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Lawsuit against Cache County Jail mail policy dismissed

Published December 8, 2011 5:30 pm

Courts • Inmates who filed suit are no longer at the jail.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A U.S. District judge dismissed a lawsuit against Cache County officials that alleged a policy forcing jail inmates to correspond with postcards violated their constitutional rights because the postcards can be read by others.

Three Cache County Jail inmates — Jeffrey Allen Tucker, Jesus Cabrera, Barry Snyder — and Bert Sainsbury, who is Cabrera's LDS bishop, filed the lawsuit in September claiming the mail policy imposed in February 2011 severely restricts prisoners' ability to communicate with outside clergy, places a substantial burden on the religious exercise of prisoners and is illegal.

The new policy limits all incoming and outgoing mail — with the exception of "privileged mail" between an inmate and an attorney or the court — to postcards, according to the lawsuit. It further limits correspondence to two postcards a week for indigent inmates, the lawsuit claimed.

Before the policy was implemented, prisoners wrote and mailed multipage letters using paper, envelopes and postage supplied by the jail, and received similar correspondence, according to the lawsuit.

On Dec. 2, the parties agreed U.S. District Judge Dee Benson could dismiss the lawsuit, noting that all three inmates have been transferred out of the jail and their claims for injunctive relief were now moot.

In a news release, Cache County Sheriff's office said that evidence against the inmates' case was "overwhelming" and had "a very limited potential for success."





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