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JAMES-BEY v. FREEMAN

June 18, 1986

CHARLES R. JAMES-BEY, Plaintiff
v.
JAMES FREEMAN, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOGAN

 This civil rights case is before the Court on defendants' motion to dismiss or for summary judgment. Plaintiff, Charles James-Bey, was convicted in the District of Columbia of Armed Robbery and Rape While Armed. He was initially incarcerated at the Lorton Reformatory, a prison operated by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. Following a general strike among the resident prison population in July, 1984, plaintiff was transferred to a federal designation. The Bureau of Prisons ultimately sent plaintiff to USP-Marion, Illinois, where he is presently incarcerated. Plaintiff instituted this action against several Lorton officials seeking injunctive relief and damages under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985(3) and 1986 for alleged violations of his constitutional rights. *fn1" Plaintiff alleges that the defendants' failure to comply with regulations issued under the Lorton Regulations Approval Act of 1982, 28 D.C. Reg. 865 (1981), concerning the segregation of disciplinary hearing records, violated his due process rights under the fifth and fourteenth amendments. Plaintiff also alleges that his transfer to federal designation at Marion, Illinois violated his equal protection rights under the fifth and fourteenth amendments. He further contends that defendants conspired to violate his constitutional rights and the Lorton Regulations Approval Act.

 A. Prisoner Designation and Transfer

 All prisoners convicted in the District of Columbia, in federal or in local court, are committed to the Attorney General's custody, for designation to a place of confinement. D.C. Code § 24-425 (1981). The Attorney General may designate "any available, suitable, and appropriate institutions, whether maintained by the District of Columbia government, the federal government, or otherwise, or whether within or without the District of Columbia." Id. The Attorney General may also authorize the transfer of a prisoner from one institution to another, if in his judgment it will be in the prisoner's well-being, or if it will relieve overcrowding or other unhealthful prison conditions, or "for other reasons." Id. See also 18 U.S.C. § 4082(b).

 Transfer of offenders from a District of Columbia Department of Corrections ("DCDC") institution to a Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") institution is governed by procedures set forth in D.C.D.C. Department Order No. 4810.1B. Def. Exh. C. In relevant part, Order No. 4810.1B provides that seven categories of sentenced D.C. Code offenders may be recommended for transfer to a BOP institution. DO No. 4810.1B.7.b., Def. Exh. C. Included therein are offenders "who are severe management problems" and "those who are known escape risks." Id. Recommendations are submitted by Administrators to Assistant Directors, and must be accompanied by (1) D.C. Board of Parole recommendations; (2) pre-sentence report, if available; (3) a summary of all disciplinary reports; and (4) a current Progress Report, which must include the individual's "adjustment and activities at the institution, his/her conduct, outstanding detainers, all actions by the D.C. Board of Parole, and medical or psychological problems, if any." DO No. 4810.1B.7.c., Def. Exh. C. No provision is made for inmate participation or appeal in the designation and transfer process set forth in DO No. 4810.1B. Further, no criteria govern the Director's ultimate decision to approve the Administrator's recommendation.

 B. Lorton Regulation Approval Act

 The Lorton Regulations Approval Act of 1982 (the "LRAA" or the "regulations") sets forth the guidelines and procedures governing discipline of inmates at the Lorton Correctional Complex. Chapter I establishes an internal "Code of Offenses," and delineates the administrative procedures to be followed when an inmate is charged with a violation thereof. See LRAA § 100.1, Chapter 2 governs the placement of inmates in administrative segregation and in protective custody. If an inmate is charged with an offense, he is entitled to a hearing and an appeal of any adverse decision. See LRAA §§ 108-113. The records of the proceedings must be either destroyed or separately maintained if the inmate is found not guilty, and may not be made available to any agency or individual outside the D.C.D.C. See LRAA § 114.2-114.3. The regulations do not address the maintenance of inmates' other records, nor do they address the mechanics of federal designation.

 Statement of Facts

 Plaintiff alleges that defendants violated his constitutional rights by including records of unadjudicated internal offenses in documents sent to the BOP in connection with the request for federal designation and transfer. The undisputed facts regarding his designation and transfer are as follows:

 On February 24, 1983 plaintiff was convicted of Armed Robbery and Rape While Armed, and was sentenced to a term of 32 to 96 years. He had been imprisoned previously, and admits that he "walked away" from the Minimum Security Facility in 1976, during an earlier incarceration. Plaintiff states that he was never prosecuted for the two other alleged escapes, in 1969 and 1981, which are reflected in his federal designation Progress Report. Def. Exh. B.

 Discussion

 Plaintiff contends that the defendants violated his due process and equal protection rights, guaranteed by the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution, by including information about unadjudicated offenses in his Progress Report, contrary to the LRAA record ...


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