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Richman v. Missouri Dept. of Corr.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

August 14, 2017

JOHN A. RICHMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
MISSOURI DEPT. OF CORR., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's third amended complaint. Also before the Court is plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction. Defendant's motion to dismiss will be granted. However, plaintiff will be granted leave to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction will be denied without prejudice.

         Background

         Plaintiff, John Richman, is presently incarcerated at Algoa Correctional Center. Before being relocated, plaintiff was an inmate at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (“ERDCC”) and Southeastern Correctional Center (“SECC”).

         The following facts, as taken from the third amended complaint, are presumed true for the purpose of the pending motion to dismiss.

         In his third amended complaint against defendant the Missouri Department of Corrections (“MDOC”), plaintiff seeks injunctive relief for a state-wide policy that plaintiff believes denies him equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

         Plaintiff claims that MDOC policy IS22-1.1, a policy implemented and enforced by MDOC prison wardens across the state, denies he and others like him, property paid by each inmate at the prison commissary and, in essence, gives each inmate a “double punishment” after that inmate is given a conduct violation.

         Plaintiff states that inmates who own “grandfathered property” as defined by the policy, but who have never received: (1) conduct violations (“CDVs”); (2) transfers for negative behavior; (3) custody elevations due to accumulations for CDVs; or (4) violations for being placed in administrative segregation, do not lose their “grandfathered property” when it is broken and they have to send it outside the prison to have it fixed.

         However, those inmates who have these negative accumulations on their records and have broken “grandfathered property” do lose their “grandfathered property” if it is broken and needs to be fixed. Plaintiff calls this a “double punishment” and a restriction on his right to property. Plaintiff asserts that this treatment under policy IS22-1.1 bears no rational relationship to any penological interest.

         In its motion to dismiss presently before the Court, defendant MDOC does not address the substance of plaintiff's allegations, but instead insists that plaintiff's third amended complaint is subject to dismissal because “the suit is barred by the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

         Presently before the Court is plaintiff's fifth motion for preliminary injunction for retaliation, in violation of the First Amendment. [Doc. #56]

         Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction

         In his motion for preliminary injunction, plaintiff asserts that a month after this Court issued process on plaintiff's third amended complaint, on September 8, 2016, plaintiff was subjected to a surprise urinalysis at ERDCC. Prior to the urinalysis, just two days after the Court issued process on his complaint, plaintiff filed a request with MDOC to be transferred to Farmington Correctional Center in order to be transferred to the “pre-release work program.”

         Plaintiff claims that this was the first urinalysis he was given “in years” and he objected to the request because he was not given a reason for the request. Plaintiff alleges that his urinalysis came back showing “no drugs in the urine sample.” However, he was still issued a conduct violation because he was told the urine was “diluted” and then placed in Administrative Segregation, issued 180 days work restriction and prevented from ...


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