Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

DRAYTON v. ROBINSON

July 23, 1981

James DRAYTON, Plaintiff,
v.
William B. ROBINSON, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MUIR

On May 12, 1981, Drayton, while proceeding pro se, filed a motion for summary judgment, accompanied by a brief, as to his claims that he was placed in Administrative Custody and remained in Administrative Custody at the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill, hereinafter sometimes referred to as "Camp Hill" in violation of his rights to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Defendants filed a brief in opposition to the motion on June 12, 1981. On July 3, 1981, Drayton, by his court-appointed attorney, filed a reply brief. For the following reasons, Drayton's motion will be granted in part.

Two periods of administrative confinement are the subject of Drayton's complaint. The first period covered March 27, 1979 to April 12, 1979 when Drayton was transferred to Camp Hill on a temporary transfer allegedly for the purpose of medical treatment. A hearing was held at Camp Hill on March 27, 1979 to determine Drayton's status and, subsequent to the hearing, Drayton was placed in Administrative Custody status. Drayton was transferred from Camp Hill on April 12, 1979 to stand trial for murder.

 Drayton's second period of confinement at Camp Hill began on May 30, 1979 after his conviction in the Court of Common Pleas for Dauphin County on April 19, 1979 of murder and robbery and ended on December 26, 1979 when he was transferred to a place of incarceration in New Jersey. Authorities at Camp Hill were informed that the transfer was because the Dauphin County authorities regarded Drayton as a security risk at their institution. Thereafter Drayton was placed in the Restricted Housing Unit, hereinafter sometimes "RHU", in Administrative Custody status, pending his classification by the Program Review Committee (hereinafter sometimes "PRC"). On June 5, 1979, Drayton received a misconduct report for disrupting institutional routine by creating a disturbance in the RHU and was moved to the Disciplinary Custody section of that unit. On June 6, 1979, Drayton appeared before the PRC and his Administrative Custody status was affirmed on the basis of his behavior at Dauphin County Prison, his prior convictions, pending charges and his behavior in the Restricted Housing Unit.

 On June 7, 1979, Drayton received a disciplinary hearing on the charges lodged June 5, 1979 and received a sentence of 30 days in Disciplinary Custody. On July 3, 1979, Drayton's case was reviewed by the PRC and he was transferred from Disciplinary Custody to Administrative Custody. Thereafter, approximately every 30 days until December 26, 1979, Drayton's case was reviewed by the PRC and a decision to continue him in Administrative Custody was rendered.

 Drayton seeks summary judgment with respect to several distinct due process issues. With respect to the first period in Administrative Custody, Drayton argues that his rights to due process were violated because (1) he was never given a written statement of reasons and evidence relied on by the Hearing Committee for its decision to place him in Administrative Custody and (2) the reasons for his confinement in Administrative Custody were not among those permitted under applicable regulations. With respect to the second and lengthier period in administrative custody, the record reveals three contentions: (1) that Drayton did not receive a timely hearing after his placement in Administrative Custody, (2) that he was not provided with the required written statement of evidence relied on and reasons for his placement in Administrative Custody and (3) that the Defendants have failed to demonstrate that the substantive reasons for Drayton's incarceration in Administrative Custody satisfied Bureau of Correction Administrative Directive 801.

 A grant of summary judgment is only appropriate when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts contained in the evidential sources must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Goodman v. Mead, Johnson & Co., 534 F.2d 566 (3d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1038, 97 S. Ct. 732, 50 L. Ed. 2d 748 (1977).

 In any due process case, the Court's first task is to determine whether a deprivation of life, liberty or property, the interests protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, has occurred. Helms v. Hewitt, 655 F.2d 487 at 493 No. 80-2393 (3d Cir. June 30, 1981). Drayton contends that Bureau of Correction Administrative Directive 801, which governs institution disciplinary and restricted housing procedure creates a liberty interest protectible by the Fourteenth Amendment. Part VI.A.1 of Administrative Directive 801 provides that the

 
purpose of placing an inmate in (Administrative Custody) shall be to maintain the safety of the institution by segregating an individual who poses a threat to other inmates, to staff or to himself, poses an escape risk or needs protection from other inmates. The decision to place an inmate in the custody must comply with ... IV.B.1., IV.B.3. or IV.B.4.

 Those three sections provide for the placement of an inmate in Administrative Custody only if certain objective criteria are met. In Helms, the Court of Appeals held that:

 
(t)he effect of (this regulation) is to limit segregation in Administrative ... Custody to particular classes of inmates who meet objective criteria set out in the rules. Such specifications, we conclude, establish a liberty interest in all inmates to whom the regulations apply not to be segregated in restrictive custody unless the regulatory criteria are met. Helms v. Hewitt, 655 F.2d 487 at 496 No. 80-2393.

 At the time of Drayton's first confinement at Camp Hill he was received under the status referred to by the Bureau of Correction as HVA, signifying that he was being held for various authorities, in this case Dauphin County authorities, pending his trial for murder. The procedures in such HVA cases are set forth in an administrative memorandum dated April 7, 1977 issued by then commissioner, William B. Robinson. Part III C.1. provides that an HVA case received as a medical transfer shall be placed in the hospital or infirmary. Sub-part 2 provides that all other HVA cases shall be placed in Administrative Custody pending a formal hearing to determine their housing status. Sub-Part 3 provides that a hearing shall be held as required by Bureau of Correction Administrative Directive 801. An affidavit submitted by Defendant Patton, then superintendent at Camp Hill, states that when Drayton was received at Camp Hill on March 27, 1979 he was in HVA status. He was placed in hospital isolation status pending classification by the Hearing Committee. The Hearing Committee on March 27, 1979 determined to place Drayton in Administrative Custody where he remained until he was transferred to Dauphin County for trial on or about April 12, 1979. Since Drayton was placed in Administrative Custody on March 27, 1979, the Court's inquiry must be whether that decision was made in accordance with due process of law.

 In Helms the Court of Appeals held that before an inmate may be placed in Administrative Custody he is entitled to the same "basic" procedural protections established by the Supreme Court in Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S. Ct. 2963, 41 L. Ed. 2d 935 (1974), for inmates facing disciplinary proceedings. Helms v. Hewitt, 655 F.2d 487 at 499 No. 80-2393. Among the procedural rights enjoyed by an inmate in Drayton's situation was a "written statement by the factfinders as to the evidence relied on and the reasons for the ... action." Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. at 564, 94 S. Ct. at 2978. The Supreme Court explained that such a written statement is necessary because of possible collateral consequences to the inmate "based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the original proceeding" and because a written record "helps to insure that administrators, faced with possible scrutiny by state officials and the public and perhaps even the courts ... will act fairly." Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. at 565, 94 S. Ct. at 2979. Drayton, therefore, was entitled to a written statement of evidence relied on and of the Hearing Committee's reasons for placing him in Administrative Custody. The Defendants do not contend that a written statement was provided Drayton. The Defendants' failure to provide Drayton with a written statement of reasons as required by Wolff constituted a denial of due process even if Drayton's placement in Administrative Custody was otherwise proper. The Court, therefore, holds that Drayton's placement in Administrative Custody on March 27, 1979 was accomplished in violation of his rights to procedural due process.

 The Court is justified in making this finding on the present record. This is not a case where the Defendants have argued that they were unable to hold a prompt hearing because they lacked the necessary information. To the contrary, Defendant Patton sets forth in his affidavit that a hearing was held the day Drayton arrived. Those who conducted the hearing must have had reasons for their decision to place Drayton in Administrative Custody yet those reasons were not disclosed in writing to Drayton as required. In addition, the Defendants have not argued that there was any reason why Drayton could not be told of the reasons or evidence relied on. In short, the record before the Court reveals a complete disregard of Drayton's right to due process.

 Although the Court has concluded that Drayton's due process rights were violated by the manner in which he was placed in Administrative Custody on March 27, 1979, the Court is unable to determine on this record which defendants are responsible for that deprivation, namely the people on the Hearing Committee who determined to place Drayton in Administrative Custody and perhaps any supervisory personnel who either directed that Drayton not be informed of the reasons in writing or have knowledge that Drayton was not informed and acquiesced in that omission. See Hampton v. Holmesburg Prison Officials, 546 F.2d ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.