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McKinney v. Ashcroft

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


September 18, 2007

DAVID ANTHONY MCKINNEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Now pending before the Court is a document captioned "Denied Access to Court" (Doc. 15), which the Court construes as a motion requesting entry of an order directing the wardens at the United States Penitentiaries in Marion, Illinois, and Florence, Colorado, to supply plaintiff with his personal legal papers and materials currently being withheld, and with other materials necessary to grant Plaintiff "unrestrained access to the courts of the United States of America." Also pending before the Court is a second document captioned "Denied Access to Court" (Doc. 22), in which Plaintiff requests that the Court order USP-Florence "to give plaintiff his mail."

The only defendant in this action, brought pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, is the United States of America. See 28 U.S.C. § 1346; Order at Doc. 12. The wardens of the two institutions are not defendants to the action, and the Court, therefore, does not have personal jurisdiction over either.

Moreover, arguendo, if the Court did have personal jurisdiction over these individuals, Plaintiff has not stated a claim of denial of access to courts in the current action. Furthermore, to show that he has been denied his First Amendment right of access to the courts, Plaintiff would have to demonstrate that "his denial of access to legal materials caused a potentially meritorious claim to fail." Marshall v. Knight, 445 F.3d 965, 969 (7th Cir. 2005). See also Alston v. DeBruyn, 13 F.3d 1036, 1041 (7th Cir. 1994) (an inmate must demonstrate "some quantum of detriment caused by the challenged conduct of state officials resulting in the interruption and/or delay of plaintiff's pending or contemplated litigation") (citation omitted). Plaintiff has made no such showing.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's motions (Docs. 15 and 22) are DENIED.

20070918

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