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Wylie v. Acton

United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division

November 5, 2014

HEATHER ERIN WYLIE, Plaintiff,
v.
JO ACTON, et al., Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

CAROLYN S. OSTBY, Magistrate Judge.

Heather Wylie filed this civil rights action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on conditions of confinement at the Montana Women's Prison. The following motions are pending:

(1) Wylie's "Motion for Immediate Cease & Assist Order due to Illegal Search & Seizure of Wylie's Legal Document(s)/Evidence, considered to be Contraband by MWP Staff" ( ECF 21 );
(2) Wylie's "Motion to Supplement Pleadings Pursuant to Rule 15 & to Permit Add'l Pages by Reply to Response to Motion to Cease & Assist" ( ECF 30 ); and
(3) Wylie's "Motion to Join Parties & Amend Pleadings per each Individual Joined." ECF 32.

The Court recommends that Wylie's motions be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

After conducting the prescreening required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915, 1915A, this Court issued an Order on April 16, 2014, requiring Defendants Acton, Mickelson, Moorman, Ferriter, Daly, Robert Paul, Linda Paul, and Hanson to respond to Wylie's retaliation claims arising in 2011 and 2012, her delay of mail claims arising between December 2010 and August 2013, her denial of medical care and Americans with Disabilities Act claims arising in 2012, and her parole claim arising between 2011 and 2012. ECF 12. On April 16, 2014, the Court requested these Defendants to waive service of summons. Counsel for Defendants did so on May 16, 2014. ECF 15. Defendants answered the Amended Complaint on June 16, 2014. ECF 17.

II. MOTION FOR IMMEDIATE CEASE & ASSIST ORDER

Wylie alleges in her motion that on May 31, 2014, June 4, 2014, and June 10, 2014, her cell was searched by a number of correctional officers and ultimately seven boxes of legal materials and other property was confiscated by the prison. ECF 21. [1]

According to Defendants, Lt. Moorman looked at the cell inspection log on May 31, 2014, and noticed that a number of cells on "B" Pod, one of which was Wylie's cell, had not been searched within the prior month. Lt. Moorman instructed officers to search Wylie's cell and there they discovered paperwork in excess of that allowed by prison policy. ECF 27-1: Moorman Aff. ¶ 4. Lt. Moorman asked Wylie if she had documentation that said she was allowed to possess all the property in her cell. She handed him a stack of about 30 pages of documents. He did not read the documents and Wylie did not point to anything specific. ECF 27-1: Moorman Aff ¶ 6. Wylie contends the 30 pages consisted of copies of orders and signed authorizations allowing her to maintain her legal documentation. ECF 30 at 7.

Moorman contacted Associate Warden Alex Schroeckenstein and reported what he observed in Wylie's cell. ECF 27-1: Moorman Aff ¶ 6. Schroeckenstein instructed the officers to look for dangerous or prohibited contraband and that he (Schroeckenstein) would deal with the excess property issue the next day. ECF 27-1: Moorman Aff ¶ 6.

On June 4, 2014, Officers Painter and Hackney went to Wylie's cell and allowed her two hours to go through her paperwork and decide what she wanted to retain within the six cubic feet of space that each inmate is allotted for personal property. ECF 27-3: Painter Aff. ¶ 5; ECF 27-2: Hackney Aff. ¶ 6. Wylie was given an extra hygiene box for her medical and personal hygiene needs. ECF 27-2: Hackney Aff. ¶ 4. Six boxes of papers and one box of books were removed from Wylie's cell. ECF 27-2: Hackney Aff. ¶ 7. Wylie was allowed to keep six cubic feet of documents in her cell. Id. Wylie was later allowed additional time to review, sort, and repack the paperwork that had been confiscated. ECF 27-3: Painter Aff. ¶ 6.

Wylie requests that the Court order the prison (1) to return her legal property confiscated on June 4, 2014; (2) to allow her an "alternate means" by which to retain her legal work; and (3) to replace any lost or destroyed documents. ECF 21: Cease & Assist Motion; ECF 30: Cease & Assist Reply at 28. The motion seeks ...


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