Ratchford et al v. Evans et al
ORDER ADOPTING 75 PARTIAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS and denying motions (6)(14)(30). Document No. 43 is granted in part and denied in part, and the motion for class certification (21) is denied. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 1/13/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
JEFFREY SCOTT RATCHFORD,
ADC # 127515; CHARLES E. BUTLER,
ADC # 110397; ROBERT HEFFERNAN,
ADC # 76641; and DELLEMOND
CUNNINGHAM, ADC # 104415
GLADYS M. EVANS, Program
Specialist, Varner Unit, ADC;
Business Manager, Varner Unit,
ADC; JAMES BANKS, Warden,
Varner Unit, ADC; and RAY
HOBBS, Director, Arkansas
Department of Correction
The Court has considered Magistrate Judge Jerome T. Kearney's
Proposed Findings and Recommendations, Document No. 75, to which
Ratchford, et al., objected, Document No. 80. Upon de novo review of the
record, FED. R. Cry. P. 72(b)(3), the Court adopts Judge Kearney's well-crafted
proposal as its own.
To begin, the Court agrees that Ratchford's motions, Document Nos. 6,
14, & 30, should be construed as motions for preliminary injunctive relief. But
inmates have no constitutional right to access to typewriters. American Inmate
Paralegal Association v. Cline, 859 F.2d 59, 61 (8th Cir. 1988). The cases
Ratchford cited in his objections, Document No. 80, at 5-6, are distinguishable.
In Cody v. Weber, the Court of Appeals noted that, as here, "an inmate whose
legal papers were removed ... but who was allowed to obtain copies of
requested portions and ultimately regain possession of all the papers could
not avoid summary judgment[,]" because he could not show he suffered any
prejudice. 256 F.3d 764, 770 (8th Cir. 2001). And in Waf! v. South Dakota
Department ofCorrections, an unpublished opinion, the denial-of-court-access
claim arose because the prisoners "were forced to abandon their machines,"
upon which they had stored their legal documents. 51 Fed. App'x. 615, 616
(8th Cir. 2002). As the record shows, there is no abandonment here-the
Defendants have already made efforts to allow the prisoners to retrieve their
stored legal work.
Moreover, the Court agrees that the Plaintiffs have suffered no actual
injury, nor have they been denied access to the courts. This is most evident
by the fact that they were able to file and prosecute this very lawsuit with
The Court agrees that the Plaintiffs motion for preservation of their
electronic files, Document No. 43, should be granted in part and denied in part,
and adopts Judge Kearney's sound directive that inmates at Varner be given
adequate notice and at least sixty days in which to retrieve all their files before
they are removed from the system or otherwise destroyed. The motion for
class certification, Document No. 21, is denied for the reasons stated in the
recommended disposition, Document No. 75, at 17-20.
The motions for preliminary injunctive relief, Document Nos. 6, 14, & 30,
are denied. The motion for protective order/preservation of electronic files
and documents, Document No. 43, is granted in part and denied in part. The
motion for class certification, Document No. 21, is denied.
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?