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BOYD v. PETSOCK

July 6, 1992

JOHN R. BOYD, P-8554, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGE PETSOCK, Superintendent, Defendant.


Lewis


The opinion of the court was delivered by: TIMOTHY K. LEWIS

LEWIS, District J.

 By order dated April 7, 1992, the court ordered the parties to file briefs on the constitutional issues presented by John R. Boyd's claim of civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Having previously filed a joint stipulated list of relevant facts, the parties consented to allow the court to decide the constitutional issues "on the paper." After an independent review of the file and applicable case law, the court concludes that the mailing system in place at the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh ("SCIP") on July 22, 1987, was constitutionally adequate and provided Boyd with reasonable access to the courts. *fn1"

 The parties agree that SCIP operated the following mail delivery system on or about July 22, 1987, pursuant to Department of Corrections Administrative Directive 803:

 (a) All mail was delivered by the mail room to the appropriate block.

 (b) Legal mail would be bundled separately.

 (c) The mail would be given to the block sergeant who is stationed at the sergeant's desk.

 (d) The block sergeant or designee then opened the mail bag and removed the legal mail which had been previously bundled in the mail room.

 (e) Information regarding legal mail would be posted on a board notifying prisoners who checked the board whether they had received legal mail or not.

 (f) If an inmate received legal mail on a given day, he would have to report to the block sergeant, or other appropriate officer, in order to obtain such mail.

 (g) The mail would then be opened in the inmate's presence, checked for contraband, then given to the inmate. When necessary, inmates would have to show appropriate identification in order to obtain their mail.

 (h) Personal mail was also separated in the mail room and bundled according to the range where an inmate was located. The bundles of personal mail were given to the appropriate range officer to be passed out in the normal course of their duties.

 (i) Records ware maintained of receipt of registered or certified mail. If a piece of mail was sent "restricted delivery" the inmate had to sign for the mail personally. ...


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