All courts, including this one, are overburdened, and priorities must be set. Because this case is so lacking in merit, it was put aside for a regrettably lengthy period of time. Now, balancing Rule 52(a) and the directions of the Court of Appeals on remand, the Court writes in summary fashion to dispose of this case.
Plaintiff, having been duly sentenced, went to the Federal Correctional Institution at Oxford, Wisconsin, in September 1983. During his initial stay there, the Bureau of Prisons permitted prisoners -- including plaintiff -- to have radios and tape players in their cells.
On December 10, 1985, plaintiff was sent pursuant to a writ to the Southern District of Florida. Prior to leaving Oxford, he turned in his radio-tape player for safekeeping. While he was in Florida, on February 18, 1986, the Bureau of Prisons issued a Change Notice providing that thenceforth, as a matter of national policy, prisoners in Federal Correctional Institutions could have radios, but not tape players, in their cells. (See p.3 of Ex.1 to Complaint.) Plaintiff returned to Oxford slightly more than two months later, on April 29, 1986. On the next day, he sought to reclaim his radio-tape player but was told he no longer could have it in his cell. He executed his complaint on June 3, 1986.
In response to the three questions put by the Court of Appeals in its unpublished remand Memorandum of June 24, 1987, the Court states:
(1) There was no deprivation of plaintiff's due process rights under the fifth amendment.
(2) Plaintiff, as one of many thousands of federal prisoners affected by the Bureau of Prison's Change Notice, did exhaust his administrative remedies.
(3) There was no seizure of plaintiff's property (or what might be referred to as the "functional equivalent" thereof) which constituted a violation of plaintiff's rights under the fourth amendment.
There being no genuine issue of material fact, and defendants being entitled to judgment as a matter of law, defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted. An appropriate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
On consideration of defendants' Motion To Dismiss or in the Alternative for Summary Judgment, plaintiff's opposition pleadings, defendants' reply, and the entire record, it hereby is
ORDERED, that the motion is granted and the case is dismissed.