McBryde v. Thomas et al
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 80 in full. Defendants' motions for summary judgment 53 , 57 are GRANTED. Signed by Judge Dana L. Christensen on 4/29/2014. Mailed to McBryde. (TAG, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
CV 12-76-H -DLC
CRAIG THOMAS, FERN OSLER,
JULIE THOMAS, MEAGHAN
SHONE, TIME KRUMB, NEXUS
AND COUNSELING SERVICES,
APR 2 9 201~
Clerk, u.s District Court
District Of Montana
Plaintiff Cameron McBryde is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging Defendants violated his rights under the
Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. Defendants now move for
summary judgment. United States Magistrate Judge Keith Strong entered findings
and recommendations on April 7, 2014, in which he found that Mr. McBryde
voluntarily participated in the Nexus program, and that no Defendant coerced Mr.
McBryde into supporting or participating in religion or its exercise. Judge Strong
recommended that the Court grant the Defendants' motions and enter judgment in
favor of the Defendants. Because the parties are familiar with the factual and
procedural background in this case, it will not be repeated here.
Mr. McBryde did not timely object to the findings and recommendations,
and so have waived the right to de novo review of the record. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). This Court will review the findings and recommendations for clear
error. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309,
1313 (9th Cir. 1981). Clear error exists if the Court is left with a "definite and firm
conviction that a mistake has been committed." United States v. Syrax, 235 F.3d
422, 427 (9th Cir. 2000).
Judge Strong properly applied the three-step test established in Inouye v.
Kemna to determine if there has been governmental coercion of religious activity.
504 F.3d 705, 713 (9th Cir. 2007). Judge strong found that the state did not "act"
under the meaning 9f Inouye (step one), and that even if the state's
recommendation that Mr. McBryde enroll in the Nexus program was an "act," it
did not amount to coercion (step two). Because Mr. McBryde's claim clearly
failed at step two, Judge Strong did not reach a determination on step three.
Judge Strong concluded that the Defendants did not force or coerce him to
participate in religious activities as a condition of parole, and upon review of the
materials filed in this case, the Court agrees. There is substantial evidence that Mr.
McBryde was not told to participate in the Nexus program as a condition of
parole, but was recommended to the program based on his own request.
Mr. McBryde has presented no evidence to the contrary. There is no genuine issue
of material fact as to governmental coercion of religious activities. Mr. McBryde's
Establishment Clause claim fails.
After a review of Judge Strong's findings and recommendations, I find no
clear error. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that:
Judge Strong's findings and recommendations (Doc. 80) is
ADOPTED in full;
(2) Defendants' motions for summary judgment (Docs. 53; 57) are
(3) This case is now closed. The Clerk of Court is directed to enter
judgment in favor of the Defendants pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
2/( ~day of April, 201
Dana L. Christensen, Chie Judge
United States District Court
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