United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Michael Burns is a prisoner in the Missouri Department of
Corrections. He filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim,
pro se, against defendants Timothy Seabaugh, Chris
Skaggs, Johnny Williams, Susan Price, and Melanie Hinkle
alleging violations of his due process rights. Defendants
moved for summary judgment on January 28, 2019 (#38).
Plaintiff has sought and received three extensions of time in
which to file a response. Most recently, on July 8, 2019,
this Court granted plaintiff until September 9, 2019 by which
to file his response in opposition to summary judgment (#47).
The Court stated that no further extensions would be granted.
Plaintiff has not filed a response.
has, as an offender in the Missouri Department of
Corrections, been found guilty of several conduct violations
that involved destruction of property. For example, plaintiff
was found to have flooded his cell with his toilet and pulled
the sprinkler head system. Plaintiff was found guilty in a
disciplinary hearing which he refused to attend. The
recommended consequence was that he pay damages of $28.95 for
the broken sprinkler head. The recommendation was approved,
and the money was requested to be withdrawn from
plaintiff’s account. Several other similar events took
place resulting in the withdrawal of money from
plaintiff’s account. Plaintiff claims that disciplinary
hearings on these conduct violations did not constitute
sufficient due process for defendants to remove money from
his prison account. Plaintiff claims he was denied due
process through these transactions. Defendants move for
summary judgment. Because their statement of undisputed facts
has not been disputed by plaintiff, the facts are admitted in
accordance with the Local Rule 7-4.01(E).
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), a district court
may grant a motion for summary judgment if the information
before the court demonstrates that “there is no genuine
issue as to material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Poller v. Columbia
Broadcasting System, Inc., 368 U.S. 464, 467 (1962). The
burden is on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
v. Assoc. Elec. Co-op., Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th
Cir. 1988). After the moving party discharges this burden,
the nonmoving party must do more than show that there is some
doubt as to the facts. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Instead,
the nonmoving party bears the burden of setting forth
specific facts showing that there is sufficient evidence in
its favor to allow a jury to return a verdict for it.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 249 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 324 (1986).
ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must
review the facts in a light most favorable to the party
opposing the motion and give that party the benefit of any
inferences that logically can be drawn from those facts.
Buller v. Buechler, 706 F.2d 844, 846 (8th Cir.
1983). The court is required to resolve all conflicts of
evidence in favor of the nonmoving party. Robert Johnson
Grain Co. v. Chem. Interchange Co., 541 F.2d 207, 210
(8th Cir. 1976).
does not state whether he seeks relief under procedural due
process or substantive due process. “Substantive due
process prevents the government from interfering with rights
‘implicit in the concept of ordered
liberty.’” Dawdy v. Allen, No. 2:17cv49
AGF, 2018 WL 999974, *5 (E.D. Mo. Feb. 21, 2018) (quoting
United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 746 (1987)).
“Procedural due process ensures that ‘[w]hen
government action depriving a person of life, liberty or
property survives substantive due process scrutiny, it must
still be implemented in a fair manner.’”
prevail on a substantive due process claim, a plaintiff
“must first demonstrate that he was deprived of life,
liberty, or property by government action.” Orr v.
Larkins, 610 F.3d 1032, 1034 (8th Cir. 2010).
“Inmates have a property interest in money received
from outside sources.” Mahers v. Halford, 76
F.3d 951, 954 (8th Cir. 1996). The nature of the money in
plaintiff’s inmate account is unclear. Regardless,
“[a]lthough the inmates’ private interest in
their personal funds is apparent, inmates are not entitled to
complete control over their money while in prison.”
Id. For example, state officials are not barred from
applying inmate account moneys to the inmates’ criminal
restitution obligations. Id. Assuming for the sake
of argument that plaintiff can show a property interest in
his inmate account, plaintiff is unable to show he was
deprived of that interest without sufficient process.
Defendants followed procedures required by the state in
assessing restitution amounts against plaintiff. Although
plaintiff alleges in his complaint that the amount of
restitution to be withdrawn was determined “without a
hearing, ” the evidence shows that hearings were in
fact held. Further, the evidence shows that plaintiff failed
to attend the hearing. As stated above, plaintiff failed to
respond to the motion for summary judgment despite extensions
of over six months. Plaintiff has not shown that he was
deprived of due process, and the motion for summary judgment
will be granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendants’
motion for summary ...