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ROBINSON v. PALMER

August 8, 1985

ADA ROBINSON AND ALBERT ROBINSON, Plaintiffs,
v.
JAMES F. PALMER, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

 Barrington D. Parker, District Judge:

 In this proceeding the wife of a prisoner, and the prisoner who is confined to a District of Columbia penal institution, challenge a decision of the Director, District of Columbia Department of Corrections ("Department") suspending the wife's visiting rights for one year and later permanently suspending those rights. The plaintiffs Ada Robinson and her husband Albert Robinson seek to overturn the actions of the Department's Director. They request injunctive and declaratory relief as well as damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The defendants are the Director and two officials of the Department, the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia.

 The matter is before the Court on cross motions for summary judgment and plaintiffs' application for a preliminary injunction. The matter was fully briefed and following argument on the motions, post hearing memoranda were submitted by the parties. For the reasons set out below the Court determines that Mrs. Robinson is entitled to procedural due process, through a hearing, before the suspension of her visiting rights was increased from a one-year to a permanent suspension.

 BACKGROUND

 The material and essential facts in this case are uncontroverted. Mr. Robinson is currently incarcerated in a Department facility located in Lorton, Virginia ("Lorton") following a felony conviction and sentence. On March 8, 1983 while visiting her husband, Mrs. Robinson attempted to bring contraband into that facility. The contraband, a quantity of marijuana, was found in a plastic lunch bag secreted in her undergarments. *fn1" Because of this infraction, Mrs. Robinson was advised in a letter dated March 8, 1983 from Salanda Whitfield, a Department official, that her visiting privileges were suspended for one year. *fn2"

 
This is to advise you that your visiting privileges at all . . . Department of Corrections Facilities have been suspended for a period of one year. This action is taken as a result of visiting regulations governing visitor conduct (Introduction of Contraband) during a visit to the institution on March 8, 1983.
 
You may apply in writing for reinstatement of your visiting privileges after March 8, 1984. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact this office . . . at phone 727-4000, x-483.

 The one-year suspension sanction was based on a Department contraband policy directive, effective June 28, 1978, which provided that "legal or administrative sanctions are exercised against those who either attempt to introduce or are in possession of contraband." *fn3" On February 15, 1983, the Acting Director of the Department in reaffirming the contraband policy stated in a memorandum to his assistants, that "citizens permanently banned from further visitation privileges may continue to appeal such action to my office." *fn4" On February 6, 1984, one month before the end of Mrs. Robinson's one-year suspension, the Department amended the June 28, 1978 policy directive to provide that

 
Any visitor who introduces contraband or attempts to introduce contraband into a Department of Corrections Institution will be permanently suspended from all Department of Corrections Facilities. *fn5" (emphasis added).

 The plaintiffs challenge the February 6, 1984 change in the contraband policy. They allege various constitutional violations and also claim that the policy was adopted in violation of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act ("APA").

 At the outset, the Court notes that the Robinsons' complaint fails to assert any cognizable claim against either the District of Columbia or the Mayor under 42 U.S.C § 1983. Oklahoma City v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 53 U.S.L.W. 4639, 85 L. Ed. 2d 791, 105 S. Ct. 2427 (1985); Monell v. Department of Soc. Servs. of New York City, 436 U.S. 658, 56 L. Ed. 2d 611, 98 S. Ct. 2018 (1978). Nor are there any claims or allegations that either was even remotely involved in the underlying facts of this litigation. Accordingly, those defendants are sua sponte dismissed by the Court.

 ANALYSIS

 The Constitutional ...


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