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Selby v. Caruso

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

October 31, 2013

Charles J. SELBY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Patricia L. CARUSO, former Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, James MacMeekin, former Regional Prison Administrator, Jeri-Ann Sherry, Regional Prison Administrator, and Gerald Hofbauer, former Warden, Marquette Branch Prison, in their personal and official capacities, Defendants-Appellees.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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ON BRIEF:

Michael R. Dean, Office of the Michigan Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan, for Appellees.

Charles Selby, Marquette, Michigan, pro se.

Before: GILMAN, KETHLEDGE, and STRANCH, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

JANE B. STRANCH, Circuit Judge.

Charles J. Selby, a Michigan prisoner proceeding pro se, appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment for the defendants in this civil rights case filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He sued Michigan Department of Corrections officials for violating his due process rights, alleging that they confined him in administrative segregation for approximately thirteen years without meaningful review. He also alleged that the defendants violated his rights under the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1, by denying him access to Christian worship services while he was confined in administrative segregation. For the reasons explained below, we AFFIRM in part and REVERSE in part the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants and REMAND for trial on the due process claim.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Selby is serving a life sentence for murder, a two-year sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and a two-to-five-year sentence for attempted escape from prison. Michigan prison authorities confined Selby in administrative segregation for nearly thirteen years based on a determination that he posed a serious escape risk. Selby served most of those years in the Marquette Branch Prison (MBP), a maximum security facility. Correction

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officials released Selby into the general prison population at MBP in January 2011, approximately eighteen months after Selby filed this § 1983 suit in July 2009.

For summary judgment purposes, we accept as true the allegations of Selby's verified complaint and his affidavit, including his description of the conditions of his confinement in administrative segregation. Selby attests that he was locked in his cell 23 to 24 hours a day with no direct contact or interaction with other prisoners, although he could speak to them through the barred door of his cell. He was not allowed a daily shower. His food portions were smaller and he was not allowed to obtain food or beverages from the commissary. He did not receive educational programming. He could not possess a battery-operated radio, cassette-tape player, MP3 player, hobby items, or many other personal items. He lacked direct access to health care, the library, the chapel, and the gym. He received very limited yard time, and even during those periods he was locked in a cage slightly larger than a cell. In winter he could not walk out into the yard because he did not have a coat. Selby had no access to a telephone except to speak with an attorney or receive a call concerning a death in his family. Visiting hours were reduced and mail privileges restricted. The lights remained on in his unit twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Selby was confined with mentally ill prisoners who screamed and banged metal lids against metal footlockers and walls. He was not allowed to purchase ear plugs from the commissary to dull the noise. Many of the prisoners smeared food and feces on themselves and their cell walls and refused to shower. Because there was little ventilation in the unit, Selby was forced to smell the stench until extraction teams sprayed chemical agents to take control of the prisoners and remove them from ...


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