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Lineberry v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 15, 2013

Jed LINEBERRY, Plaintiff,
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, et al., Defendants.

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Jed Lineberry, Texarkana, TX, pro se.

Rhonda Lisa Campbell, U.S. Department of Justice, Tricia Dianne Francis, U.S. Attorney's Office, Washington, DC, for Defendants.


ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant's [sic] Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. # 11].[1] For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.


TRULINCS is the system by which prisoners in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (" BOP" ) may correspond electronically and in writing with the public. See generally Mem. in Supp. of Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss (" Defs.' Mem." ), Attach. B (Program Statement P5265.13, Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS)— Electronic Messaging (Feb. 19, 2009)) (hereinafter " Program Statement 5265.13" ). The stated program objectives are:

• To provide inmates with an alternative means of written communication with the public.
• To provide the [BOP] with a more efficient, cost-effective, and secure method of managing and monitoring inmate communication services.
• To reduce the opportunities for illegal drugs or contraband to be introduced into [BOP] facilities through inmate mail.

Program Statement 5265.13 at 1.

Generally, an inmate must " place a TRULINCS-generated mailing label on all outgoing postal mail," and if he fails to do so, " the mail is returned to the inmate for proper preparation." Id. at 5; see also Program Statement P5265.14, Correspondence (Apr. 5, 2011) at 7 (" [A]ll outgoing mail, for institutions with a TRULINCS-generated mailing label system, must utilize these mailing labels on all outgoing correspondence, in accordance with the Program Statement Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS)— Electronic Messaging." ) (emphasis removed). An inmate using TRULINCS " must establish a contact list, which consists of people with whom [he wants] to communicate while [he is] incarcerated," and upon confirmation from the potential recipients of inmate correspondence, " through use of the TRULINCS program, [the inmate] may communicate ... by way of electronic messaging and postal mail"

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with people on the approved contact list. Defs.' Reply to Pl.'s Resp. to Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss Pl.'s Compl. (" Defs.' Reply" ), Decl. of Rocky Patterson (" Patterson Decl." ) ¶ 2. In order to send " postal mail to a person on [his] contact list, the inmate must use the TRULINCS program to generate a mailing label," a step designed " to ensure that contraband or illegal drugs are not smuggled into our prison facility through the use of other types of mailing labels." Id., Patterson Decl. ¶ 2. If outgoing mail does not bear a TRULINCS-generated label, it " is intercepted through [the] mail sorting process and returned to" the inmate. Id. " Inmates who use mailing labels for other than their intended purpose may be subject to disciplinary action for misuse of Government property." Program Statement 5265.13 at 5.

Plaintiff's " federal incarceration has taken away from him the means to have access to the postal service other than the institutional mail box system." Compl. at 4. Now that use of TRULINCS is mandatory at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas (" FCI Texarkana" ), the facility in which Plaintiff currently is incarcerated, he must " apply to TRULINC[S]" for a mailing label, and " [i]f TRULINCS deems it appropriate, it will approve the request for access to postal service by providing a label." Id. If TRULINCS does not approve the request, Plaintiff alleges, he is denied " access to the postal service." Id. With the exception of " a few ... letters going to a court," Plaintiff explains that " [e]very letter he has placed into the institutional mail has been returned to him." Id. For example, he states that thrice he " attempted to send out mail to his father," but the BOP allegedly " returned the letter [because] the outgoing mail did not have a mailing label approved by TRULINCS." Id. at 6. Now Plaintiff " refuse[s] to apply to TRULINC[S] for permission in order to exercise his constitutional right[s]" under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Id. at 4. In addition, Plaintiff objects to " [t]he mandatory prior approval of a request in order to have access to the postal service, the possibility of [b]eing the access to the postal service as well as the limited number of labels and access to the one computer that services 1200 inmates, located in the law library, closed on all holidays, Sundays, for counts, staff meetings etc[.]" Id. at 8. For these alleged " blatant violation[s] of ...

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