United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Michael F. Urbanski Chief United States District Judge.
Brian Joyner, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, commenced
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming
numerous staff of the Virginia Department of Corrections
("VDOC") and the Wallens Ridge State Prison
("WRSP") as defendants. Plaintiff alleges that his
assignment to special housing and the confiscation of his
property violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the
United States Constitution. Defendants filed a motion for
summary judgment, and Plaintiff responded, making this matter
ripe for disposition. After reviewing the record, the court
grants Defendants' motion and directs them to file
another motion for summary judgment addressing additional
to VDOC Operating Procedure ("OP") 861.3,
"Special Housing, " an inmate may not be held in
pre-hearing segregation for longer than three working days
without a formal review by the Institutional Classification
Authority ("ICA"). OP 861.3 also requires the ICA
to review the appropriateness of pre-hearing segregation no
later than fifteen days thereafter. OP 861.3 further requires
the ICA to review the inmate's adjustment and behavior
every ninety days and recommend whether the inmate should
remain in segregation.
November 26, 2014, defendant Sigmon charged Plaintiff with
"Lewd or Obscene Acts Directed Toward or in the Presence
of Another" for masturbating in her presence. Plaintiff
was transferred to pre-hearing segregation that same day. On
December 2, 2014, which was the next business day, the ICA
reviewed Plaintiffs housing status and recommended he stay in
days later on December 18, 2014, a DHO deemed Plaintiff
guilty of "Lewd or Obscene Acts" and fined him
$12.00. The ICA convened that same day and had
Plaintiff assigned to administrative segregation.
reviewed Plaintiff again on February 27, 2015, which was
within ninety days of the last ICA hearing. The ICA
recommended that Plaintiff stay in segregation for a longer
period of stable adjustment.
reconvened on June 3, 2015, which was six days past the
ninety-day period. The ICA recommended that Plaintiff be
released to a general population unit if space was available.
Plaintiff moved out of segregation on June 5, 2015.
time Plaintiff received the charge for "Lewd or Obscene
Acts, " he had been assigned to WRSP's Grooming
Standard Violator Housing Unit ("VHU"). The
VHU's controlling procedure, OP 864.2, requires that any
VHU inmate who is found guilty of a "Lewd or Obscene
Acts" charge be removed from the VHU and placed in
segregation until such time he qualified for admittance into
general population or readmittance into the VHU.
Plaintiff was transferred to prehearing segregation, staff
had to inventory and pack Plaintiffs personal property left
in the cell. Collins, Turner, and Sigmon were sorting
Plaintiffs property when they found artwork that appeared to
be gang related. Sigmon confiscated the artwork as
contraband, and the artwork's disposition or location is
being housed in segregation, Plaintiff had ordered a holiday
food package, known as a "Secure Pak."
Unfortunately for Plaintiff, it arrived after he was already
in segregation, and a Secure Pak is not permitted inside a
segregation cell. Because the contents of the Secure Park
were deemed perishable, staff informed Plaintiff that he had
to make arrangements within thirty days to mail it or have
someone retrieve it ...