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Srader v. Richardson

United States District Court, D. Kansas

March 31, 2014

NICHOLAS A. SRADER, Plaintiff,
v.
SHELDON RICHARDSON, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

SAM A. CROW, Senior District Judge.

This matter is a civil rights action filed by a prisoner in federal custody. Plaintiff commenced this action while incarcerated in the Leavenworth, Kansas, detention center operated by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

By its earlier orders, the court dismissed the Corrections Corporation of America, the United States Marshals Service, Shelley (LNU), and the United States Attorney for the District of Kansas.

The complaint states that plaintiff entered the CCA facility in June 2009 while in the custody of the United States Marshals Service. In mid-September 2009, he was placed in administrative segregation after allegedly threatening a federal witness. During that segregation, he alleges he was subjected to restrictions on mail, telephone use, visitation, and contact with other inmates. He claims that during this time, his mail was intercepted and given to defendant Morehead, an Assistant United States Attorney.

In March 2010, plaintiff's access to mail was restored. He was assigned a cellmate, who he claims was affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood.

In April 2010, after a confidential informant notified facility personnel that plaintiff's cellmate planned to attack a staff member, a team conducted a search of their cell and located a large screw inside a mattress. Both inmates were placed on strip cell status. Plaintiff alleges that his cellmate carved gang signs into a window, and eventually set a fire in the cell. Responding staff used a gas grenade in the cell. Plaintiff did not receive medical treatment after this event, and was returned to the cell. He claims he suffered from panic and anxiety, and he reported suicidal ideation in order to be removed from the cell and placed in observation.

On April 23, 2010, plaintiff received disciplinary reports for the incident. A hearing was conducted on May 10, 2010. Plaintiff complains that he did not receive due process during the administrative proceedings, that CCA took funds from his account, that his property was stolen while he was in segregation, and that staff lost the property claim he submitted.

In May 2010, plaintiff was transferred to another facility for a psychological evaluation. Upon his return to the CCA facility in July 2010, he again was subjected to the restrictions. Plaintiff unsuccessfully sought to have money from his disciplinary fine refunded based upon his cellmate's acceptance of responsibility for the fire. He was advised to resubmit the property claim, but that claim later was denied as untimely.

Plaintiff alleges violations of his rights to freedom of speech and expression and freedom of association; he alleges his mail was illegally seized, that his indefinite placement in administrative segregation violated due process, and that the restrictions on telephone access, visitation, and mail subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment.

Screening

The federal courts must conduct a preliminary screening of a case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or an officer or employee of such an entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). At this stage, the court is to identify any cognizable claim and to dismiss any claim that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

To state a claim for relief, a plaintiff's complaint must present "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must present "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

Having carefully considered the complaint and the exhibits provided by the plaintiff, the court finds that plaintiff's claims against individual CCA employees are subject to dismissal and rejects his claims concerning his placement segregation, ...


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