Raines v. Wise et al
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION-re: R&R 53 . The Court is of the opinion that the magistrate judge's report is due to be and hereby IS ADOPTED and his recommendation is ACCEPTED. Signed by Judge Robert B Propst on 8/26/2013. (AVC)
2013 Aug-26 AM 08:48
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
WARDEN DAVID WISE, et al.,
Case No. 2:10-cv-01926-RBP-TMP
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
The magistrate judge filed a report on July 16, 2013, recommending that the
defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted and this action dismissed with
prejudice. The plaintiff filed objections to the report and recommendation on July 30, 2013.
In his objections, the plaintiff continues to complain that the defendants failed to
follow “their own mandatory regulations” when they removed him from the protective
custody unit, and in doing so violated his procedural due process rights. However, the
magistrate judge correctly noted that language in a state statute or regulation will not alone
create a liberty interest entitling prisoners to due process protection, but the determination
hinges upon whether or not a prisoner’s placement in segregation results in a dramatic
departure from the basic conditions of prison life. Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995).
In this instance, the magistrate judge correctly concluded that the plaintiff’s placement in
segregation is not an atypical or significant hardship, and therefore he was not entitled to
procedural due process protection before being transferred to that unit. In any event, the
particular regulations and operating procedures at issue here are couched in discretionary
terms, which vitiates any argument that a liberty interest is created on the basis of the
language therein. Hartley v. Warden of Florida State Prison, 352 Fed.Appx. 368, 369 (11th
The plaintiff also disputes the magistrate judge’s finding that his remaining in
segregation is voluntary because he has refused to go to general population, even to an enemy
free facility. Although the plaintiff acknowledges his refusal to go to general population, he
contends that “unknown enemies” exist even at so-called “enemy free” facilities. However,
on this point the plaintiff fails to provide specific factual support, and his contention is
asserted in a vague and conclusory fashion. It seems clear that the plaintiff may not base a
§ 1983 claim upon the ambiguous allegation that unidentified enemies might exist at another
institution to which he could be transferred. Fullman v. Graddick, 739 F.2d 553, 556-57
(11th Cir.1984). Otherwise, nearly every inmate within the Alabama penal system would be
entitled to placement in protective custody.
With regard to the equal protection claim, the plaintiff responds to the magistrate
judge’s findings by asserting facts which he contends show he was similarly situated to the
persons who were allowed to transfer to the protective custody unit at the Limestone
Correctional Facility. However, he fails to present facts which plausibly show that his
treatment was the result of purposeful or intentional discrimination. Muhammad v. Sapp, 388
Fed.Appx. 892, 899 (11th Cir. 2010) (“the equal protection clause prohibits only intentional
discrimination”); quoting Schwarz v. City of Treasure Island, 544 F.3d 1201, 1212 n. 6 (11th
Cir. 2008). Absent such a showing, the plaintiff cannot assert a valid equal protection claim.
Finally, the plaintiff contends he has adequately stated an Eighth Amendment claim
based upon psychological injury resulting from his placement in segregation. However, the
magistrate correctly concluded that the plaintiff’s allegations not only fail to show a
deprivation of the minimal civilized measure of life’s necessities, but, because of the
plaintiff’s failure to show prior physical injury, any monetary claims based upon
psychological injury are barred by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e).
Accordingly, having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in
the court file, including the report and recommendation and the objections thereto, the Court
is of the opinion that the magistrate judge's report is due to be and hereby is ADOPTED and
his recommendation is ACCEPTED. The Court EXPRESSLY FINDS that there are no
genuine issues of material fact and that the defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Therefore, the defendants' motion for summary judgment is due to be GRANTED
and this action is due to be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. A Final Judgment will be
DONE this the 26th day of August, 2013.
ROBERT B. PROPST
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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