Kelly v. Bishop
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard D. Bennett on 11/3/2016. (c/m 11/03/2016 bas, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
ANTHONY QUENTIN KELLY
WARDEN FRANK B. BISHOP, JR.
CIVIL ACTION NO. RDB-16-3536
On October 24, 2016, the Court received for filing the above-captioned
Injunction" filed by Anthony Kelly, a prisoner housed at the North Branch Correctional Institution
Kelly seeks court order to compel the NBCI Warden to permit Case Management
Specialist Lease to notarize and photocopy his legal documents.! He claims that Warden Bishop will
not allow Lease to notarize his legal documents (proof of service and affidavit or declaration in
support of indigency motion to be filed in the district and circuit courts) because of his lawsuits
pending in this Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
ECF No. 1.
Kelly's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis shall be granted. His Complaint, however,
shall be summarily dismissed.
To the extent that Kelly's complaint for injunctive relief may be construed as a civil rights
action, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
9 1983, his complaint
shall be dismissed. Prisoners are entitled to
"a reasonably adequate opportunity to present claimed violations of fundamental constitutional rights
to the courts." Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 825 (1977); see also Hudspeth v. Figgins, 584 F.2d
On September 26, 2016, Kelly filed a lawsuit for damages, alleging that Case
Management Specialist Shayla Lease refused to notarize his legal documents to be sent to the
Supreme Court in retaliation for his filing federal lawsuits against Division of Correction employees.
The case is proceeding for a response. See Kelly v. Lease, et aI., Civil Action No. RDB-16-3294 (D.
1345, 1347 (4th Cir. 1978). In 1996, the Supreme Court clarified the Bounds decision by finding that
a deprivation of an inmate's right of access to the courts is actionable, but only when the inmate is
able to demonstrate actual injury from such deprivation.
See Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 349
(1996). According to the Lewis opinion, the Constitution does not guarantee inmates the ability to
litigate every imaginable claim they can perceive, only that they be given the tools necessary "in
order to attack their sentences, directly or collaterally, and in order to challenge the conditions of
their confinement." Id. at 355.
Kelly has failed to set out a colorable access-to-courts claim. He does not indicate why
and/or how his inability to obtain copy work or notarized legal documents, such as proof of service
and indigency applications, prevents him from filing cases in the district or circuit courts. See Tapp
v. Proto, et ai., 404 Fed. Appx' 563,566 (3dCir. 2010) (failure to show actual injury associated with
alleged refusal to notarize documents). Indeed, Kelly has filed a number of self-represented cases in
this Court with unnotarized documents.
The matters were accepted for filing and allowed to
proceed. Further, Kelly's appeals have been filed in the Fourth Circuit without notarized documents.
Kelly has failed to allege how his alleged inability to obtain notarized documents or photocopies has
caused him actual injury. Given these circumstances, the court finds that he has failed to state a First
Amendment access-to-courts claim.
Injunctive relief shall be denied and the Complaint shall be
Insofar as Kelly seeks injunctive relief to compel action on the part of the Warden, his cause
action may be alternately construed as a Petition for Mandamus relief. This remedy is only used in
extraordinary circumstances. See Kerr v. United States Dist. Court, 426 U.S. 394, 402 (1976); In re
Beard, 811 Fold 818,826 (4th Cir. 1987). Title 28 U.S.C.
S 1361 confers
original jurisdiction on the
United States District Courts "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." Thus,
a federal court may only issue a writ of mandamus against an employee or official of the United
States and, even then, may only command that employee or official "to perform a mandatory or
ministerial duty, rather than one that is purely discretionary." Ocean Breeze Festival Park v. Reich,
853 F.Supp. 906, 915 (E.D. Va. 1994), affirmed by Virginia Beach Policeman's Benevolent
Association v. Reich, 96 F.3d 1440 (4th Cir. 1996). A federal court does not have jurisdiction over
state entities or employees in an action for writ of mandamus.
See Gurley v. Superior Court of
Mecklenburg County, 411 Fold 586, 587 (4th Cir. 1969); see also AT & T Wireless
pes v. Winston-
Salem Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 172 F.3d 307,312 n. 3 (4th Cir. 1999). Consequently, this Court
has no authority to provide the relief sought by Kelly. A separate Order follows dismissing the cause
Date: Oeteeer , ~
RICHARD D. BENNETT
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?