Is inmate correspondence to a judge confidential or should a copy be made for the court file?

Inmate communication with a judge is not confidential or otherwise protected.  The judge should review the correspondence, and a copy of any communication should be placed into the court file.  The court should respond, generally, acknowledging receipt of the correspondence but not addressing any substantive questions.

If issues are raised by the correspondence, the court may wish to suggest the inmate contact counsel.  If the court feels substantive issues have been raised, it may set a hearing to address the issues and provide notice to all counsel of record. 

Copies of all correspondence and responses should be retained in the court file and sent to all counsel of record.  

RN id: 1305