FJI Files Lawsuit Against St. Lucie County Jail Over Post-Card Only Policy

Attorneys for FJI, on behalf of Prison Legal News (PLN), have filed a lawsuit against the St. Lucie County Sheriff over the Sheriff’s recently adopted policy that prohibits people incarcerated in the St. Lucie County jail from receiving any mail other than postcards.  The policy also prohibits inmates from receiving any books or magazines through the mail.  The Complaint also alleges that jails officials failed to notify PLN when its mail was rejected and did not provide PLN with an opportunity to appeal the rejections, in violation of the Due Process Clause.  The lawsuit alleges violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and seeks damages and and injunction requiring jail officials to allow PLN to send correspondence to inmates in the jail.  To that end, FJI has also filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, seeking to enjoin the policy. This lawsuit represents FJI’s continued efforts to fight for the rights of those incarcerated in Florida’s prisons and jails, and seeks to reaffirm the principle that government agencies cannot restrict the free flow of information to people who are incarcerated.  The case is ongoing.

PLN has issued a press release.

Click here and here for press coverage of this case.

December 2014 Update: The parties reached a settlement agreement for $50,000.   The St. Lucie County jail is also allowing Prison Legal News’s materials into the jail, so that people incarcerated in the jail can have access to the magazine.  This case represents one step in FJI’s commitment to secure free speech for everyone, regardless of whether they incarcerated.

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