McBroom v. Roy et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Roy and Leseman's Motion for Summary Judgment 69 is GRANTED, and McBroom's remaining claims are DISMISSED with prejudice. LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY. (Written Opinion) Signed by The Hon. Paul A. Magnuson on 07/24/2017. (LLM)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
James David McBroom,
Case No. 15-cv-2791 (PAM/SER)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Tom Roy, Commissioner Minnesota
Department of Corrections, Kent
Grandlienard, Minnesota Correction
Facility – Oak Park Heights, Corizon
Health, Inc., Stephen Joseph Craane,
Kevin Monio, and Natalie Leseman,
This matter is before the Court on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.
For the following reasons, the Motion is granted.
In 2008, a Minnesota jury convicted Plaintiff James David McBroom of thirddegree criminal sexual assault and the trial court committed McBroom to the Minnesota
Department of Corrections (“DOC”) for 140 months. From September 2012 to January
2016, McBroom was incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Oak Park
Heights (“MCF-OPH”). McBroom was released from prison in March 2016.
During his incarceration at MCF-OPH, McBroom repeatedly attempted to mail
abusive, sexual, threatening, violent, and disturbing poems about McBroom’s victim and
MCF-OPH mailroom staffer, Defendant Natalie Leseman, to various media outlets. (See
e.g., Wherley Aff. (Docket No. 72) Exs. 6, 14, 18, 23.) MCF-OPH staff confiscated these
poems before they could be mailed pursuant to the DOC’s mail policy prohibiting
inmates from sending mail that risks specific individual’s safety, contains contraband, or
contains threats of physical harm or other criminal activity. MCF-OPH staff charged
McBroom with several disciplinary rules violations, found he violated those rules, and
imposed a total of 105 days of extended incarceration, as well as time in disciplinary
segregation. (E.g., id. Exs. 5, 13, 15, 21, 22.)
On January 23, 2015, McBroom filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in
Minnesota state court arguing that the DOC’s decision to impose 105 days of extended
incarceration violated his First Amendment rights.
The state district court denied
McBroom relief and the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that state prison
regulations allowing officials to inspect mail addressed to the media for security reasons
do not violate First Amendment rights. McBroom v. Minnesota Corr. Facility - Oak Park
Heights, No. A15-1544, 2016 WL 102682, at *4 (Minn. Ct. App. Jan. 11, 2016).
On June 24, 2015, McBroom filed this wide-ranging lawsuit under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against DOC commissioner Tom Roy, MCF-OPH, former MCF-OPH warden
Kent Grandlienard, MCF-OPH disciplinary lieutenant Kevin Monio, MCF-OPH
mailroom staffer Natalie Leseman, Corizon Health, Inc., and Dr. Stephen Craane,
alleging, among other things, that the seizure of his poems pursuant to the DOC’s mail
policy violates his First Amendment rights. (Docket Nos. 1, 3.) Defendants Roy, MCFOPH, Monio, and Leseman brought a partial motion to dismiss, which the Court granted,
dismissing all of McBroom’s claims except his First Amendment claim against Roy and
Leseman regarding the seizure of his poems pursuant to the DOC’s mail policy. (Docket
No. 66.) McBroom, Corizon, and Dr. Craane later filed a stipulation dismissing Corizon
and Dr. Craane from the lawsuit. (Docket Nos. 124, 127.) Thus, McBroom’s First
Amendment claim against Roy and Leseman is the only claim that remains.
While this lawsuit was ongoing, McBroom also filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus with this Court, once again raising his argument that the DOC’s decision to
impose 105 days of extended incarceration violated his First Amendment rights.
Magistrate Judge Steven E. Rau issued a thorough and well-reasoned Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”), concluding that the Minnesota Court of Appeals did not err
when it determined that state prison regulations allowing officials to inspect mail
addressed to the media for security reasons do not violate First Amendment rights.
McBroom v. Minnesota Corr. Facility-Oak Park Heights, No. 16cv740, 2017 WL
1957564 (D. Minn. Mar. 1, 2017). The Court addressed McBroom’s objections and
adopted the R&R.
McBroom v. Minnesota Corr. Facility-Oak Park Heights, No.
16cv740, 2017 WL 1956864 (D. Minn. May 10, 2017) (Magnuson, J.).
Leseman and Roy now seek summary judgment.
Summary judgment is proper if there are no disputed issues of material fact and
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). The
Court must view the evidence and inferences that may be reasonably drawn from the
evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Enter. Bank v. Magna
Bank, 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996). The moving party bears the burden of showing
that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A party opposing a properly
supported motion for summary judgment may not rest on mere allegations or denials, but
must set forth specific facts in the record showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986).
The Minnesota Court of Appeals, Magistrate Judge Rau, and this Court have
already heard, addressed, and rejected McBroom’s argument that Roy and Leseman
violated his First Amendment rights by implementing the DOC’s mail policy and seizing
McBroom’s disturbing poems. The Court will not again repeat in detail the reasons why
McBroom’s claims fail as a matter of law. In short, state prison regulations allowing
officials to inspect mail addressed to the media for security reasons do not violate First
Amendment rights. Smith v. Delo, 995 F.2d 827 (8th Cir. 1993). And McBroom’s
poems clearly violated the DOC’s mail policy regardless of McBroom labeling them
“fiction.” McBroom’s claims therefore fail.
Roy and Leseman did not violate McBroom’s First Amendment rights.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Roy and Leseman’s Motion for
Summary Judgment (Docket No. 69) is GRANTED and McBroom’s remaining claims
are DISMISSED with prejudice.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
Dated: July 24, 2017
s/ Paul A. Magnuson
Paul A. Magnuson
United States District Court Judge
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