Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sweeney v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

May 2, 2018

CHARLES SWEENEY, ANTHONY DELAROSA, on their own behalf and on behalf of those similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
COMMISSIONER, INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, Defendant.

          ENTRY ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO CERTIFY CLASS

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         This cause is before the Court on the Plaintiffs' Motion to Certify Class (Dkt. No. 5). The motion is fully briefed, and the Court, being duly advised, GRANTS the motion for the reasons set forth below.[1]

         I. RULE 23 STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 governs class actions. Rule 23 requires a two-step analysis to determine whether it is appropriate to certify a particular class. First, the plaintiffs must satisfy all four requirements of Rule 23(a): (1) numerosity; (2) commonality; (3) typicality; and (4) adequacy of representation. Williams v. Chartwell Fin. Servs., Ltd., 204 F.3d 748, 760 (7th Cir. 2000). Second, the action must satisfy one of the conditions of Rule 23(b). Id. The Court has “broad discretion to determine whether certification of a class-action lawsuit is appropriate.” Chavez v. Ill. State Police, 251 F.3d 612, 629 (7th Cir. 2001) (citation and quotation omitted).

         II. BACKGROUND

         The named plaintiffs in this case, Charles Sweeney and Anthony Delarosa, are adult residents of Indiana who are committed to the Defendant Indiana Department of Corrections (“DOC”) and are confined at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. On April 1, 2017, the DOC implemented Executive Directive #17-13. The Directive provides, in relevant part:

The purpose of this Executive Directive is to direct all Department Facilities to disallow incoming offender correspondence with colored envelopes, colored paper, and greeting cards mailed to offenders through the United States Postal System (USPS). This Executive Directive is applicable to all Department facilities and is effective April 1, 2017.
In order to impede the introduction of narcotics and synthetic narcotics into the Department's facilities, greeting cards, colored envelopes, and colored paper shall no longer be considered allowable correspondence. On the effective date, greeting cards, colored paper, and colored envelopes entering the facility via the USPS shall be processed in accordance with Section XII, “Disposition of Incoming Correspondence, ” and Section XIII, “Report of Action Taken on Correspondence, ” of Policy and Administrative Procedure 02-01-103, “Offender Correspondence.”
Incoming correspondence to offenders must be in a plain white envelope and the letter/correspondence inside the envelope must be on originally purchased, plain white, lined paper (no photocopies).
This Executive Directive does not affect the electronic greeting cards available through JPay. Facilities are directed to notify the offender population, in their customary manner, of this change. Offenders shall be encouraged to notify their family, friends, and other correspondents of this change.

Dkt. No. 1 at 9.

         The Plaintiffs' Complaint alleges that Executive Directive #17-13 violates the First Amendment, as applied to the DOC by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Plaintiffs seek a declaration to that effect and also seek injunctive relief enjoining the application and use of Directive #17-13.

         The DOC has filed an Amended Notice of Suggestion of Mootness (Dkt. No. 23), indicating that Executive Directive #17-13 has been rescinded. As such, the DOC argues, the relief sought by the Plaintiffs is no longer possible.

         The Plaintiffs have responded, arguing that because the relevant portions of the new directive, Executive Directive #17-66, are virtually identical to the prior directive, Plaintiffs' claims that the restrictions on incoming mail violate the First ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.