Martin v. Hurley et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Courts Memorandum and Order [ECF No. 4] and Order of Dismissal [ECF No. 5] dated June 7, 2013, are VACATED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall reopen this action.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that th e Clerk shall issue process or cause process to issue on the complaint. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), Defendants shall reply to Plaintiffs claims within the time provided by the applicable provisions of Rule 12(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure., Case reopened. Signed by District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on 6/26/13. (JWJ)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JAMES HURLEY, et al.,
No. 2:13CV00048 SPM
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on sua sponte review of its final order dismissing this
action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). After further review of the facts and the case law, the
Court has determined that this action should be allowed to proceed beyond the frivolity
review stage against the named Defendants.
Plaintiff alleged that Defendants caused him to be held in solitary confinement for at
least nine months based on a disciplinary charge they knew to be false. Plaintiff also claimed
that there was insufficient evidence to support the charge. The Court dismissed the
complaint, finding that a nine month period in solitary confinement did not implicate the Due
Process Clause under Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995).
Under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court can grant relief
from a judgment in cases of “mistake, inadvertence . . . [or for] any other reason that justifies
relief.” This Court has the authority to “grant relief from a judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b)
sua sponte.” Pierson v. Dormire, 484 F.3d 486, 491 (8th Cir. 2007).
The Court believes that had Plaintiff simply alleged that he had been confined in
administrative segregation for nine months, his allegations would not have risen to the level
of atypical and significant hardship that might give rise to a liberty interest. See, e.g., Orr
v. Larkins, 610 F.3d 1032, 1034 (8th Cir. 2010) (nine month period in administrative
segregation does not give rise to liberty interest.). However, Plaintiff alleges that he was
placed in solitary confinement for at least nine months. Under these circumstances, the
Court cannot say at this stage of the litigation that Plaintiff cannot demonstrate the existence
of a liberty interest. See, e.g., Marion v. Columbia Corr. Inst., 559 F.3d 693, 698-99 (7th
Cir. 2009) (issue of whether 240 days in disciplinary segregation was type of atypical,
significant hardship that would implicate protected liberty interest could not be decided at
pleading stage of state prisoner's § 1983 action). As a result, the Court will vacate its orders
dismissing this action, and the Court will order the Clerk to issue process on the complaint.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Court’s Memorandum and Order [ECF No. 4]
and Order of Dismissal [ECF No. 5] dated June 7, 2013, are VACATED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall reopen this action.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk shall issue process or cause process to
issue on the complaint.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), Defendants
shall reply to Plaintiff’s claims within the time provided by the applicable provisions of Rule
12(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Dated this 26th day of June, 2013.
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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