policy against displaying such materials in their cells. Rejecting the plaintiffs' First Amendment claims, the federal appeals court found that there was a rational connection between legitimate governmental interests and the means used to further them. Prison security concerns supported the cell display policy. Josselyn v. Dennehy, #08-1095, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 12272 (1st Cir. Cir.).
     Prison regulations providing for censorship of sexually explicit material and materials promoting violence were not facially violative of the First Amendment, as they were intended to promote legitimate governmental interests. A prisoner could, however, pursue his claim that officials improperly applied the regulations to exclude publications that were not inflammatory. He could also pursue claims concerning a prohibition on publications because they contained posters, stickers, or other free items, since the defendant officials failed to state their justification for this prohibition, and the prisoner further claimed that it was unevenly applied, leading to improper content-based decisions. The defendants also failed to show why the suggested alternative of removing these items from the publications would be burdensome. Dean v. Bowersox; #08-1558, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 8477 (Unpub. 8th Cir.).
     The fact that a Kansas regulation banning sexually explicit materials from being mailed to prisoners covered a broader range of materials in its definition of nudity than regulations at other prison systems was not a sufficient basis to invalidate it. Strope v. Collins. #08-3188, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 3713 (10th Cir.).
     Federal prisoner failed to show that the Ensign Amendment, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 530C(b)(6) violated his First Amendment rights in restricting his access to sexually explicit publications, specifically certain magazines and a book that were sent to him. Restricting such materials was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests in security and rehabilitation. The court did rule, however, that Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Program Statement 5266.10, Sec. 7 was unconstitutional in allowing a rejected publication to be returned to the publisher before an administrative review was completed, and the enforcement of that Program Statement was enjoined. Jordan v. Sosa, Civil Action #05-cv-01283, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 53006 (D. Colo.).
     Court upholds Massachusetts state regulation banning all sexually explicit publications and items from prisons. The rule banned the receipt, possession, and display of almost all materials with nude or semi-nude images or other sexually explicit content, except in a medical, educational, or anthropological context. The court ruled that there was a rational relationship between the rule and the legitimate interest that correctional facilities had in safety and rehabilitation. Under the rule, publications were individually reviewed to determine whether their content fell within the scope of the ban. Moses v. Dennehy, #06-10164, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 85359 (D. Mass.).
     Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of regulations prohibiting prisoners from receiving incoming publications found to be obscene, as well as of statute criminalizing the importation of such publication into prisons or their possession by prisoners. Inmates' lawsuit challenged the withholding of Penthouse magazine and several others available to the general adult public. Payne v. Commonwealth Dept. of Corrections, J-83-2004, 871 A.2d 795 (Pa. 2005). [2005 JB Dec]
     California State Department of Corrections administrative bulletin banning sexually explicit materials depicting frontal nudity did not violate a prisoner's First Amendment rights. Correctional officials properly sought to reduce sexual harassment of female guards and prevent the development of a hostile work environment and also enhance prison security. Further, depriving prisoners of such sexually explicit materials did not impose an "atypical and significant hardship" in relation to the "ordinary incidents of prison life," and was therefore not a violation of due process. Additionally, the prisoner did not successfully show a violation of equal protection rights, as he did not claim that he was treated any differently than similarly situated prisoners with respect to the possession of such materials. Munro v. Tristan, No. 03-16770, 116 Fed. Appx. 820 (9th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Refusal of West Virginia prison officials to allow prisoner to receive or possess certain books found to be obscene did not violate his First Amendment or due process rights. Policy applied advanced legitimate penological interests in security and rehabilitation. Cline v. Fox, 266 F. Supp. 2d 489 (N.D.W. Va. 2003). [2003 JB Nov]
    Magazines sent to prisoner through the mails were obscene despite not showing sexual penetration when they did depict simulated sexual activity and discharged sexual fluids, but factual issues remained as to whether prison mail room employees improperly censored or returned to sender non-obscene letters and photographs sent to inmate by individual female correspondent and whether some materials sent to him were improperly "converted" for their "own personal use." Elliott v. Cummings, #01-3317, 49 Fed. Appx. 220 (10th Cir. 2002). [2003 JB Feb.]
    Pennsylvania State Department of Corrections policy which barred inmate receipt of incoming publications found by a committee of employees to contain obscene materials did not violate prisoners' rights under free speech guarantees of the Pennsylvania state Constitution, Article 1, sec. 7, since there is no constitutional protection for obscene materials. Payne v. Com. Dept. of Corrections, 813 A.2d 918 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002). [N/R]
     289:7 Federal trial court denies summary judgment to Wisconsin prison officials in lawsuit over regulation under which a picture of the Sistine Chapel and various other magazines and correspondence was withheld from prisoners because of depicted nudity or discussion of sex. Aiello v. Litscher, 104 F. Supp. 2d 1068 (W.D. Wis. 2000).
     279:40 UPDATE: Federal appeals court rules that Arizona county jail system's policy prohibiting the possession of all material depicting nudity, including such magazines as Playboy was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests in protecting employees and inmates against sexual harassment or assault. Mauro v. Arpaio, #97-16021, 188 F.3d 1054 (9th Cir. 1999).
     274:149 Federal statute barring sexually explicit publications or those featuring nudity from federal prisons is upheld by appeals court; U.S. Supreme Court denies review. Amatel v. Reno, #97-5293, 97-5294, 97-5295, 156 F.3d 192 (D.C. Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 119 S. Ct. 2365 (1999).
     265:7 Prison rule prohibiting possession of all material depicting nudity, which resulted in ban on prisoner receiving Playboy was overbroad and violated First Amendment. Mauro v. Arpaio, #97-16021, 147 F.3d 1137 (9th Cir. 1998).
     253:5 Federal court strikes down "Ensign Amendment" barring all sexually explicit publications or publications featuring nudity, including non-obscene ones, from federal prisons. Amatel v. Reno, 975 F.Supp. 365 (D.D.C. 1997).
     256:55 Florida detention facility did not violate prisoner's First Amendment rights by denying him access to publications with nude photos when each publication was individually reviewed by at least three correctional officials before being rejected, and internal grievance mechanism with three levels of review was available if prisoner objected. Owen v. Wille, 117 F.3d 1235 (11th Cir. 1997).
     239:166 Publisher of "adult" magazine had a constitutional First Amendment interest in receiving notice and due process when prison officials prohibited inmate subscribers from receiving issues of the magazine deemed obscene; federal appeals court orders trial court to fashion "appropriate remedy." Montcalm Publishing Corp. v. Beck, 80 F.3d 105 (4th Cir. 1996).
     229:9 Prison policy allowing receipt and possession of commercially produced erotic literature, but barring receipt and possession of nude or semi-nude photographs of inmates' wives and girlfriends upheld by federal appeals court. Giano v. Senkowski, 54 F.3d 1050 (2d Cir. 1995).
     223:104 Prison could properly withhold sexually explicit magazine from prisoners based on assertion that material had a "negative impact" on "security, discipline, order, public safety, and rehabilitation." Hodges v. Com. of Virginia, 871 F.Supp. 873 (W.D. Va. 1994).
     226:152 Texas prison mail clerk not liable for withholding from inmate publications which contained graphic descriptions of sexual acts illegal under state law. Montana v. Patterson, 894 S.W.2d 812 (Tex. App. 1994).
     Sexually explicit materials could be withheld from prisoner based on a finding that they would be detrimental to his rehabilitation because they would encourage deviate criminal sexual behavior. Thompson v. Patteson, 985 F.2d 202 (5th Cir. 1993).
     Prisoner's First Amendment rights were not violated by prison's withholding of "sexually explicit" photographs of women he ordered through the mail. Lambrix v. Dugger, 610 So.2d 1366 (Fla. App. 1992).
     Prison mail clerk did not violate prisoner's due process rights by confiscating a letter to him without giving him notice of the confiscation; letter contained threats and information about prison prostitution activities, and notification would have interfered with an ongoing investigation of criminal conduct within the prison. Wilson v. Holman, 793 F.Supp. 920 (E.D. Mo. 1992).
     Prisoner's rights were not violated by regulations precluding his receipt of sexually explicit material advocating felonious acts such as incest and sexual abuse of children. Cox v. Embly, 784 F.Supp. 685 (E.D. Mo. 1992).
     Failure to inform prisoner of receipt of obscene mail addressed to him was at most negligence, which could not be the basis for a federal civil rights lawsuit. Harris v. Bolin, 950 F.2d 547 (8th Cir. 1991).
     Withholding inmate's mail from organization advocating sex with juvenile males did not violate first amendment. Harper v. Wallingford, 877 F.2d 728 (9th Cir. 1989).
     Federal judge orders Iowa prison to allow access to "adult" magazines; prison opens "porno reading room" to comply. New York Times, page 6, February 6, 1989.
     Publications advocating homosexuality banned from prison for reasons of security, unless they're of a medical or religious nature. Espinoza v. Wilson, 814 F.2d 1093 (6th Cir. 1987).
     Commercial nude photos permissible, but not home snap-shots; pictures depicting homosexual acts prohibited. Hunter v. Koehler, 618 F.Supp. 13 (D.C. Mich. 1984).

Legal and Otherwise Privileged:

     A death row inmate appealed the dismissal of his claim that the correctional policy and practice of inspecting inmates’ outgoing legal mail violated his Sixth and First Amendment rights. The federal appeals court reversed, finding that the current inspection policy did not satisfy previously adopted legal standards. The policy called for an improper page-by-page content review of inmates; confidential outgoing legal mail. The policy also does not satisfy the four-part test identified in Turner v. Safley, #85-1384, 482 U.S. 78 (1987), because the defendants did not produce evidence of a threat to prison security sufficient to justify the policy, and because feasible, readily available alternatives were apparent. Nordstrom v. Ryan, #16-15277, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 8716 (9th Cir.).

     An Idaho prisoner filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming that prison employees on four occasions had opened legal mail before it was delivered to him rather than opening it in his presence. He asserted that there was a policy or custom of ignoring the improper handling of legal mail. The trial court dismissed the complaint at the pre-screening stage under 28 U.S.C. 1915A. A federal appeals court found that two of the four claims should not have been dismissed. Prisoners do have a protected First Amendment interest in having properly marked legal mail opened only in their presence and a plaintiff need not allege a longstanding practice of violating his First Amendment rights in order to state a claim for relief on a direct liability theory. Additionally, a plaintiff need not show any actual injury beyond the free speech violation itself to state a constitutional claim. The other two claims were properly dismissed, as the prisoner had not met the burden of showing that those items were legal mail. Mail from the United States courts, as opposed to from an attorney, is not legal mail that must be opened in the prisoner’s presence. Hayes v. Idaho Correctional Center, #14-35078,  2017 U.S.App. Lexis 3851 (9th Cir.).
      A prisoner serving a 65-year sentence for murder placed an order for the death certificate of the woman he killed. The death certificate arrived in the mail from the county clerk's office, along with an unsigned note that stated "There is a place in hell waiting for you, as you must know you will reap what you have sowed!" Prison staff members confiscated the certificate as posing a threat to prison safety and security and for having a negative impact on the prisoner's rehabilitation. A federal trial court upheld this action, finding that it would decrease the risk that other prisoners would retaliate against "boasting inmates" such as the plaintiff, and would protect the victim's family from being identified. A federal appeals court reversed, except for claims against a staff member not involved in the confiscation. It ruled that prisoners have a clearly established right to read the mail they receive so long as it would not infringe on legitimate interests. The prison needed to show "some evidence" justifying the restriction. While the prison had a legitimate safety interest in preventing boasting inmates displaying "trophies," the prisoner claimed that he had a need for the death certificate in connection with state court post-conviction proceedings, and the defendants presented no evidence to dispute it. Williams v. Hansen, #15-2236, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 17183 (7th Cir.).
     A death row prisoner stated a claim for violation of his Sixth Amendment rights when he alleged that a prison guard read a letter he sent to his lawyer, rather than only scanning it for contraband. He further alleged that prison officials wrongfully claimed that they were entitled to read his legal mail, and that he had been chilled as to his ability to privately consult with his attorney. Because he remained incarcerated and adequately alleged that such reading could occur again, he stated a claim for injunctive relief. Nordstrom v. Ryan, #12-15738, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 15388 (9th Cir.).
     A prisoner argued that prison officials violated his right of access to the courts by confiscating photos that were part of his trial record that had been mailed to him by his attorney. The reason that was given for the confiscation was that the photos were sexually explicit. They were close-ups of the alleged injuries to his minor victim's genitals. A federal appeals court, upholding the rejection of the prisoner's claim, noted that the prisoner failed to show that denying him access to the photographs prevented him from raising a meritorious legal issue in his criminal appeal. Additionally, opening his legal mail outside of the prisoner's presence, for the purpose of inspecting it for contraband, did not violate his rights. Clemons v. Monroe, #10-50629, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 8018 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
     A pretrial detainee under an Illinois Sexually Violent Person Act claimed that his constitutional privacy rights and rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Pub. L. #104-191, 110 Stat. 1936 (1996), were violated by the "stigmatizing effects" of the stamp that the facility affixes to his outgoing mail, which reads "sexually violent person treatment center." Rejecting this claim, a federal appeals court ruled that the prisoner's claim was essentially for defamation, and that the prisoner's "interest in his reputation, by itself, is not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment." As to any claim under HIPAA, the trial court correctly found that the statute does not provide for a private right of action. Carpenter v. Phillips, #10-3176, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 9417 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
     A prisoner claimed that personnel at a county detention facility violated his rights by losing or keeping from him important legal documents in his mail that he needed for his defense to probation violation charges in a criminal case unrelated to his current incarceration. The lawsuit was properly dismissed, as the prisoner failed to allege that the improper opening of his legal mail prejudiced his defense, that opened mail was improperly returned to senders in violation of institutional policies, or that the policies in place were unconstitutional. Gutierrez v. Torres, #10-2183, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 5983 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     A prisoner claimed that personnel at a county detention facility violated his rights by losing or keeping from him important legal documents in his mail that he needed for his defense to probation violation charges in a criminal case unrelated to his current incarceration. The lawsuit was properly dismissed, as the prisoner failed to allege that the improper opening of his legal mail prejudiced his defense, that opened mail was improperly returned to senders in violation of institutional policies, or that the policies in place were unconstitutional. Gutierrez v. Torres, #10-2183, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 5983 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     A prisoner's lawsuit claiming that a facility had a policy of requiring prisoners to leave their legal mail with the prison library staff for review for up to three days to read outside the prisoner's presence before furnishing them, if indigent, with photocopies of legal documents they need states a claim for violation of prisoner rights and should not have been rejected without further scrutiny. Washington v. Davis, #09-2080, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 6414 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
     A Wisconsin prisoner claimed that prison guards violated his rights in opening legal mail to him outside his presence. While many cases hold that this is a violation as applied to correspondence from a prisoner's attorney, the mail in this case involved communications from courts and agencies. The prisoner asserted that the opening of such correspondence outside his presence violated a Wisconsin state statute. A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit for failure to state a claim, since the violation of a state statute, standing alone, is inadequate grounds for a federal civil rights lawsuit. Guajardo-Palma v. Martinson, #10-1726, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 19481 (7th Cir.).
     A California prisoner claimed that prison employees improperly handled his legal mail. But the appeals court found that he failed to create a genuine issue of fact as to whether the correspondence at issue really was legal mail, i.e., "specially marked as originating from an attorney, with his name and address being given," which is required to receive special handling. Chatman v. Early, #09-15683, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 15174 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
      A federal appeals court reversed the trial court's dismissal of a prisoner's claims concerning the opening of legal mail, denial of access to the law library, and failing to respond to grievances as moot based on the prisoner's transfer from the county jail. The transfer came just before the court was to rule on class action certification, with the prisoner serving as the named class representative. The appeals court found that the claims of every member of proposed class of detainees were "inherently transitory" since, at the discretion of state correctional officials, any class member could be transferred to another facility at any time. This was shown by the plaintiff's transfer 13 days after he moved to certify a class action. Additionally, the same claims were likely to recur with respect to the class, as the lawsuit asserted that the alleged problems were "pervasive." Further proceedings were therefore ordered on both the detainee's motion for class certification and the sheriff's motion to dismiss on grounds of failure to state a claim. Olson v. Brown, #09-2728, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 2438 (7th Cir.).
    A prisoner claimed that a prison guard violated his rights by reading his legal mail. He failed to establish a violation of his First Amendment right of access to the courts, since he did not show any injury to a pending legal claim. The prisoner also failed to show that the guard's actions created any kind of barrier to his relationship with his lawyer in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. There was no procedural due process violation, as correctional officials provided the prisoner with a post-deprivation hearing. Stanley v. Vining, #08-2634, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 8298 (6th Cir.).
     A pretrial detainee's claim that jail officials violated his right of access to the courts by opening his legal mail 15 times outside of his presence was non-meritorious. Most of his letters were correspondence with a court, which were not subject to secrecy, and as to the alleged opening of his correspondence with attorneys, he did not claim that it had resulted in any detriment to his legal claims. The opening of his legal mail outside of his presence also did not show any violation of his rights of free speech and free association. In light of the fact that only one letter was actually marked as mail from an attorney, opening it, standing alone, did not show a continuing practice of opening privileged mail. Harrison v. County of Cook, #09-1747, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 2703 (Unpub. 7th Cir.).
     A prisoner failed to show that he suffered any actual injury based on a prison mailroom officer's alleged failure to properly handle his legal mail. Blount v. Terry, #5:08-CV-124, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 18579 (M.D. Ga.).
    Correctional employees were properly denied summary judgment on claims that they unlawfully opened a prisoners legal mail when there were factual disputes over whether or not they opened some items, and whether they disregarded existing prison rules in doing so. Merriweather v. Zamora, # 08-1570, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 13515 (6th Cir.).
     A prisoner claiming that prison officials refused to allow him to send out legal mail established nothing other than that they determined that certain mail he wished to send did not qualify as legal mail under existing regulations, and rejected other items he wished to send because he failed to comply with those regulations. He failed to show that he suffered any prejudice from the rejection of the mail, so that his claim for denial of access to the courts was not viable. Finally, prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity on the prisoner's claim that they erroneously determined that his outgoing mail did not qualify for free postage, in the absence of any "invidious intent." Wesolowski v. Washburn, #03-CV-6424, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 42297 (W.D.N.Y.).
     Correctional officials showed a rational connection between a new policy regarding legal mail and legitimate safety and security concerns. The new policy requires courts and attorneys to attach control numbers to legal mail, and for such mail to be separated from other mail, and then opened and inspected in a prisoner's presence. There was evidence that the prior policy was subject to abuse, including the falsifying of return addresses on non-legal mail in order to improperly receive treatment as privileged mail. Additionally, there was evidence that suggested that more inspection by off-site mail inspectors and less inspection by on-site mail inspectors would result in enhanced prison safety and security. The new policy did not violate prisoners' First Amendment rights. Fontroy v. Beard, #07-2446, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 5277 (3rd Cir.).
     A federal prison warden was not entitled to qualified immunity from liability for allegedly failing to give notice to a prisoner of the rejection of mail from his lawyer--packages which contained trial transcripts. A due process requirement of notifying a prisoner of the rejection of letters also applied to packages, regardless of whether such notice was explicitly required for rejected packages under federal prison regulations. Bonner v. Outlaw, #07-3676, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 202 (8th Cir.).
     Prison official was not entitled to qualified immunity for allegedly violating inmate's First Amendment rights by allegedly opening his legal mail outside of his presence on 50 or more occasions. The right of the prisoner to be present when mail from his attorney was opened was clearly established. Wappler v. Brevard, Case #4:05-CV-90, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 90559 (W.D. Mich.).
     Prisoner stated a possible claim for violation of his First Amendment rights based on the alleged failure of jail officials to process his outgoing mail. Further proceedings were also needed on his claim that they prevented him from taking his legal mail to a state hospital while confined there, as an inquiry was needed as to whether that action was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. Brown v. Saline County Jail, #08-3145, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 26066 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     Prisoner's claim's concerning the alleged "censorship" of his correspondence with the media was properly dismissed when he failed to specify who engaged in the alleged censorship, and what the "censorship' consisted of. The court also properly rejected the prisoner's claim concerning alleged denial of access to the law library when he failed to show that this interfered with his ability to pursue a particular legal claim. While he mentioned an adoption case, he did not state that his parental rights were at stake in the case. Shupe v. Morganflash, #07-8087, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18588 (10th Cir.).
     In a prisoner's lawsuit claiming that his right of access to the courts was denied by his transfer from Illinois to a California facility without his legal materials, summary judgment was properly granted to certain individual defendants because the prisoner failed to show that they were personally involved in interfering with his mail or withholding his legal materials. Walker v. Kelly, #05-56556, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6737 (9th Cir.).
     On prisoner's claim involving alleged interference with his legal mail, even if he did not receive notice of a federal rule of civil procedure and what would happen if he failed to comply with it in relation to a motion for summary judgment, this was harmless since he had an actual understanding of the requirements of the rule. Strauss v. Hamilton, #06-35560, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6011 (9th Cir.).
     While a prisoner had a well-established right to have properly marked attorney mail opened only in his presence, the plaintiff prisoner failed to show that the alleged opening of such privileged mail outside of his presence had caused him any actual injury or compromised his cases. He failed to show specifically how any legal matters were damaged. The actual injury requirement, however, only applied to his access to courts claims, and did not apply to his First Amendment free speech claims, so further proceedings were warranted on the free speech claims. Al-Amin v. Smith, #06-15248, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 180 (11th Cir.).
     Prison officials were entitled to summary judgment on prisoner's claim that his right of access to the courts had been violated by the alleged repeated opening of his privileged mail from his attorney outside his presence, since he failed to show any actual injury to a pending court case.  Al-Amin v. Smith, #06-15248, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 180 (11th Cir.).
     Prisoner was entitled to notice when packages of legal transcripts sent to him by his attorney were rejected and returned to the attorney for failure to comply with prison regulations. Failure to provide such notice could be the basis for a Fifth Amendment claim against the warden even if there had been a reasonable basis for returning the packages. The prisoner's claim was not barred by the Prison Litigation Reform Act's requirement in 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e(e) requiring that an inmate litigant show a physical injury before asserting a claim for mental or emotional injuries, since he had alleged that he was prejudiced in legal proceedings by the warden's actions. The warden's motion to dismiss the lawsuit was denied. Bonner v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, Civil #03-6347, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 64954 (D. Minn.).
     Federal appeals court upholds dismissal of prisoner's lawsuit over alleged violation of his right of access to the courts based on the alleged refusal of the prison to advance him funds to use for postage to mail documents to a court. The prisoner failed to show that he suffered any injury to his right to pursue claims concerning his sentence or conditions of confinement from the alleged deprivation. Salkeld v. Tennis, #07-1776, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 21990 (3rd Cir.).
   Correctional policy that allowed the opening of incoming legal mail outside of a prisoner's presence unless it bore a control number was not unconstitutional. The policy was rationally connected to a legitimate penological interest in preventing contraband from entering correctional facilities disguised as privileged legal mail. The policy allowed a court or attorney to apply for and use a control number on incoming envelopes to guarantee that their mail would be opened only in the presence of the prisoner. Brown v. Pa. Dept. of Corrections, #3 M.D. 2007, 2007 Pa. Commw. Lexis 482 (Commonwealth Court).
    Correctional officer was entitled to summary judgment in prisoner's lawsuit accusing him of violating his right of access to the courts. The prisoner failed to show that the officer's alleged interference with his prison mail caused him to suffer any actual injury to his ability to pursue litigation. Tuzon v. Miller, #05-16234, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 14212 (9th Cir.).
     A Muslim inmate who was an Egyptian citizen failed to show that the vegetarian meal plan offered him violated any of his personal religious beliefs, and a nutritional analysis of the food offered indicated that it satisfied recommended dietary allowances. Additionally, the plan offered was created after consultation with a Muslim clergyman. The court also found that the prisoner did not have an unqualified or absolute right to send confidential mail from the prison to the Egyptian embassy or consulate, so that the alleged refusal to allow him to do so could not be the basis of a civil right claim. Sefeldeen v. Alameida, #05-15809, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 13508 (9th Cir.).
     While letters to a prisoner from a state's attorney's office and the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) concerning issuance of a settlement check in a prior lawsuit were allegedly opened outside of his presence, this did not violated his constitutional right when the envelopes were not labeled as legal or official materials. A requirement in a state administrative regulation that such incoming mail had to be marked "privileged" in order for a prisoner to have a right to be present when it was opened and inspected for contraband was constitutional. Jenkins v. Huntley, #06-3622, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 12303 (7th Cir.).
     Prisoner did not show a violation of his constitutional rights merely by alleging that his "legal mail" was opened and visually inspected by the prison mailroom staff outside of his presence. Additionally, since the mail involved was mail from the courts, rather than from his lawyer, it was not "legal mail" for purposes of his lawsuit, since it was a public document. Meador v. Pleasant Valley State Prison, #1:05-CV-0939, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 26505 (E.D. Cal.).
     Prisoner's claim that prison officials negligently mishandled or destroyed his legal mail was insufficient to state a federal civil rights claim for violation of his right of access to the courts. The prisoner failed to show that any actual harm to pending litigation resulted from these actions or that officials' actions were anything more than negligence. Strong v. Woodford, #CV-04-8596, 428 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (C.D. Cal. 2006). [N/R]
     North Dakota prisoner was not entitled to apply directly to the state Supreme Court for a writ barring a prison from requiring him, an allegedly indigent prisoner, to, among other things, pay postage and copying costs for legal documents. Such direct petitions to the state Supreme Court may not be based on the enforcement of the rights of a private person. Wheeler v. Schuetzle, #20060074, 714 N.W.2d 829 (N.D. 2006). [N/R]
     New Jersey failed to show that it had a reasonable basis, related to prison safety and security, in opening prisoners' legal mail outside of their presence. Inmates have a First Amendment interest in being present when incoming legal mail is opened by prison employees. Terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, and incidents that fall of transmission of anthrax through the mail were not sufficient, years later, to support the continuation of a policy adopted as an emergency procedure. Jones v. Brown, #03-3823, 04-4426, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 21601 (3d Cir.).[2006 JP Oct]
    Prison officials' actions in preventing prisoner from receiving mail containing legal materials bought for him by a person with a relationship to another prisoner did not violate his rights. The restriction imposed was justified by legitimate interest in prevention of extortion, contraband smuggling, and unauthorized bartering among prisoners assisted by persons outside the facility.  Wardell v. Maggard, No. 05-1210, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 29404 (10th Cir.). [N/R]
     A single instance of opening a letter from a prisoner's mother outside of his presence was not sufficient to violate his right of access to the courts, even if it was legal mail, properly marked, with the envelope stating "P.O.A." (power of attorney) and that it contained legal documents from court records. There was no indication of any pattern of censorship of such mail or any other actions that would impede the prisoner in accessing the courts. Additionally, a power of attorney does not confer any right to represent a person in court, so there was no issue of attorney-client confidentiality, and court documents, if enclosed, were court documents also not entitled to any confidentiality. Bloom v. Muckenthaler, #93,574, 127 P.3d 342 (Kan. App. 2005). [N/R]
     A prison's complete ban on all mail between a prisoner and his attorney-friend, based on the prisoner being suspected of engaging in a prohibited paralegal business with the friend was overbroad and risked chilling the prisoner's access to the courts and counsel. A preliminary injunction against the ban was therefore granted. Evans v. Vare, #3:05-CV-3CR, 402 F. Supp. 2d 1188 (D. Nev. 2005). [N/R]
     Alleged failure of prison supervisory personnel to properly supervise and train officers in proper distribution of mail to prisoners was not a violation of a prisoner's rights when he failed to show that he had been deprived of his mail, that other inmates' possession of some of his mail caused him any actual harm, or that the alleged violation of the prison's mail policy prevented him from filing a specific legal document with the court. Sandoval v. Fox, #04-41251, 135 Fed. Appx. 691 (5th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Prison mail room supervisor was not entitled to qualified immunity when there were disputed issues of fact as to whether she intentionally did not send the prisoner's legal mail to a court, resulting in the denial of his request that the court appoint him a lawyer in his post-conviction proceeding. This conduct, if true, would violate the prisoner's clearly established right of access to the courts. Geitz v. Overall, No. 04-3999, 137 Fed. Appx. 927 (8th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     The alleged destruction of the prisoner's legal mail, which he claimed made it impossible for him to timely challenge the denial of his parole, did not result in any prejudice or actual injury when the parole board, in his subsequent applications, repeatedly denied him parole. Defendant prison officials were entitled to summary judgment in prisoner's lawsuit claiming that the alleged destruction of the mail denied him his constitutional right of access to the courts. Gilmore v. Goord, #03-CV-6239, 360 F. Supp. 2d 528 (W.D. N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
     Prisoner could pursue claim that the failure to forward his legal mail to another facility violated his right of access to the courts when it prevented him from responding to a motion for summary judgment in a pending lawsuit. Prisoner did not have to show that he necessarily would have prevailed on that motion had he been able to respond, merely that he was "hindered" from pursuing a non-frivolous claim. Simkins v. Bruce, #04-3072, 406 F.3d 1239 (10th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Jul]
     Even if a letter from a legal advocacy group (the "Innocence Project of Minnesota") to a prisoner was protected as "legal mail," the alleged mistaken opening of the letter outside of the presence of the prisoner was not a violation of his First Amendment rights since it was an isolated incident and did not interfere with his right of access to the courts. The prison employee opening it believed that the group who sent the letter did not qualify as a legal advocacy group. Additionally, correspondence from a city police department and the North Dakota Department of Corrections was not constitutionally protected legal mail. Moore v. Schuetzle, #A4-01-038, 354 F. Supp. 2d 1065 (D.N.D. 2005). [N/R]
     State prison's policy of opening and inspecting prisoners' legal mail outside their presence in order to detect presence of contraband, particularly anthrax, was a violation of their First Amendment rights, but defendant officials were entitled to qualified immunity. Because of the "uncertainties" created by terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, reasonable prison officials could have been unclear about the fact that their conduct violated the prisoners' rights. Allah v. Brown, #CIV. 02-5298, 351 F. Supp. 2d 278 (D.N.J. 2004).[N/R]
     Prison mailroom personnel did not violate prisoner's right of access to the courts even if they deliberately delayed mailing certain items to the court in his ongoing federal lawsuit, and even if this delay caused him to miss court deadlines. The prisoner's case was ultimately dismissed on its merits after a bench trial, and not on the basis of the missed court deadlines, so that the defendants' actions did not result in any prejudice to his case. Deleon v. Doe, #03-0093, 361 F.3d 93 (2nd Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     New York prisoner's claim that correctional employees deliberated tampered with his mail, including both incoming and outgoing legal, personal, and political mail, without cause or justification, adequately asserted a claim for violation of his First Amendment rights. Nash v. McGinnis, 315 F. Supp. 2d 318 (W.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
     Prisoner's lawsuit alleging that prison officials tampered with his outgoing mail was insufficient to state a claim and frivolous, when it was clearly shown that his mail was actually sent out and that he even received responses, in many instances, from courts to which he sent correspondence. Smith v. Bruce, #04-3043, 103 Fed. Appx. 342 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court rules that the issue of which mail is "legal mail" which should only be opened in the prisoner's presence, after they request this, should not have been submitted to a jury, but rather decided by a judge. Jury award of $13,000 is reduced to $3,000 for the improper opening of three letters from a prisoner's attorney outside his presence. While mail from courts is also found to be "legal mail," prison mail clerks were entitled to qualified immunity for the opening of such letters, since the law on the subject was not previously clearly established. Sallier v. Brooks, #01-12269, 343 F.3d 868 (6th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Dec]
     Lack of written authorization from prison superintendent for opening and inspection of prisoner's outgoing legal mail did not render inspections unlawful when there was a reasonable basis for the belief that the prisoner was attempting to smuggle his own mail out of the facility through the use of other prisoner's return addresses on his envelopes. Tafari v. Selsky, 764 N.Y.S.2d 149 (A.D. 3d Dept. 2003). [N/R]
     Prison rule limiting inmates to a monthly allotment of $10 for postage did not improperly interfere with prisoner's right of access to the courts. Rule was rationally connected to legitimate interest in permitting access, on an equal basis, for prisoners, given the limited funds available. Bronson v. Horn, 830 A.2d 1092 (Pa. Cmwlth 2003). [N/R]
     Opening of incoming letter, marked "legal papers", but suspected of not being from an attorney, outside of the prisoner's presence, and inspection of it for contraband, which resulted in the finding of marijuana, did not violate the prisoner's Sixth Amendment right to counsel or his due process rights, even if it did violate a state administrative code section. State of Wisconsin v. Steffes, #02-1300-CR, 659 N.W.2d 445 (Wis. App. 2003). [N/R]
     Virginia correctional policy limiting prisoner's incoming general purpose mail to one ounce per envelope did not violate prisoners' First Amendment rights and served legitimate penological interests in reducing avenues for smuggling contraband into the prisons. Policy did not apply to legal, special purpose, educational correspondence, or mail from vendors or governmental agencies. Hall v. Johnson, 224 F. Supp. 2d 1058 (E.D. Va. 2002). [2003 JB Feb.]
     A jail employee's alleged accidental opening of pretrial detainee's legal mail outside of his presence was insufficient to constitute a violation of his First Amendment rights. Appeals court also finds no violation of First Amendment rights in actions preventing detainee from sealing his outgoing personal mail because of jail policy of inspecting such mail for security risks. Beese v. Liebe, #02-1401, 51 Fed. Appx. 979 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Prison mail room supervisor was entitled to qualified immunity from prisoner's lawsuit over his failure to send out outgoing legal mail which was sealed in violation of Michigan Department of Corrections policy which required prisoners who needed a postal loan to send out legal mail to submit it unsealed. Supervisor had no reason to believe that this violated clearly established law, and the prisoner failed to show that he was prejudiced in his court case by this action, as required to prove a claim for violation of the First Amendment right of access to the courts. Smith-El v. Steward, #01-5646, 33 Fed. Appx. 714 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     299:165 Prisoner could pursue claim that his access to the courts had been violated when documents he needed to attack his criminal conviction, mailed to him by his mother, were returned, partially destroyed, to her after delivery to the prison, but could not pursue federal due process claim when New York state offered an adequate post-deprivation remedy. Jackson v. Burke, No. 00-0088, 256 F.3d 93 (2nd Cir. 2001).
     290:27 There was probable cause for a warrant to search prisoner's jail cell based on his alleged statements to a cellmate regarding plans to take retaliatory reprisals against his inlaws; defendant officials were entitled to qualified immunity on alleged seizure and reading of a letter from prisoner to attorney. Barstow v. Kennebec County Jail, 115 F. Supp. 2d 3 (D. Me. 2000).
     A jail employee's alleged accidental opening of pretrial detainee's legal mail outside of his presence was insufficient to constitute a violation of his First Amendment rights. Appeals court also finds no violation of First Amendment rights in actions preventing detainee from sealing his outgoing personal mail because of jail policy of inspecting such mail for security risks. Beese v. Liebe, #02-1401, 51 Fed. Appx. 979 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Prisoner could not pursue claim that alleged "tampering" with his legal mail concerning his ongoing lawsuit violated his right of access to the courts when it did not have an impact on the outcome of the case and he managed to receive a settlement that was satisfactory to him, but he could pursue claims as to whether prison officials had improperly opened his outgoing legal mail to the FBI and Justice Department without reason to do so, or had failed to deliver sixteen pieces of mail sent to him, returning them to senders without justification. Moore v. Gardner, 199 F. Supp. 2d 17 (W.D.N.Y. 2002). [2002 JB Sep] 
    
   274:148 Prisoner's rights of access to the courts and to receive mail were not violated when prison allegedly opened outside his presence a communication from the state's Attorney General which was not clearly marked confidential on the envelope. Boswell v. Mayer, #97-1710, 169 F.3d 384 (6th Cir. 1999).
     » Editor's Note: See also Geder v. Godinez, 8 F.Supp.2d 1078 (N.D. Ill. 1998), rejecting claims by an Illinois prisoner that the unauthorized opening of his legal mail and alleged failure to deliver certain mail violated his right of access to the courts.9 Policy of opening, outside of the prisoner's presence, and reading incoming and outgoing "grievance" letters to and from governmental agencies violated prisoner's First Amendment right to petition government for redress of grievances. O'Keefe v. Murphy, 860 F.Supp. 748 (E.D. Wash. 1994).
     267:37 Federal appeals court rules that prisoner on death row, convicted of murdering police officer, was entitled to injunction against enforcement of rule prohibiting him from carrying on "business or profession" of writing articles and books; prison allowed another inmate to publish and promote a novel, and did not show that plaintiff prisoner's writings burdened prison resources or threatened security; special scrutiny to prisoner's legal correspondence was improper. Abu-Jamal v. Price, # 96-3756, 154 F.3d 128 (3rd Cir. 1998).
     253:6 Inadvertent opening of legal mail outside of prisoner's presence did not establish a constitutional violation; no interference with right of access to courts when no prejudice to a pending legal action was shown. Gardner v. Howard, 109 F.3d 427 (8th Cir. 1997).
     254:20 Refusal to allow prisoner to mail sealed letters to government agencies and ACLU in 1980 did not violate clearly established rights; prison officials entitled to qualified immunity. Davidson v. Scully, 114 F.3d 12 (2nd Cir. 1997).
     253:6 Inadvertent opening of legal mail outside of prisoner's presence did not establish a constitutional violation; no interference with right of access to courts when no prejudice to a pending legal action was shown. Gardner v. Howard, 109 F.3d 427 (8th Cir. 1997).
     256:51 Opening or delaying prisoner's outgoing legal mail did not violate his constitutional right of access to the courts when no actual prejudice in any pending legal case was shown. Oliver v. Fauver, 118 F.3d 175 (3rd Cir. 1997).
     241:6 Refusal to treat prisoner mail to all state agencies and officials as "legal mail" was justified by prison interest in security and prevention of criminal activity, federal appeals court rules. O'Keefe v. Van Boening, 82 F.3d 322 (9th Cir. 1996).
     242:21 Boxes of legal materials, originating from prisoner's attorney and clearly marked legal mail, qualified as legal mail and should have been examined in the prisoner's presence, despite the fact that they were delivered to the prison by an individual, rather than being delivered via the U.S. mail or a private delivery service such as UPS. Kensu v. Haigh, 87 F.3d 172 (6th Cir. 1996).
     247:100 Prison employee entitled to qualified immunity for denying prisoner loan for postage for outgoing legal mail unless he agreed to allow her to briefly inspect it in his presence to make sure it qualified as legal mail. Bell-Bey v. Williams,87 F.3d 832 (6th Cir. 1996).
     230:21 Federal appeals court rules that allegedly repeatedly opening prisoner's incoming court mail outside his presence would violate his constitutional rights; defendant prison officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from liability. Bieregu v. Reno, 59 F.3d 1445 (3rd Cir. 1995). [Cross-references: Access to Courts/Legal Info; Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith) Immunity].
     229:8 "Cursory visual inspection" of contents of envelope Nevada inmate wanted to send to state Attorney General did not violate inmate's rights; regulation providing for inspection served legitimate security interest. Giano v. Senkowski, 54 F.3d 1050 (2d Cir. 1995).
     219:39 Prison policy of treating letters from state Attorney General's Office to inmates as ordinary, rather than confidential legal, mail violated prisoner's First Amendment rights. Muhammad v. Pitcher, 35 F.3d 1081 (6th Cir. 1994).
     Prisoner's lawsuit complaining that three pieces of his incoming legal mail were opened outside his presence despite being clearly marked "LEGAL MAIL" was not frivolous; appeals court reinstates suit to determine whether these alleged actions were part of an "ongoing" course of conduct, as opposed to isolated incidents. Castillo v. Cook Co. Mail Room Dept., 990 F.2d 304 (7th Cir. 1993).
     Alleged violation of prison regulation that incoming legal mail should not be opened for inspection outside of the prisoner's presence did not constitute a violation of constitutional rights; prisoner's claim that material was removed from his outgoing legal mail, however, and therefore never reached a court, did state a claim for violation of his free speech and court access rights. Brewer v. Wilkinson, 3 F.3d 816 (5th Cir. 1993).
     Prison policy requiring inmate to open legal mail in the presence of a prison staff member violated 16-year-old consent decree, but federal appeals court orders further hearings to determine whether consent decree should still be enforced. Kindred v. Duckworth, 9 F.3d 638 (7th Cir. 1993).
     Florida prison regulation prohibiting correspondence between inmates at different facilities in the absence of permission did not violate prisoner's right of access to the courts when applied to prevent him from mailing a pleading in state civil lawsuit against another prisoner to that prisoner. Hall v. Singletary, 999 F.2d 1537 (8th Cir. 1993).
     Prison could require that inmates' letters to reporters and clergymen be sent to the mailroom unsealed for purposes of inspection for contraband and proper addressing. Smith v. Delo, 995 F.2d 827 (8th Cir. 1993).
     Prison's policy honoring the request of the trustee of a prisoner's estate that the prisoner no longer be allowed to send mail to him did not violate the prisoner's First Amendment rights or right of access to the courts. Berdella v. Delo, 972 F.2d 204 (8th Cir. 1992).
     Inmate's rights were not violated when his unmarked legal mail was opened and read outside his presence; prison rules protected attorney- client privilege so long as envelope clearly identified legal mail. Henthorn v. Swinson, 955 F.2d 351 (5th Cir. 1992).
     Blanket rule prohibiting all correspondence with members of the press was unconstitutional, but claim for damages by inmate was barred by qualified immunity of prison officials individually, and Eleventh Amendment immunity of prison officials in their official capacity. Mujahid v. Sumner, 807 F.Supp. 1505 (D. Hawaii 1992).
     Opening and reading inmate's plainly marked legal mail from his attorney violated his constitutional rights. Lemon v. Dugger, 931 F.2d 1465 (11th Cir. 1991).
     Federal prison regulation requiring legal mail to be appropriately marked to qualify for confidential treatment upheld as constitutional by federal appeals court. U.S. v. Stotts, 925 F.2d 83 (4th Cir. 1991).
     Regulations preventing inmates from sending unopened and uncensored mail to public officials, government agencies and media representatives violated First Amendment rights. In the Matter of Rules Adoption Regarding Inmate Mail to Attorneys, Public Officials, and News Media Representatives, 120 N.J. 137, 576 A 2d 274 (1990).
     Prison was justified in returning mail to prisoner unsent when he sealed it and labeled it "legal mail", but it was not addressed to attorneys or other legal entities. Willis v. Lane, 738 F.Supp. 1198 (C.C. Ill. 1989).
     Jail, which had no rule requiring marking of legal mail, violated pretrial detainee's rights by opening legal mail outside his presence. Faulkner v. McLocklin, 727 F.Supp. 486 (N.D. Ind. 1989).
     Loss of two copies of inmate's appeal brief by mail room was at most negligence and not actionable. Hines v. Boothe, 841 F.2d 623 (5th Cir. 1988).
     Unlike other types of legal mail, inmate must pay postage costs of material sent to elected officials; court acknowledges such mail is subject to limited inspections. Averhart v. Shuler, 652 F.Supp. 1504 (N.D. Ind. 1987).
     Prisoner stated legal claim by alleging that legal mail from Department of Corrections was opened. Evans v. Jenne, 660 F.Supp. 426 (S.D. Miss. 1986).
     Seventh circuit departs from Fifth Circuit and rules media mail is not privileged mail; it can be randomly opened and read. Gaines v. Lane, 790 F.2d 1299 (7th Cir. 1986).
     Inspection of all mail sent to court upheld. Royse v. Superior Court of State of Wash., etc., 779 F.2d 573 (9th Cir. 1986).
     Routine inspection of business mail and mail to media unconstitutional. Milburn v. McNiff, 486 N.y.S. 2d 19 (A.D. 2 Dept. 1985).
     Prison officials ordered to handle media mail like legal mail. Travis v. Lockhart, 607 F.Supp. 1083 (D.C. Ark. 1985).
     Officials policy of opening legal mail not marked "confidential" upheld. Harrod v. Halford, 773 F.2d 234 (8th Cir. 1985).
     No right to inspect mail to media. Burton v. Foltz, 599 F.Supp. 114 (E.D. Mich. 1984).
     Inmate sues mail supervisor for lost legal mail; no liability to warden. Woods v. Aldworth, 561 F.Supp. 891 (N.D. Ill. 1983).
     No Section 1983 liability for unintentional delay of inmate's outgoing legal mail. Guffey v. Trago, 572 F.Supp. 782 (N.D. Ind. 1983).
     Eighth Circuit denies damages to inmate writ writer who was reprimanded as a result of attempts to communicate with inmate housed in another institution. Watts v. Brewer, 588 F.2d 646 (8th Cir. 1978).
     Indiana District Court holds that temporary prison policy of checking legal mail for contraband does not violate prisoner's Sixth Amendment rights. Owen v. Shuler, 466 F.Supp. 5 (D. Ind. 1977).
     Restrictions on mail privileges were unconstitutional; restrictions on law students and paralegals as inmate legal counsel also were improper. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 94 S.Ct. 1800 (1974).

Postage
     A prisoner claiming that prison officials refused to allow him to send out legal mail established nothing other than that they determined that certain mail he wished to send did not qualify as legal mail under existing regulations, and rejected other items he wished to send because he failed to comply with those regulations. He failed to show that he suffered any prejudice from the rejection of the mail, so that his claim for denial of access to the courts was not viable. Finally, prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity on the prisoner's claim that they erroneously determined that his outgoing mail did not qualify for free postage, in the absence of any "invidious intent." Wesolowski v. Washburn, #03-CV-6424, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 42297 (W.D.N.Y.).
     Federal appeals court upholds dismissal of prisoner's lawsuit over alleged violation of his right of access to the courts based on the alleged refusal of the prison to advance him funds to use for postage to mail documents to a court. The prisoner failed to show that he suffered any injury to his right to pursue claims concerning his sentence or conditions of confinement from the alleged deprivation. Salkeld v. Tennis, #07-1776, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 21990 (3rd Cir.).
     North Dakota prisoner was not entitled to apply directly to the state Supreme Court for a writ barring a prison from requiring him, an allegedly indigent prisoner, to, among other things, pay postage and copying costs for legal documents. Such direct petitions to the state Supreme Court may not be based on the enforcement of the rights of a private person. Wheeler v. Schuetzle, #20060074, 714 N.W.2d 829 (N.D. 2006). [N/R]
     Prison rule limiting inmates to a monthly allotment of $10 for postage did not improperly interfere with prisoner's right of access to the courts. Rule was rationally connected to legitimate interest in permitting access, on an equal basis, for prisoners, given the limited funds available. Bronson v. Horn, 830 A.2d 1092 (Pa. Cmwlth 2003). [N/R]
     259:100 Prison officials had good cause to open and inspect prisoner's outgoing correspondence to his wife when it had insufficient postage and therefore was reclassified as incoming correspondence. Minigan v. Irvin, 977 F.Supp. 607 (W.D.N.Y. 1997).
    247:100 Prison employee entitled to qualified immunity for denying prisoner loan for postage for outgoing legal mail unless he agreed to allow her to briefly inspect it in his presence to make sure it qualified as legal mail. Bell-Bey v. Williams,87 F.3d 832 (6th Cir. 1996).
    234:87 Change of policy eliminating provision of free postage for inmates' non-legal correspondence did not violate inmate's First Amendment rights. Dawes v. D.S.P. Carpenter, 899 F.Supp. 892 (N.D.N.Y. 1995).
     Millionaire prisoner was entitled to free postage because policy limiting free stamps to poor inmates was not properly adopted. Jordan v. Department of Corrections, 418 N.W.2d 914 (Mich. App. 1987).
     Unlike other types of legal mail, inmate must pay postage costs of material sent to elected officials; court acknowledges such mail is subject to limited inspections. Averhart v. Shuler, 652 F.Supp. 1504 (N.D. Ind. 1987).
     Deductions for postage is permissible. Flowers v. Smith, 496 N.Y.S. 149 (A.D. 4 Dept. 1985).
     Authorities may read inmates' general correspondence mail; number of stamps allowed to inmates established. Meadows v. Hopkins, 713 F.2d 206 (6th Cir. 1983).
     Prison regulations O.K. - reading of mail and limitations on amount of free postage. Meadows v. Hopkins, 713 F.2d 206 (6th Cir. 1983).



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