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U.S. appeals court: prohibition regulation.

Clement v. California Dept. of Corrections, 364 F.3d 1148 (9th Cir. 2004). A state inmate brought a [section] 1983 action, alleging that a regulation prohibiting inmates from receiving mail that contained material downloaded from the Internet violated his First Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment for the inmate and issued a permanent, statewide injunction against enforcement of the Internet mail policy. The state corrections department appealed, and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the regulation violated the First Amendment and that a statewide injunction was appropriate. The court found that the regulation was an arbitrary way to achieve a reduction in the volume of mail, and that the corrections department did not support its assertion that coded messages were more likely to be inserted into Internet-generated materials than into word-processed documents. The court noted that the origin of printed electronic mail was usually easier to trace than that of handwritten or typed mail. The court held that entering a statewide injunction barring enforcement of the policy was consistent with the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, where evidence showed that at least eight state prisons had adopted virtually identical policies and other prisons were considering it. The court held that the injunction was no broader than necessary to remedy the First Amendment violations. (Pelican Bay State Prison, California)
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Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:May 1, 2004
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