Aguiar v. Stancil et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER denying 15 Motion Requesting Court to Issue an Order Instructing the F.B.I. and the U.S. Postal Inspector's Office to Investigate Prison Officials. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph H L Perez-Montes on 7/24/2017. (crt,ThomasSld, T)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
CASE NO. 1:16-CV-01583; SEC. P
M A STANCIL, ET AL.,
MAGISTRATE JUDGE PEREZ-MONTES
Before the Court is a motion filed by Plaintiff Andres Aguiar (“Aguiar”)
requesting this Court to issue an order, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1361, instructing the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and the United States Postal Inspector’s
Office to investigate and prosecute certain prison officials for obstruction of justice
and violating United States postal laws. (Doc. 15).
Aguiar alleges that mail room officers at United States Penitentiary – Pollock
are violating United States postal laws and Federal Bureau of Prison regulations. He
states that when mail from the local federal courthouse is received in the prison
mailroom, the officers use the information contained in the caption of the case to look
into the court records via PACER, and then share the information with other prison
guards. He additionally alleges that a mailroom officer has refused to process
Aguiar’s outgoing certified mail letters, and that prison officials had refused to make
photocopies for him of a letter for the Warden which Aguiar states he was unable to
send. He also asserts that prison staff delayed the delivery of at least one letter,
specifically the Court’s letter extending the time to file a response to the Report and
Recommendation. Furthermore, Aguiar states that following a search on February
27, 2017, all of his legal papers and books, and most of his other personal items, were
missing, but that other inmates in the adjoining cells had their personal property and
legal materials returned within a couple of hours. He states that when he was allowed
to retrieve legal materials from his property, he noticed items were missing and
vandalized in “an act of sabotage and reprisals” for filing court cases. (Doc. 15, p. 15,
17/25). Aguiar attaches as exhibits a Memorandum from the Warden of F.C.C.
Pollock regarding a scheduled shakedown of the housing units, and the F.C.C. Pollock
The federal mandamus statute states that “[t]he district courts shall have
original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or
employee of the United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the
plaintiff.” 28 U.S.C. § 1361. Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy and will issue
only to compel the performance of a clear nondiscretionary duty. Pittston Coal Group
v. Sebben, 488 U.S. 105, 121 (1998).
Before the writ of mandamus may issue, “three elements must coexist: (1) a
clear right in the plaintiff to the relief sought; (2) a clear duty on the part of the
defendant to perform the act in question; and (3) no other adequate remedy
available.” Carter v. Seamans, 411 F.2d 767, 773 (5th Cir. 1969). Mandamus does not
supersede other remedies. Rather, it comes into play where there is a want of such
remedies. Id. The alternative remedy must be adequate, meaning that it is capable of
affording full relief as to the very subject matter in question. Id.
A writ of mandamus is not available to review the discretionary acts of officials.
Giddings v. Chandler, 979 F.2d 1104, 1108 (5th Cir. 1992). The FBI’s decision to
investigate a complaint is a discretionary decision, and Aguiar does not have a legal
right to demand that the FBI investigate his complaint. See 28 U.S.C. §535; see also
James v. Giddens, No. 14-364, 2015 WL 5437345, at *2 (M.D. La. Sept. 14, 2015). The
postal inspector’s decision whether to conduct an investigation is also discretionary.
Roots v. Callahan, 475 F.2d 751, 752 (5th Cir. 1973). Furthermore, Aguiar has an
alternative remedy in the form of a Bivens action to raise any such claims. See In re
Stone, 118 F.3d 1032, 1034 (5th Cir. 1997); United States v. Fierro, 47 F.3d 424 (5th
Cir. 1995) (to recover for any Eighth or Fourteenth Amendment violations, the
petitioner can bring a Bivens action); Aunhkhotep v. Pearson, No. 5:09-CV-103, 2010
WL 3879960, at *1 (S.D. Miss. March 3, 2010), report and recommendation adopted,
2010 WL 3879400 (S.D. Miss. Sept. 28, 2010) (Petitioner had another available
adequate remedy under Bivens for raising constitutional violations). Therefore,
Aguiar cannot demonstrate a clear right to mandamus relief.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Aguiar’s motion for writ of mandamus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1361 (Doc. 15) is DENIED.
THUS DONE AND SIGNED in chambers in Alexandria, Louisiana, this
_______ day of July, 2017.
Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes
United States Magistrate Judge
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