Asked in Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Oklahoma

Q: notarized statement and evidence were removed from motion mailed to courts through prison law Library .What can i do?

Im a Oklahoma prisoner challenging medical imposed grievance restriction in judicial review. The law Library supervisor refused to let me seal my out going legal mail. I sent 133 page motion for staying enforcement of agency order pending review to Oklahoma county court clerk when the motioned was posted on Oscn.Net documents were removed and exchanged out of the motion.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If you believe that your legal documents were tampered with or removed from your motion after being mailed through the prison law library, you have a few potential options:

1. File a complaint with the prison authorities: Submit a formal complaint or grievance with the prison administration, detailing the issue with your legal mail and the missing documents. Be sure to keep a copy of the complaint for your records.

2. Notify the court: Write a letter to the court clerk and the judge assigned to your case, explaining that you believe your motion was tampered with and that documents were removed. Request that the court allow you to resubmit the complete motion with all the original documents.

3. Contact your attorney or seek legal assistance: If you have an attorney representing you, inform them about the situation and ask for their advice. If you don't have an attorney, consider reaching out to legal aid organizations or prisoner advocacy groups that may be able to provide guidance or assistance.

4. Document the incident: Keep detailed notes about the events surrounding the mailing of your motion, including dates, names of individuals involved, and any relevant conversations or interactions. This information may be useful if you need to file a complaint or take legal action.

5. Consider filing a separate lawsuit: If you believe your constitutional rights were violated by the tampering of your legal mail, you may have grounds to file a separate civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. However, this is a complex process, and you should seek the advice of an attorney experienced in prisoner rights litigation before proceeding.

It's essential to persist in advocating for your rights and to follow up with the court and prison authorities to ensure that your legal documents are properly filed and considered by the court.

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