Pell v. Procunier

PETITIONER:Eve Pell, Betty Segal and Paul Jacobs
RESPONDENT:Raymond K. Procunier
LOCATION:Central Intelligence Agency Headquarters

DOCKET NO.: 73-918
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)

CITATION: 417 US 817 (1974)
ARGUED: Apr 16, 1974 / Apr 17, 1974
DECIDED: Jun 24, 1974

Herman Schwartz – for Pell and others
John T. Murphy – for Procunier and others
Stanley A. Bass – for Hillery and others

Facts of the case


Media for Pell v. Procunier

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – April 16, 1974 in Pell v. Procunier

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 24, 1974 in Pell v. Procunier

Potter Stewart:

Number 73-754 and 73-918, Raymond K Procunier, Director of the California Department of Corrections versus Hillery and Eve Pell and others against Raymond K Procunier are two cases that are here on appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

These cases are here on cross-appeals from the judgment of a three-judge District Court in that district of California.

The plaintiffs in the District Court were four California prison inmates and three professional journalists.

The defendants were Mr. Procunier, the Director of the California Department of Corrections and several subordinate officers in that department.

The plaintiffs brought the suit to challenge the constitutionality under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of a Section of a California Department of Corrections manual, which provides that, “Press and other media interviewers with specific individual inmates will not be permitted.”

The District Court decided in favor of the inmate plaintiffs and against the media plaintiffs.

For the reasons set out in detail in the written opinion of the Court filed with the clerk today, we hold that the California prison rule does not violate the constitutional rights of either group of plaintiffs and accordingly we affirm in part and reverse in part, the judgment of the District Court.

Mr. Justice Powell has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part and Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a dissenting opinion in which Mr. Justice Brennan and Mr. Justice Marshall have joined.