content of the meeting, both sides agree that the meeting terminated when defendant Anastasia informed plaintiff that he would be transferred back to the front jail for his protection and that a guard would be assigned to protect plaintiff when he left the cell. This procedure was enforced throughout the remainder of this time period, even though plaintiff had not requested such protection.
Plaintiff has presented copies of two request slips, one dated August 9, 1974, addressed to defendant Anastasia, and one dated August 14, 1974, addressed to defendant Roth. These slips request that charges be lodged against Salvati and that plaintiff be released to the general prison population or given a hearing. According to the normal prison procedure, as testified to by defendant Anastasia, an inmate in administrative detention would receive a hearing after submitting such a request slip.
Additionally, plaintiff alleges that the assignment of a guard to him resulted in the guard remaining present on two occasions while he attempted to speak with an attorney or a law student intern prior to his sentencing.
II. MINOR CLAIMS:
Many of plaintiff's complaints can be dismissed summarily, such as his contention that his personal possessions were seized upon his arrival. Plaintiff testified to the contrary when his deposition was taken, stating that all of his belongings were returned to him before the end of the same day. Therefore, we find nothing violative of plaintiff's rights in the prison authorities' practice of examining a transfer prisoner's belongings upon arrival.
Another frivolous allegation of plaintiff is that he was not provided with material to clean his cell. Again, however, his deposition testimony revealed that the same cleaning materials were available to him as were available to other front jail prisoners and that his cell mates had cleaned the cell during the period in question.
Plaintiff also complains that the window frame was missing from his cell, thus exposing him to the elements. He stated, however, that he made no complaint to the prison authorities about this problem.
Plaintiff also claims that being held in the front jail infringed his First Amendment rights, in that he was unable to mingle freely with the general prison population, could not advise other inmates on legal matters or receive books or other reading material from other inmates. Whether or not these claims would prove to be factually correct (they are generally denied by defendants), we find them to be wholly without merit as to a prisoner held in tighter security than the general prison population.
Plaintiff further alleges that his Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated by the presence of a prison guard in the interview cell during his conversation with his attorney. Under the facts of this case we do not find any such violation. Plaintiff testified at his deposition that although he was being held awaiting sentence, these legal interviews were for other purposes.
The record reveals that plaintiff discussed his pending sentencing with counsel on several occasions, and, further, establishes that there is no evidence that a formal complaint has been made by plaintiff or his counsel as a result of either incident.
III. SEGREGATED CONFINEMENT:
The major thrust of plaintiff's complaint is that his placement in the front jail from August 2, 1974, until August 5, 1974, and again from August 9, 1974, until August 16, 1974, amounted to segregated confinement, thus denying him his due process rights because there was not a hearing as required by Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 41 L. Ed. 2d 935, 94 S. Ct. 2963 (1974).
Plaintiff had been incarcerated at Montgomery County Prison prior to the time period involved in the matter, and had been active in various reform movements.
He suggests that the allegedly improper treatment to which he was subjected was motivated by resentment over his reform activities.
In Wolff, supra, the Supreme Court reviewed the actions of prison officials and found that due process standards apply to some prison disciplinary proceedings. In that case the prisoners had earned good time credits pursuant to Nebraska state law, and the discipline involved the cancellation of these credits without a hearing which met due process standards. However, in later cases in which prisoners had been transferred to other facilities without a hearing, the Court found that the prisoners had no state-created right to remain at any institution, and held that such transfers were within the discretion of the prison officials. See Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 49 L. Ed. 2d 451, 96 S. Ct. 2532 (1976), and Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236, 49 L. Ed. 2d 466, 96 S. Ct. 2543 (1976). In Montanye, the degree of confinement remained the same, i.e., the prisoner was transferred from a maximum security institution to a maximum security institution. In Meachum, however, the prisoner was transferred from a medium security institution to a maximum security institution.
Based on the record before us, plaintiff has not shown that the transfers involved were disciplinary, and if he had, it would not be clear that the full requirements of Wolff would apply.
Furthermore, plaintiff has not established any state-created right to the same level of restriction as that of the general population, the deprivation of which would amount to a liberty interest to be protected by the Due Process Clause. The Supreme Court in Meachum specifically refused to go so far as to require a hearing before any transfer which ". . . would place the prisoner in substantially more burdensome conditions than he had been experiencing." 427 U.S. at 225. The record before us establishes that Pennsylvania prison officials, like the Massachusetts officials in Meachum, have the discretion to transfer prisoners for any number of reasons, and this discretion is not limited to instances of serious misconduct. This Court neither has the right nor the capacity to supervise the day-to-day management of state prisons by dictating the manner in which the discretionary functions of prison officials should be dispatched. Such an intrusion is unwarranted, and would be a bold usurpation of power by the Court.
Accordingly, an Order will be entered granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants and against plaintiff.
AND NOW, to wit, this 1st day of May, 1978, upon consideration of plaintiff's and defendant's motion for summary judgment and the record submitted by the parties, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
BY THE COURT:
HERBERT A. FOGEL, J. United States District Court