AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Corrections Law for Jails, Prisons and Detention Facilities
A Virginia inmate sued, claiming that his constitutional rights were violated when he experienced a “rough ride” while being transported in a van. In regard to the Eighth Amendment claim, the federal appeals court ruled that the plaintiff had shown facts making out a violation of a clearly established right based on failure to ensure safe transport and adherence to correctional department procedures. Therefore, the court overturned the grant of summary judgment and remanded as to two officers, including the driver of the van. However, because he failed to show sufficient facts for supervisory liability, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment for three other defendants. Thompson v. Commonwealth of Virginia, #15-7680, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 25486 (4th Cir.).
Since the plaintiff prisoner alleged
facts that, if true, would show that the Prison Housing Manager who failed to
grant his transfer request had actual knowledge of an excessive risk to his
safety, granting the defendant summary judgment on a claim for failing to protect
the plaintiff against an attack carried out by his cellmate was erroneous.
Raynor v. Pugh, #14-7746, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 4877 (4th Cir.).
A prisoner suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) claimed that prison wardens and supervisory physicians acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The wardens were entitled to qualified immunity because there was no specific evidence that they were directly involved in or responsible for the allegedly inadequate treatment. Further, the evidence showed that the physicians were aware of the prisoner's medical needs and took steps to meet them. The prisoner also failed to show that he engaged in activities protected by the First Amendment or that his transfer to another facility or placement in segregation was retaliatory or violated due process. In fact, the transfer was to facilitate him receiving necessary psychiatric treatment. Saylor v. Randy Kohl, M.D., #14-3889, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 1459 (8th Cir.).
A California prisoner challenged a decision by state correctional authorities to "validate" him as an associate of the Mexican Mafia gang, which then led to his transfer to a Security Housing Unit (SHU) for an indeterminate time. An appeals court found that the warden did not establish a direct link between the prisoner's actions while participating in a prison disturbance and orders from another prisoner shown to be a Mexican Mafia associate. While the actions were consistent with those orders, without evidence that he did so to comply with orders from that specific person, the trial court properly ordered his gang validation expunged and his residency in the SHU terminated. In re Martinez, #A142502, 42 Cal. App. 4th 299, 2015 Cal. App. Lexis 1026.
\ A delusional convicted prisoner claimed that his involuntary medication with antipsychotic drugs and his transfer to a state hospital treatment unit from a city correctional center violated his due process rights. A federal appeals court rejected these claims, noting that such forcible medication can be approved based on "overriding justification and a determination of medical appropriateness." He received appropriate due process, including a hearing, within seven days of arrival at the treatment facility and before any involuntary medication had begun. The hearing determined, based on an evaluation that he suffered from a grave disability that made it impossible for him to function either in prison or in society following his release, which justified the medication. His constitutional liberty interest in avoiding involuntary medication was not expanded by the particulars of a state correctional policy on the subject. Green v. Dormire, #11–2251, 691 F.3d 917 (8th Cir.).
A trial judge ruled that there was a due process liberty interest in not being transferred to a "supermax" facility because the conditions there constituted an atypical and significant hardship on those incarcerated there. The judge entered an injunctive order mandating specific procedures before a prisoner could be sent there, including those the defendants had adopted for reviewing proposed transfers. The scope and specificity of the injunctive order violated the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3626(a)(1)(A) by going further than required to remedy the constitutional violations found and by failing to use the "least intrusive means" of correcting the violations. The injunction denied prison administrators significant administrative discretion and flexibility, which was improper. Westefer v. Neal, #10–2957, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 11386 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner not involved in a fight between two other inmates claimed he struck in the arm by a shotgun pellet fired by a guard was a nearby catwalk. He allegedly had to wait four days for medical attention, suffering significant pain in the interim. Right after the incident, a medical aide allegedly assured him that she would go and get medication and medical supplies for him, but did not return with it. He asserted a valid claim for excessive use of force, as there was sufficient evidence to support an inference that an officer acted maliciously in using deadly force against prisoners not involved in the fight. The delay in treatment supported a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Claims against one officer concerning medical care were properly dismissed, as he summoned medical assistance as soon as he became aware of the prisoner's injury. The prisoner also stated a valid First Amendment claim, based on his assertion that he was transferred to another facility in retaliation for threatening to bring a grievance over the incident. Gomez v. Randle, #11-2962, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 9656 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner sued correctional officers, claiming that they retaliated against him in violation of his First Amendment rights, transferring him to a higher security level facility because he participated in a class action lawsuit in state court on inmate property issues and aided other prisoners in filing grievances. The inmate's actions constituted protected activities, and were followed by an adverse event, his transfer. A federal appeals court upheld a trial court judgment in favor of two defendants found not to have engaged in unlawful retaliation but ordered further proceedings as to three other defendants to determine if they did. There was evidence that these three had been involved in the decision to make the transfer and may have been motivated by retaliatory motives. They had not adequately shown that they would have ordered the transfer in any event because of the inmate's "disruptive" behavior, as the record was devoid of any evidence of such behavior other than the protected activities and a memo written by a defendant whose bias was evident from her "acts of instructing other officers to fabricate misconduct tickets against him." The other two remaining defendants did not claim to have read that memo. King v. Zamiara, #09–2469, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 10240, 2012 Fed. App. 146P (6th Cir.).
The transfer of a Jewish prisoner to a prison located at a distance from major cities did not violate his right to religious freedom, even though it was too far away for religious volunteers to travel to provide him with services. The law does not protect prisoners from transfers to facilities which they view as unfavorable. There was no evidence that the defendants precluded visits to the facilities by rabbis or other Jewish religious volunteers. Bader v. Wrenn, #11-1634, 675 F.3d 95 (1st Cir. 2012).
A prisoner faced threats of assault from other prisoners who knew that he had cooperated in the prosecution of a fellow escapee, who joined a white supremacist group. He was transferred to various facilities as a result. He claimed that prison officials deliberately ignored the risk that inmates would attack him, subjected him to unconstitutional conditions, and retaliated against him for complaining to his sentencing judge and for filing a lawsuit. Upholding summary judgment for the defendants, a federal appeals court ruled that the conditions the plaintiff faced in the facilities he was transferred to did not constitute "atypically harsh conditions of prison confinement." The efforts to protect him against assault had generally been successful (for seven years after one attack), and there was no proof of unconstitutional retaliation. Yeadon v. Lappin, #10-3744, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 10706 (7th Cir.).
A prisoner was entitled to proceed with his claim that he was transferred to a restricted housing unit by a captain in retaliation for his First Amendment-protected activity of filing a grievance concerning a disciplinary charge the captain filed against him. There was evidence that the captain justified the transfer by claiming to have information that the prisoner was somehow responsible for a fight between other prisoners, but his failure to similarly transfer two prisoners known to have been involved in the fight supported the claim of a retaliatory motive. Washington-El v. DiGuglielmo, #10-2462, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 5857 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
A federal appeals court reinstated a federal prisoner's civil rights lawsuit over his transfer to a lock-down unit in another prison, since his claim that prison staff were being abusive in retaliation for his protected conduct of filing grievances was "at least plausible," and therefore should not have been dismissed as frivolous. Transfer to a more restrictive environment with fewer privileges would deter a "person of ordinary firmness" from exercising his right to file grievances, so the plaintiff adequately alleged that the transfer was retaliatory, and violated his First Amendment rights. Hill v. Lappin, #09-5575, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 26261 (6th Cir.).
While two major misconduct tickets were pending against him, a prison was placed in administrative segregation, and then transferred to a higher security facility, where he was again placed in administrative segregation. He was subsequently found guilty of both misconduct charges, and placed in the general population at his new facility. He sued, claiming that the administrative segregation and transfer, neither of which had been preceded by a hearing, violated his due process rights. Upholding the dismissal of these claims, a federal appeals court held that the prisoner failed to show that he had a constitutionally protected liberty interest with regard to either the administrative segregation or the transfer. The segregation did not impose an "atypical and significant' hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life." As for the transfer, the prisoner had no right to be confined in any particular prison. Joseph v. Curtin, #09-1616, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 24380 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
A prisoner confined in a Restrictive Housing Unit ("RHU") claimed that this confinement has caused her physical and mental condition to deteriorate such that, among other things, she has lost over 100 pounds and become malnourished, suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and experiences migraines and nausea. She also claimed that her confinement in the RHU has prevented her from visiting with or calling her family. She sought transfer to a prison in another state, as well as money damages. She appealed the denial of a preliminary injunction granting the transfer. Upholding the denial, the appeals court noted that the plaintiff did not ask for her release from the RHU into the general population, nor request that the defendants take steps to remedy her alleged physical and mental conditions while in the RHU. The plaintiff "has no entitlement to incarceration in any particular prison, let alone one outside Pennsylvania." Ball v. Beard, #10-1419, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 20792 (Unpub.3rd Cr.).
The majority of a three-judge federal appeals panel rejected a prisoner's claim that a correctional employee had him transferred to a higher-level security facility in unlawful retaliation for having filed prison grievances, They agreed that filing such grievances constituted constitutionally protected activity, but found that the prisoner's assertions that the employee had "confronted" him about one such grievance was insufficient to show a cause and effect relationship between the filing of the grievance and the subsequent transfer, particularly as the prisoner failed to show that the employee was involved in any way in the decision to transfer him. A third member of the panel dissented, arguing that the prisoner's assertion that the employee told him that he would be returning to a higher security level, if true, could be used to infer that the employee had some involvement in the transfer decision. The close proximity in time between the confrontation with the employee and the transfer also might point to an act of retaliation, the dissenter contended. Cantley v. Armstrong, #09-1092, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 17766 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
Transfer of a prisoner out of a unit, when based on a doctor's recommendation, did not violate his rights, or deny him medical care or mental health care for his self-mutilation. Bishop v. Does, #08-20645, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 23673 (Unpub.5th Cir.).
A prisoner was not entitled to an injunction directing his transfer to another facility based on the alleged risk of assault he faced while visiting with his family. He had not shown that his conditions of confinement created a substantial risk of such attacks. Johnson v. Miles, #08-0658, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 22704 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
The chronology of events surrounding a prisoner's transfer to a new facility was sufficient to assert a possible claim for retaliatory transfer against a deputy warden. The prisoner claimed that the defendant transferred him for filing a grievance against him. Williams v. Brown, #08-16230, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 20193 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
A prisoner claimed that his due process rights were violated when he was transferred to a security housing unit based on a nurse's report of misconduct without a disciplinary hearing. He further claimed that he was given the highest security classification on the unit, resulting in loss of his job and inability to participate in a rehabilitation group. Because placement in the security housing unit did not involve an atypical and significant hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life, no protected liberty interest was involved in the transfer, and no due process claim was viable. The transfer and loss of privileges also did not amount to an Eighth Amendment violation, as there was no "deliberate indifference" by prison officials and he did not suffer an "objectively serious" deprivation. Johnson v. Burris, #08-4321, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 14958 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
Even if, arguably, California law previously gave an inmate a protected liberty interest against transfer to an out-of-state facility, that interest was abrogated by the governor's "Prison Overcrowding State of Emergency" proclamation in October of 2006, and a subsequent amendment to the state statute at issue. The court therefore dismissed the prisoner's challenge to his transfer to an out-of-state facility, which was initiated in May of 2008. Thornton v. Schwarzenegger, No. Civ. 08-1260, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8496 (E.D. Cal.).
Federal prisoner claimed that the Bureau of Prisons based his transfer to a maximum security facility on "false and fabricated" documents about him maintained in its records, and he sought injunctive relief to undo the transfer. These claims, the court found, could exclusively be addressed under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec 552a, authorizing claims only against federal agencies. The court therefore dismissed the prisoner's constitutional claims, and also dismissed all claims against individuals in their individual capacities. Because the U.S. Department of Justice has exempted the BOP Central Records System from Sec. 552a(d)'s access and amendment provisions, and from Sec. 552a(g)'s civil remedies, the remainder of the prisoner's claims were also dismissed. Lynn v. Lappin, Civil Action No. 08-0418, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 663 (D.D.C.).
Colorado prisoner's lawsuit claiming that his transfer to a privately run prison in Oklahoma violating his federal constitutional rights was properly dismissed, as no such right was implicated by the transfer. Lyons v. Zavaras, No. 08-1133, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 925 (10th Cir.).
A prisoner could go forward with his claim that he suffered retaliatory action in connection with a transfer on the basis of his actions concerning a grievance, in violation of his First Amendment rights. The prisoner presented a plausible claim of retaliation on the basis of a memo requesting the transfer which was submitted outside of the normal procedure for such requests, and which spoke about his attempts to "create unrest" among other prisoners. Milligan v. Reed, Civil Action No. 06-cv-00911, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 70864 (D. Colo.).
Prisoner failed to show that his transfer to another facility was in retaliation for his pursuit of grievances, or that his grievances were denied in retaliation, rather than because the defendant officials believed that they had no merit. Additionally, the defendants presented "plausible and independent" reasons for transferring him. It was also undisputed that he had previously requested a transfer, and that the transfer moved him 200 miles closer to his home. Alexander v. Forr, No. 06-4467, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18682 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.).
Court rejects HIV-positive detainee's claims that his conditions of confinement violated his rights and that the denial of his requests to be transferred from an old to a new building in the facility constituted deliberate indifference to those conditions. While the detainee claimed that his cell in an older building was hot, had a foul odor, and had bugs and paint chips, a number of reasons were set forth for the denial of the transfer request, including his failure to participate in sex-offender treatment, his HIV-positive status, and his past sexual interactions with other prisoners. The court ruled that the transfer requests were properly denied, and also that the conditions of the detainee's confinement could not reasonably be found to be serious enough to establish an Eighth Amendment violation. Sain v. Wood, No. 06-3919, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 330 (7th Cir.).
A federal prisoner failed to show that he had a constitutionally protected liberty interest in assignment to either a specific housing location nearer his family or to a lower custody security level. The court rejected the argument that the failure to transfer him to a medium or low security facility closer to his relatives violated his right to equal protection, based on his claim that other prisoners with a similar history had received such transfers. The prisoner failed to show that those other prisoners were "similarly situated" to him as to his offenses, and there was no showing that prison officials rejected the transfer request discriminatorily on the basis of an unlawful factor (such as race, gender, etc.). Green v. Williamson, No. 06-5022, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 14376 (3rd Cir.).
Oklahoma state law did not create an expectation that a prisoner would be held in any particular facility and his transfer and classification reduction did not violate his constitutional rights. Prison officers needed to be able to house and classify prisoners as they deemed necessary for security purposes, and the prisoner was not entitled to a hearing before his classification was reduced. Gauthier v. Higgins, No. 06-7102, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 8396 (10th Cir.).
Prisoners housed in "Capital Case Unit" in Pennsylvania prison failed to show that their rights were violated when they were not transferred from there to the general population when their death sentences were vacated or overturned. The state Department of Corrections had discretion as to where to house such prisoners, and the prisoners failed to show that remaining where they were subjected them to "atypical and significant" hardships in relation to the "ordinary incidents of prison life." Clark v. Beard, No. 644 C.D. 2006, 2007 Pa. Commw. Lexis 61.
Bureau of prisons regulations barring a prisoner's transfer to a Community Correctional Center (CCC) until only 10% of his sentence remained to be served were a violation of the intent of Congress in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3621(b) that all decisions regarding placement and transfers of inmates be made on an individual basis. Wedelstedt v. Wiley, No. 06-1461, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 3701 (10th Cir.). [N/R]
The U.S. Attorney General had statutory authority to determine the place of detention of a detainee in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) while awaiting review of an order for his removal from the country, so that the detainee had no viable federal civil rights claims concerning his transfer to another facility or his detention. Drummond v. State of New York, No. 06-CV-0255, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 80178 (W.D.N.Y.). [N/R]
Prisoner failed to show that retaliation against him for testifying against an officer, in violation of his First Amendment rights, was the reason he was placed in administrative detention and then transferred to another facility. These events occurred after the officer filed disciplinary charges against the inmate when he discovered a diagram of the facility's kitchen in the prisoner's cell. Gay v. Shannon, No. 06-1325, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 31742 (3rd Cir.). [N/R]
Even if a prisoner's letters to the governor were constitutionally protected First Amendment activities, he failed to show that he had been transferred in retaliation for writing them, when his "poor behavior," including three acts of misconduct, provided a sufficient basis for his transfer. Jerry v. Williamson, No. 06-1606, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 31325 (3rd Cir.). [N/R]
Prisoner transferred to Supermax facility received all due process required in hearing even though the findings were eventually overturned and he was transferred out again. Prisoner himself failed to pursue claim that the hearing should have been held before his transfer. Lagerstrom v. Kingston, No. 06-1521, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 22741 (7th Cir.). [2006 JB Nov]
Prisoner stated a valid claim for retaliation in violation of his First Amendment rights by alleging that he was intentionally transferred to a facility lacking rehabilitation programs as punishment for his having filed a lawsuit challenging the failure of correctional officials to provide him with rehabilitation programs ordered by a court for treatment of psychological and psychiatric problems. The claim did not challenge the defendants' right, in general, to transfer the prisoner, but rather asserted that they did so, in this instance, for an improper motive. Price v. Wall, No. Civ. A. 05-3898, 428 F. Supp. 2d 52 (D.R.I. 2006). [N/R]
Prisoner's allegation that he was transferred to a less desirable job assignment in retaliation for filing grievances was insufficient to show a violation of his First Amendment rights, but his assertion, if true, that he was transferred to an inferior and more dangerous prison for retaliatory reasons did state a claim. Morris v. Powell, No. 05-40578, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 12033 (5th Cir.). [2006 JB Jul]
New Mexico prisoner incarcerated in California prison failed to state a claim against New Mexico correctional authorities for alleged violations of his rights in connection with prisoner classification hearings and alleged denial of adequate recreation. Garcia v. LeMaster, No. 04-2280, 439 F.3d 1215 (10th Cir. 2006). [2006 JB May]
Correctional officer was properly denied summary judgment on prisoner's claim that he had him transferred to another facility in retaliation for his complaint about the officer to his supervisors concerning the officer's alleged refusal to authorize the payment of funds from the prisoner's account to pay his lawyer for work in connection with his criminal appeal. If true, this would be violative of his First Amendment right of access to the courts. Siggers-El v. Barlow, No. 03-2291, 412 F.3d 693 (6th Cir. 2005). [2005 JB Nov]
Gang members had no First Amendment right to belong to gangs, so their transfer to the "highest security" prison in Illinois, even if in "retaliation" for gang activity, was not improper. Federal appeals court reinstates, however, claims concerning whether adequate due process was provided for prisoners transferred there, and whether certain prisoners were transferred in retaliation for having pursued grievances and/or litigation concerning their conditions of confinement. Westefer v. Snyder, No. 03-3318, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 19217 (7th Cir.). [2005 JB Oct]
Federal Bureau of Prisons did not violate a prisoner's due process rights when it refused to transfer him to another facility where he could participate in a residential drug abuse treatment program based on his classification as a security risk. The classification was based on his "undisputed" record of misconduct while incarcerated and his own voluntary action in providing information to prison officials about gang activity, resulting in a need to protect him from possible assault by placement in a special housing unit. Beckley v. Miner, No. 04-4081, 125 Fed. Appx. 385 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Colorado prisoner had no protected liberty interest in being placed in a state correctional facility rather than in the county jail, and therefore no violation of his due process rights occurred when he was kept at the jail for over two months before being transferred elsewhere. Hunter v. Ortiz, No. 04-1289, 125 Fed. Appx. 241 (10th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
D.C. prisoner could pursue his lawsuit alleging that his placement in a detention facility, moving him from the halfway house where courts had ordered him confined, was unlawful without showing that his conviction or sentence had been set aside. His lawsuit only challenged a condition of his confinement, its location, rather than its fact or duration. Taylor v. U.S. Probation Office, No. 03-5370, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 10171 (D.C. Cir.). [2005 JB Jul]
Michigan prisoner had no protected liberty interest concerning not being transferred to another facility when the transfer would not cause any atypical and significant hardship to him. The plaintiff prisoner also failed to show that his transfer was based on race or religious discrimination. White v. Phillips, No. 03-2442, 118 Fed. Appx. 1 (6th Cir. 2004).[N/R]
A Washington state Department of Corrections rule which imposed a charge on prisoners for the shipping of their personal property when they were transferred to a new facility violated a state statute requiring that an inmate's personal property be delivered to the facility in which they were incarcerated. Burton v. Lehman, No. 74731-8, 103 P.3d 1230 (Wash. 2005).[N/R]
Prisoners who were convicted and sentenced in Hawaii but then incarcerated in Oklahoma had no due process right to be confined in Hawaii. Federal appeals court also rejects prisoners' argument that their transfer to a prison "on the mainland" constituted "banishment" from Hawaii. Overturf v. Massie, No. 04-6037, 385 F.3d 1276 (10th Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Dec]
Federal appeals court rules that Department of Justice policy severely restricting the placement of federal prisoners in halfway houses is an unlawful limit on the statutorily mandated discretion of the Bureau of Prisons. Goldings v. Winn, No. 03-2633, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 19012 (1st Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Nov]
Kansas prisoner had no constitutionally protected liberty interest in remaining in a prison in that state or preventing his transfer to a prison in Oklahoma. Lynn v. Simmons, No. 90,000, 95 P.3d 99 (Kan. App. 2003). [N/R]
Washington state prisoner did not have a constitutional right to imprisonment in a specific facility and therefore was not entitled to challenge an administrative decision transferring him to a privately-run prison in another state. White v. Lambert, #02-35550, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 11427 (9th Cir.).[2004 JB Jul]
Prisoner's alleged transfer to a higher security correctional facility based on his refusal to cooperate with a federal corruption investigation concerning prison guards did not violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination or any other constitutional right. The prisoner did not invoke his Fifth Amendment rights when he was initially was questioned, and, since the prisoner asserted that he was not involved in the offenses being investigated, the statements sought from him would not have been incriminating. McBayne v. Pugh, No. 03-1228, 85 Fed. Appx. 109 (10th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Wisconsin prisoner failed to show that transfer to another facility was a violation of his First Amendment rights and retaliatory for his participation in prior lawsuits against prison employees, as there was no evidence that those who authorized the transfer knew of these prior lawsuits. Johnson v. Kingston, 292 F. Supp. 2d 1146 (W.D. Wis. 2003). [N/R]
Trial court improperly dismissed prisoner's lawsuit claiming that prison officials violated his First Amendment and due process rights by transferring him to administrative segregation in a special housing unit after his appeal of his rule violation resulted in an order for a new hearing. Jackson v. Carey, No. 01-17126, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 26264, (9th Cir. 2003).[2004 JB Feb]
Trial court improperly granted defendant correctional officials' motion for summary judgment on prisoner's claim that they retaliated against him for having successfully settled a prior lawsuit against correctional officers by transferring him to a maximum security facility and imposing discipline upon him. There was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether such retaliation was a "substantial factor" in the actions taken. Bennett v. Goord, No. 01-0184, 343 F.3d 133 (2nd Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Montana prisoner did not have any state-created liberty interest in being housed in a particular correctional facility and was therefore not entitled to an order preventing his being transferred to a different prison. Wright v. Mahoney, No. 02-575, 71 P.3d 1195 (Mont. 2003). [N/R]
Missouri prisoner failed to adequately plead facts showing that he was denied transfer to a Canadian prison in retaliation for his filing of civil lawsuits against state and prison officials. Charron v. Holden, No. WD 61747, 111 S.W.3d 553 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner could state a claim for retaliatory transfer for having filed a grievance against an officer based on a sequence of events from which a retaliatory motive could be inferred, without proving motivation in the complaint. Illinois prisoner had a protected liberty interest in continued participation in work release program which could not be ended without due process. Segreti v. Gillen, 259 F. Supp. 2d 733 (N.D. Ill. 2003). [2003 JB Oct]
Three federal trial court decisions rule that a change in federal Bureau of Prisons' policy concerning the placement of inmates serving short terms of imprisonment into community correctional facilities violated the "notice and comment" requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Retroactive application to inmates currently in halfway houses also rejected. Iacaboni v. U.S., 251 F. Supp. 2d 1015 (D. Mass. 2003); Howard v. Ashcroft, 248 F. Supp. 2d 518 (M.D. La. 2003); Ferguson v. Ashcroft, 248 F. Supp. 2d 547 (M.D. La. 2003). [2003 JB Oct]
Prisoner had no constitutional right of access to probate court which was violated by prison officials' alleged actions in not allowing him to retrieve legal papers from his locker before he was transported to the court for personal business there. His protected constitutional right of access to the courts only extended to direct appeals or habeas corpus applications in criminal cases and civil rights claims. Plaintiff prisoner also failed to show that a warden's decision to transfer him was retaliatory for his letter of complaint over the incident, rather than, as asserted, based on concern for his safety after he was assaulted by other prisoners. Lewis v. Randle, No. 02-4297, 66 Fed. Appx. 560 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner could not pursue a federal civil rights lawsuit over a state's practice of transferring inmates to out-of-state private prisons, since he had no constitutional right to be placed in a particular facility. Prisoner's claim that officials denied timely parole hearings as part of a plan to create overcrowding in state prisons and therefore create a need for transfers to private prisons so that they could increase the value of the stock in private prison corporations allegedly held in their retirement portfolios could not be pursued when prisoner could not show that he was being held beyond his mandatory release date. Madyun v. Litscher, No. 02-1788, 57 Fed. Appx. 259 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner did not have a constitutionally protected liberty interest in being housed in a particular facility, and therefore could not pursue a federal civil rights claim over his transfer to a high security prison and placement in administrative confinement there, even if this placement arguably violated state law. Moore v. Litscher, #02-1461, 522 Fed. Appx. 861 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Federal death row inmate could pursue civil rights action concerning whether prison officials violated his First Amendment rights by restricting his access to the press. The case presented genuine issues of whether the restrictions were based on his death-row status and a desire to suppress his views, rather than to serve legitimate penological interests, and whether prison officials imposed the restrictions in a content neutral fashion. Hammer v. Ashcroft, #01-2898, 42 Fed. Appx. 861 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner had no justifiable expectation that he would be housed in any particular correctional facility and was therefore not entitled to an injunction mandating that he be moved elsewhere. No constitutional right was violated when prisoner was placed in a special housing unit after refusing to share a cell with a specific fellow prisoner. Johnson-Bey v. Ray, No. 01-3382, 38 Fed. Appx. 507 (10th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner who requested a transfer to a United Kingdom facility to serve out the remainder of his Illinois sentence for killing a co-worker had no due process liberty interest in such a transfer under an Illinois statute, 730 ILCS 5/3-2-3.1, which provided that the Governor of the state may authorize the Director of Corrections to consent to transfers or exchanges of offenders. Rickard v. Sternes, #01-3011, 44 Fed. Appx. 738 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Alleged violation of Interstate Corrections Compact in transferring prisoner from Florida state prison to one in Kansas was not a violation of federal law which could be the basis of a claim for damages under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. Halpin v. Simmons, #01-3301, 33 Fed. Appx. 961 (10th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Correctional officials did not violate prisoner's constitutional rights by refusing to transfer him to a facility nearer to his home and by allegedly placing incorrect codes in his file that made him ineligible for a transfer. A "prisoner has no inherent constitutional right to be confined in a particular prison or to be held in a specific security classification." Nunez v. FCI Elkton, #01-3970, 32 Fed. Appx. 724 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
299:172 Prisoner who lost good-time credits when he tested positive for drug use could not pursue claim that officer asked him to take the test in retaliation for filing a grievance against her unless the disciplinary determination was first set aside; prisoner could, however, pursue claims of retaliation concerning the filing of allegedly false disciplinary complaints against him or his transfer in alleged retaliation for questioning an officer's authority to deny him legal assistance. Farver v. Schwartz, No. 00-3729EA, 255 F.3d 473 (8th Cir. 2001).
278:29 Wisconsin statute that authorized the transfer of state prisoners to private prisons in other states did not violate prisoners' rights under the Thirteenth Amendment; federal appeals court states that prisoners' claims were "thoroughly frivolous." Pischke v. Litscher, #98-4013, 178 F.3d 497 (7th Cir. 1999).
279:43 Georgia correctional facility did not err in transferring female prisoner from "transitional center" with low security to prison with more restrictions when she became pregnant while in the community on a work assignment; transfer was not intended to punish her for electing not to terminate her pregnancy, but for violating rules against inmate sexual activity. Jenkins v. Dept. of Corrections, 518 S.E.2d 730 (Ga. App. 1999).
281:67 Prisoner is awarded $4,221.40 against two officers on his claim that they imposed disciplinary sanctions on him, removed him from his job in the mess hall, and transferred him to another facility in retaliation for his complaints about prisoner work schedules which arguably violated state law limiting work hours. Gaston v. Coughlin, 81 F. Supp. 2d 381 (N.D.N.Y. 1999).
283:108 Native American prisoner stated a claim for retaliatory transfer; lawsuit claimed that he was transferred to another facility because of his practice of his Native American religion and his free speech activities in complaining about restrictions on religious practice in the prison. Rouse v. Benson, #98-2707, 193 F.3d 936 (8th Cir. 1999).
266:28 Transfer of prisoner to another facility in retaliation for his correspondence with newspaper reporter, participation in pre-authorized newspaper interview, and activities as president of authorized advocacy group for lifer prisoners was improper; prisoner entitled to damages. Castle v. Clymer, 15 F.Supp.2d 640 (E.D. Pa. 1998).
271:107 Trial court's dismissal of prisoner's retaliatory transfer lawsuit was premature; while defendant warden showed that he was not personally involved in transfer, prisoner should have been given an opportunity to discover who was personally involved in his transfer. Davis v. Kelly, #97-2575, 160 F.3d 917 (2nd Cir. 1998).
274:158 Evidence showed that prisoner was not transferred in retaliation for filing a grievance, but rather because he was, by his own statement, medically incapable of performing his jail food service work assignment. Farver v. Vilches, #98-1865, 158 F.3d 978 (8th Cir. 1998).
248:122 Prisoner who claimed he was transferred to another facility and denied placement on a job waiting list after complaining of alleged environmental violations by Federal Prison Industries was not an "employee" entitled to protection against retaliation under "whistleblowing" provisions of federal environmental statutes. Coupar v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, 105 F.3d 1263 (9th Cir. 1997).
253:13 Male inmate's "welcome and voluntary" sexual interactions with female prison employee could not be the basis of a constitutional claim of sexual harassment; prisoner's transfer after complaining of alleged harassment also did not state a constitutional claim. Freitas v. Ault, 109 F.3d 1335 (8th Cir. 1997).
261:141 New York state prisoner was not entitled to transfer to federal prison while her lawsuit, claiming that a number of state correctional officers had raped her was pending; her claims were not credible and prison officials had also taken steps to protect her; court also lacked jurisdiction to order federal prisons to accept custody of state prisoner. Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140 (W.D.N.Y. 1997).
246:94 Federal appeals court upholds $2,250 damage award against correctional officials for retaliatory transfer and discipline of inmate who had prepared and filed a lawsuit over prison overcrowding. Goff v. Burton, 91 F.3d 1188 (8th Cir. 1996).
[N/R] Transfer of prisoner from state prison to federal prison to await trial on federal charges did not constitute violation of prisoner's rights; prisoner had not completed state sentence at the time and therefore was not a pretrial detainee entitled to constitutional due process freedom from punishment. Laza v. Reish, 84 F.3d 578 (2nd Cir. 1996).
231:46 Update: Federal appeals court overturns injunction against transfer and double celling of former "Black Panther Party" leader; trial court erred in determining that prison officials' actions were in retaliation for his media interviews when transfer decision was made prior to date television interview took place, and transfer was justified by prisoner's own prior requests to be closer to his family. Pratt v. Rowland, 65 F.3d 802 (9th Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: First Amendment].
233:77 Transferring a prisoner, in part to give prison staff a respite from his many grievances, did not violate his First Amendment rights; prison officials entitled to qualified immunity in prisoner's civil rights lawsuit over transfer. Ward v. Dyke, 58 F.3d 271 (6th Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Access to Courts/Legal Info; Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith) Immunity].
239:174 Inmate awarded $2,163.67 in damages and $29,039 in attorneys' fees on claim that he was transferred to another, higher security, facility in retaliation for cooperating with Internal Affairs investigation of correctional officer. Cornell v. Woods, 69 F.3d 1383 (8th Cir. 1995).
230:20 Prohibiting prisoner from corresponding with relatives in Spanish and Apache languages did not violate his constitutional rights; English-only rule was based on legitimate security concerns and hiring interpreters to translate mail would have been unduly burdensome; prison officials were, however, liable for retaliatory transfer of prisoner for filing grievances and lawsuits concerning the policy. Sisneros v. Nix, 884 F.Supp. 1313 (S.D. Iowa 1995).
220:62 Federal court enjoins transfer of former "Black Panther Party" leader and placing him in double, instead of single cell; court finds probable retaliatory motive when transfer took place right after prisoner agreed to media interview and when prisoner's allegedly medical need for single cell had previously been accommodated. Pratt v. Rowland, 856 F.Supp. 565 (N.D. Cal. 1994).
223:108 "Brief" presence of female correctional officer during strip search of male prisoner being transferred because of information about impending prisoner disturbance did not violate prisoner's privacy rights; decision to strip search him again before placing him in segregation at receiving facility was not unreasonable; transfer and segregation were justified by belief that he was an "instigator" of feared disturbance. Jones v. Harrison, 864 F.Supp. 166 (D. Kan. 1994).
225:142 Transfer of prisoner seeking nomination as member of Prisoner Advisory Council did not violate his First Amendment rights or consent decree when there was evidence that prisoner was legitimately transferred for being "troublesome" and "manipulative." Hazen v. Reagen, 16 F.3d 921 (8th Cir. 1994).
[N/R] Transfer of prisoner to a jail outside of the judicial district where he was originally held did not violate his rights. Stigall v. Madden, 26 F.3d 867 (8th Cir. 1994).
[N/R] Federal marshals did not violate any clearly established rights that inmate had when they contracted to place a pretrial detainee in local jails and transported him there; various conditions in local jails did not constitute unconstitutional deprivation of human needs. Jordan v. Doe, 38 F.3d 1559 (11th Cir. 1994). Inmate alleging retaliatory transfer must show that transfer would not have taken place "but for" the impermissible retaliatory motive. Goff v. Burton, 7 F.3d 734 (8th Cir. 1993).
Warden was entitled to absolute immunity in suit brought by prisoner complaining that he refused to transfer him to another state during pendency of his appeal from a conviction in this state; warden was only following a state court order, for which he could not be held liable. Stow v. Horan, 829 F.Supp. 504 (D.N.H. 1993).
Transfer of prisoner was not in retaliation for his exercise of constitutional rights, but because he ignored established prison rules concerning the use of inmate funds and the sending of "group" or "committee" correspondence. Brookins v. Kolb, 990 F.2d 308 (7th Cir. 1993).
Michigan prison regulations found to create a liberty interest against transfer without notice or hearing; federal appeals court orders further proceedings on whether prison officials' conduct was "gross negligence or deliberate indifference" necessary for an award of damages. Howard v. Grinage, 6 F.3d 410 (6th Cir. 1993).
Inmate alleging retaliatory transfer must show that transfer would not have taken place "but for" the permissible retaliatory motive. Goff v. Burton, 7 F.3d 734 (8th Cir. 1993).
Alleged transfer of prisoner in retaliation for his activities as chairman of "Afrikan Cultural Society" stated claim for First Amendment violation. Frazier v. DuBois, 922 F.2d 560 (10th Cir. 1991).
Prisoner could sue under federal civil rights statute for transfer out of city jail system into state or federal prison system because of alleged attacks by jail officers. Abdul-Hakeem v. Koehler, 910 F.2d 66 (2nd Cir. 1990).
Inmate could not sue over transfer; no due process right to pre-transfer hearing. Nowlin v. Director, D.C. Dept. of Corr., 689 F.Supp. 26 (D.D.C. 1988).
U.S. Attorney General abused discretion in failing to set standards, or give reasons for refusal of request of U.S. prisoners in British prison to be transferred to U.S. Scalise v. Meese, 687 F.Supp. 1239 (N.D. Ill. 1988).
Inmate's lawsuit stated claim for "retaliatory transfer" for prior lawsuits. Murphy v. Lane, 833 F.2d 106 (7th Cir. 1987).
Inmate was properly transferred for encouraging disturbance but entitled to damages for untimely post-transfer hearing. Maldonado Santiago v. Velazquez Garcia, 821 F.2d 822 (1st Cir. 1987).
Transfer from prison to medical center without a hearing had no impact on pending lawsuits. Trapnell v. Ralston, 819 F.2d 182 (8th Cir. 1987).
Requiring prisoner to remain at nation's most secure prison during litigation not a denial of access to courts; court doesn't decide whether Attorney General had power over the courts with regard to prison transfers. Matter of Gee, 815 F.2d 41 (7th Cir. 1987).
State prisoners can be physically transferred to mental facility without a hearing as long as one is provided prior to admission and psychiatric treatment. Baugh v. Woodard, 808 F.2d 333 (4th Cir. 1987).
Inmates removed from pre-release centers, work release centers, or halfway houses not entitled to pre-transfer hearing. Clark v. Com'r of Corrections, 512 A.2d 327 (Me. 1986).
No hearing required prior to transfer to nation's most secure prison under "lockdown." Miller v. Henman, 804 F.2d 421 (7th Cir. 1986).
Violation to transfer prisoners out of state. Ray v. McCoy, 321 S.E.2d 90 (W. Va. 1984).
Sheriff found in contempt of court for not obeying transfer order and inmate subsequently escaped. In Re Irvin, 321 S.E.2d 119 (Ga. App. 1984).
Inmate's transfer and reclassification upheld due to his "scam" legal services. Sher v. Coughlin, 739 F.2d 77 (2d Cir. 1984).
Transferring inmate instead of releasing him to reduce population upheld. Kinney v. Young, 689 P.2d 614 (Colo. 1984).
Prison rules on transfers did not create a constitutionally protected interest nor was transfer from Hawaii to California in violation of due process. Olim v. Wakinekona, U.S., 103 S.Ct. 1741 (1983).
Jail supervisors have discretion in transferring pretrial detainees to other county jails. Black v. Delbello, 575 F.Supp. 28 (S.D.N.Y. 1983).
Transfer of inmate not done for retaliatory reasons; no right to full-time job and full-time education. Lane v. Reid, 575 F.Supp. 37 (S.D.N.Y. 1983).
Disciplinary transfer hearing could be held at transferee prison. Garfield v. Davis, 566 F.Supp. 1069 (E.D. Pa. 1983).
Transfer of "Jailhouse lawyer" for violating rules was proper. Smith v. Halford, 570 F.Supp. 1186 (D. Kan. 1983).
Transfer of New Hampshire inmate to Rhode Island is permissible. Breest v. Moran, 571 F.Supp. 343 (D.R.I. 1983).
Inmate's transfer to out-of-state prison justified on basis that his newspaper column subjected him to inmate hostility. Simmat v. Manson, 554 F.Supp. 1362 (D. Conn. 1983).
Inmates not transferred in retaliation for exercising First Amendment rights; Massachusetts statute entitles inmates to educational program. Association for Reduction of Violence v. Hall, 558 F.Supp. 661 (D. Mass. 1983).
Pretrial detainee who presented security problems at jail transferred to prison and placed in detention unit. Laster v. Duckworth, 554 F. supp. 1184 (N.D. Ind. 1983).
Inmate's transfer to maximum security prison for his safety and prison security were proper. Jackson . Comm'r of Corrs., 448 N.E.2d 60 (Mass. 1983).
Inmate has no right to remain in a particular prison to participate in sex offender program. Burnside v. Frey, 563 F.Supp. 1344 (E.D. Mo. 1983).
Transfer of inmates from state prison to federal prison was proper. Corgain v. Miller, 708 F.2d 1241 (7th Cir. 1983).
Denial of inmate's request to transfer to another prison for safety reasons was improper. Walker v. Lockhard, 713 F.2d 1378 (8th Cir. 1983).
Disciplinary transfer to another prison; due process hearing can be delayed and then held at transferee prison. Garfield v. Davis, 566 F.Supp. 1069 (E.D. Pa. 1983).
No constitutional violation when inmate transferred from New Hampshire prison to Rhode Island prison. Breest v. Moran, 571 F.Supp. 343 (D. R.I. 1983).
Since transfers from one county jail to another did not amount to deprivation of constitutional rights, no Section 1983 action could be maintained. Lyons v. Papntonious, 558 F.Supp. 4 (E.D. Tenn. 1982).
Prisoner not entitled to hearing prior to transfer. Harris v. MacDonald, 555 F.Supp. 137 (N.D. Ill. 1982).
Georgia court rules that trial judge has the power to move a prisoner to a jail in another county if her present one is deemed insecure or unsafe. Whiddon v. State, 287 S.E.2d 114 (Ga. App. 1982).
Michigan court upholds transfer of inmate to another state prison even though he was cleared of an assault charge. DeWalt v. Warden, Marquette Prison, 315 N.W.2d 584 (Mich. App. 1982).
Transfer of inmate held lawful because of determination that inmate religious leader was security risk; however, inmates cannot lawfully be transferred for exercising constitutional rights. Hansan Jamal Abdul Majid v. Henderson, 533 F.Supp. 1257 (N.D. N.Y. 1982).
Pennsylvania court upholds inmate transfer even though it violated the conditions of his plea agreement. Com. Ex. Rel. Black v. Superintendent, Etc., 439 A.2d 193 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1981).
Federal statute allows state to transfer state inmates to federal prison system for security reasons only; not necessary that inmate be classified as needing the "specialized" treatment available in the federal prison system. Howe v. Smith, 452 U.S. 473, 101 S.Ct. 2468 (1981).
District Court refuses to force prison officials to transfer inmate who claimed that his life was in danger. Younger v. Scully, 515 F.Supp. 8 (S.D. N.Y. 1981).
Fifth Circuit holds court-ordered transfers to prevent harm to inmates valid; possible danger to inmates outweighs officials' charge of undue judicial interference. Streeter v. Hopper, 618 F.2d 1178 (5th Cir. 1980).
Inmate's federal court challenge of transfer fails; court refuses to enjoin prison officials. Buckley v. United States of America, 494 F.Supp. 1000 (E.D. Ky. 1980).
Intra-prison transferees for disciplinary reasons not entitled to due process protections of inter-prison transferees. Quinn v. marks, 495 F.Supp. 770 (M.D. Pa. 1980).
Institutional decision to transfer inmate not subject to challenge. Scott v. Smith, 429 N.Y.S.2d 804 (App. 1980).
Prisoners may be transferred from the Virgin Islands to statewide correction institutions; Third Circuit rules that a due process hearing is not required. Ali v. Gibson, 631 F.2d 1126 (3rd Cir. 1980).
New Hampshire Court upholds transfer of state prisoner to federal correctional facility. Goodnow v. Perrin, 421 A.2d 1008 (N.H. 1980).
Federal court rules that Illinois State prisoners were improperly transferred to federal correctional facilities. United States Ex Rel. hoover v. Elsea, 501 F.2d 83 (N.D. Ill. 1980).
Federal inmate can be transferred to another federal prison without stated reasons or hearing. Beck v. Wilkes, 589 F.2d 901 (5th Cir. 1979).
Transfer of inmate in retaliation for his testimony at second inmate's disciplinary hearing prohibited. Lamb v. Hutto, 467 F.Supp. 562 (E.D. Va. 1979).
Inmate complaint alleging that transfer and segregation were imposed solely in retaliation for filing other suits should not have been dismissed. Hohman v. Hogan, 597 F.2d 490 (2nd Cir. 1979).
Transfer of prisoners from one institute to another does not violate due process unless state has restricted such transfer by statute or regulation. Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S 215, 96 S.Ct. 2532 (1976).