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.

Callahan v. Quintana

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division

February 14, 2019

SCOTT O. CALLAHAN, Plaintiff,
v.
FRANCISCO QUINTANA, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Joseph M. Hood Senior U.S. District Judge

         In 2011, Scott O. Callahan was convicted of possessing child pornography, receiving child pornography, and attempting to receive child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252. See United States v. Scott Callahan, No. 8:11-cr-166 (M.D. Fla. 2011). The trial court sentenced Callahan to 210 months in prison. See id.

         Callahan is now confined at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Lexington, Kentucky. Proceeding without a lawyer, Callahan filed a complaint with this Court alleging that the defendants have violated his First Amendment rights. [R. 1]. The defendants then filed a motion to dismiss Callahan's complaint or, in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment [R. 19]. Callahan responded to that motion, and he also filed his own motion for summary judgment. [Rs. 23, 24]. The parties have now fully briefed both motions and, thus, this matter is ripe for a decision. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant the defendants' dispositive motion.

         I.

         Callahan alleges in his complaint that he is an “artist, ” and he claims that staff at FMC-Lexington are running afoul of his First Amendment rights in three ways.

         First, Callahan claims that prison officials unlawfully confiscated some of his “art work” pursuant to a change in institution policy regarding the production of sexual drawings, paintings, writings, and sculptures. [R. 1 at 4-6]. In response, the defendants point out that FMC-Lexington permits prisoners to participate in a “hobby-craft program, ” but that it prohibits the production of sexual drawings and other depictions. [R. 19-1 at 4 (citing R. 19-2 at 18)].

         Second, Callahan claims that prison staff impermissibly seized his mail and returned it to the sender. [R. 1 at 2, 7-8]. In response, the defendants acknowledge that, on multiple occasions in September and October of 2017, prison staff reviewed Callahan's mail pursuant to prison procedures and determined that it contained numerous sexually-explicit photographs. Prison officials determined that the mail was detrimental to the security and good order of the prison and, as a result, it returned the mail to the sender in accordance with prison policies. [R. 19-1 at 3, 4-6 (citing R. 19-3)].

         Third, Callahan suggests, albeit in a rather unclear way, that prison officials have somehow interfered with his access to this Court. [R. 1 at 16]. Callahan stresses that he “enjoys the right to access to courts in order to seek redress for wrongs done to him by the federal government, ” and he then complains that he has had to “jump through administrative hoops . . . before he can bring an action in court.” [Id.]. In response, the defendants argue that Callahan has not suffered any prejudice in the way in which he has had to litigate his claims. [R. 19-1 at 19].

         Callahan pursued his administrative remedies to no avail and, thereafter, he filed his complaint with this Court. Callahan is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages for the alleged constitutional violations, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. [R. 1 at 17-18]. In response, the defendants moved to dismiss Callahan's complaint or, in the alternative, moved for summary judgment. [R. 19]. Callahan then filed his own motion for summary judgment. [R. 23]. The parties have now fully briefed both motions and, thus, this matter is ripe for a decision.

         II.

         A.

         As the defendants point out, Callahan begins by asserting various First Amendment claims pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The Court, however, will dismiss these First Amendment Bivens claims because they are not legally cognizable.

         Unlike a civil-rights claim against state officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which is a remedy explicitly created by Congress, a civil-rights claim against federal officials pursuant to Bivens is a judicially-created cause of action that has been implied only in limited circumstances. See Ziglar v. Abbasi, 137 S.Ct. 1843, 1854 (2017). The Supreme Court has explained that, in deciding whether a case may proceed under a Bivens theory, a court must first determine whether the case presents a new context that “is different in a meaningful way from previous Bivens cases decided by this Court.” Id. at 1859. If the case presents a new Bivens context, the court must then consider whether special factors counsel hesitation in recognizing a new Bivens claim. See Id. at 1859-60. Ultimately, the Supreme Court has made it clear that “expanding the Bivens remedy is now a disfavored judicial activity.” Id. at 1857 (citation and quotation marks omitted).

         Here, each of Callahan's three First Amendment claims present a new context. To date, the Supreme Court has only recognized Bivens claims in three contexts: (1) a Fourth Amendment claim involving search and seizure; (2) a Fifth Amendment discrimination claim; and (3) an Eighth Amendment claim alleging a prison official was deliberately indifferent to an inmate's serious medical needs. See Id. at 1854-55. The Supreme Court has never recognized a Bivens remedy in the First Amendment context. See Reichle v. Howards, 566 U.S. 658, 663 n. 4 (2012) (“We have never held that Bivens extends to First Amendment claims.”); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 675 (2009) (“[W]e have declined to extend Bivens to a claim sounding in the First Amendment.”); Meeks v. ...


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.