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Davenport v. Kneal

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


June 28, 2010

ELMER DAVENPORT AND GEORGE BETRAND, PLAINTIFFS
v.
CAPTAIN D. KNEAL, DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT KOVALCHIK, DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT WENEROWICZ, S. KEPHART, SHARON LUQUIS, ROBERT MACINTYRE, AND CORRECTIONS OFFICERS FRYER, SCHULTZ, YOUNG, AND MOHL, DEFENDANTS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conner

ORDER

AND NOW, this 28th day of June, 2010, upon consideration of the report of the magistrate judge (Doc. 42) recommending that defendants' motion (Doc. 27) to dismiss all claims pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6) be granted,*fn1 and of the objections (Doc. 43) to the report filed by plaintiffs, and, following an independent review of the record, it appearing that searches of plaintiffs' prison cells and seizure of their personal effects were not unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment, see Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 525-6 (1984) (holding that prisoners have no legitimate expectation of privacy in their cells), that plaintiffs do not allege violations of liberty interests which are protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, see Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 483-4 (1995) (holding that prisoners do not have a constitutionally protected liberty interest in remaining in a less restrictive type of custody); Smith v. Mensinger, 293 F.3d 641, 654 (3d Cir. 2002) (recognizing the applicability of Sandin to periods of disciplinary confinement up to seven months), that plaintiffs do not allege violations of property interests which are protected by the Due Process Clause, see, e.g., Hudson, 468 U.S. at 528 n.8 (noting that prison administrators have broad discretion to define contraband and to limit the possessory rights of prisoners), and that, even assuming interests described above were protected, the disciplinary procedures described in the complaint comport with the Fourteenth Amendment,*fn2 and it further appearing that defendants' conduct did not serve to deny plaintiffs procedural due process,*fn3 that plaintiffs do not allege a substantive due process claim distinct from their procedural due process claim, see County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833, 842 (1998) (explaining that a substantive due process allegation must be distinct from a right explicitly protected by one of the Amendments in order to state a viable claim), that plaintiffs do not allege conditions of confinement which violate the Eighth Amendment, see Sandin, 515 U.S. at 485-6 (holding that segregated confinement as is not recognized as a punishment distinct from the prison sentence which the inmate is serving), that plaintiffs' allegation of retaliation is frivolous and unsupported by facts (see Doc. 42 at 27-8), that plaintiffs' allegation of conspiracy is purely speculative (see Doc. 42 at 25), and that plaintiffs' allegation of false imprisonment is barred by state sovereign immunity, see, e.g., Holt v. Nw. Pa. Training P'ship Consortium, Inc., 694 A.2d 1134, 1139-40 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1997), it is hereby

ORDERED that:

1. The report of the magistrate judge (Doc. 42) is ADOPTED.

2. Defendants' motion to dismiss (Doc. 27) is GRANTED. The above-captioned case is DISMISSED.

3. The Clerk of Court is directed to CLOSE this case.

CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER United States District Judge


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