Reid v. Miree et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge R David Proctor on 12/29/2015. (AVC)
2015 Dec-29 PM 01:21
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CORDERO L. REID,
ANGELA MIREE, et al.,
Case No. 2:15-cv-01342-RDP-TMP
The Magistrate Judge filed a Report and Recommendation on November 18, 2015,
recommending that this action be dismissed without prejudice for failing to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). (Doc. 6). Plaintiff has filed
objections to the Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 9). Having considered those objections,
the court finds as follows:
Plaintiff objects to the Report and Recommendation because he believes he is being held
unconstitutionally in disciplinary segregation. (Doc. 9 at 1-2). According to Plaintiff, he was
placed in segregation due to an alleged assault on a prison official, although he was found not
guilty at the hearing. (Id.). Plaintiff believes this placement was in retaliation for this alleged
misconduct, and therefore in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. (Id., at 2). To state a
retaliation claim, a plaintiff must allege that (1) he engaged in constitutionally protected conduct,
(2) the defendant’s retaliatory action adversely affected the protected conduct, and (3) there is a
causal connection between the protected conduct and the prison official’s actions. Smith v.
Sec’y, Florida Dep’t of Corr., 358 Fed. App’x 60, 62 (11th Cir. 2009); citing Smith v. Mosley,
532 F.3d 1270, 1276 (11th Cir. 2008); Farrow v. West, 320 F.3d 1235, 1248–49 (11th Cir.
2003). While Plaintiff asserts he is in segregation due to retaliation for alleged misconduct, the
pleadings filed to date reflect neither protected conduct, nor any causal connection between
protected conduct and Plaintiff’s placement in segregation.
Plaintiff asserts that after the hearing at which he was found not guilty, he was “placed in
disciplinary segregation, a retaliatory act. While in segregation with no write up. The plaintiff
suffers great duress by not receiving mail due to a retaliatory act, without any notification.”
(Doc. 9 at 2). As noted in the Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff has no constitutional right
to not be placed in segregation. See e.g., Anderson v. Chapman, 604 Fed.App’x 810, 813 (11th
Cir. 2015) (confinement to segregation does not violate due process because segregation is
“ordinarily contemplated by a prison sentence.”). Prison officials are “accorded latitude in the
administration of prison affairs.” Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 321 (1972). This latitude includes
“the withdrawal or limitation of many [inmate] privileges and rights.” Pell v. Procunier, 417
U.S. 817, 822 (1974) (quotation marks and citation omitted). Moreover, confinement in punitive
segregation only violates a protected liberty interest when the placement either affects the
duration of the overall sentence, or imposes atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in
relation to ordinary prison life. Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484-486 (1995). The Court
We hold that [the prisoner’s] discipline in segregated confinement did not present
the type of atypical, significant deprivation in which a State might conceivably
create a liberty interest. The record shows that, at the time of [the prisoner’s]
punishment, disciplinary segregation, with insignificant exceptions, mirrored
those conditions imposed upon inmates in administrative segregation and
Id., 515 U.S. at 486. Similarly, Plaintiff here has failed to demonstrate either prong of Sandin.
Plaintiff also asserts that “[b]ased on the new ruling from the U.S. District Court
California in Ashker v. Governor of California, the defendant must show why the plaintiff
remains in segregation . . . .” (Doc. 9 at 2). In Ashker v. Brown, 2013 WL 1435148 (N.D. Cal.
2013), the district court held, given that some of the plaintiffs in that case had lived in solitary
confinement for more than two decades and all had been in solitary confinement for at least 11
years, the plaintiffs alleged a sufficiently serious deprivation of liberty such that the defendant’s
motion to dismiss was properly denied. That decision is inapposite. 1
As to Plaintiff’s objection based on not receiving mail, the Magistrate Judge carefully
considered this allegation in the Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 6 at 7-9). As noted,
Plaintiff alleged only one instance where he did not receive a letter from his sister. (Id., at 9).
Such an isolated incident is insufficient to implicate the First Amendment. Davis v. Goord, 320
F.3d 346, 351 (2d Cir. 2003) (requiring that an inmate show prison officials “regularly and
unjustifiably interfered with the incoming legal mail.”). Plaintiff’s reliance on Procunier v.
Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974), is misplaced. In Thornburgh v. Abbott, 490 U.S. 401 (1989), the
Supreme Court explicitly stated that Procunier’s statement concerning a First Amendment right
of a prisoner to send outgoing mail did not extend to the rights of a prisoner to receive incoming
mail. Thornburgh, 490 U.S. at 413-414.
Having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the materials in the court file,
including the Report and Recommendation, and the objections thereto, the Magistrate Judge’s
report is hereby ADOPTED and the recommendation is ACCEPTED. Therefore, in accordance
with 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), this action is due to be dismissed without prejudice for failing to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
A Final Judgment will be entered.
In addition to lacking any relationship to the facts here, the ruling by a district court in California is not
binding on this court.
DONE and ORDERED this December 29, 2015.
R. DAVID PROCTOR
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?