IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
July 14, 2009
TERRY E. SHOTTS, PETITIONER,
JOHN EVANS, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge
Before the Court is Petitioner's Motion Seeking Access to Law Library (Doc. 63). Petitioner asks the Court to order Big Muddy River Correctional Center to allow him access to the library no less than two (2) days per week and no more than three (3) days per week for a period of 90 days. He explains that without an order from the Court he will only be able to attend the library, at best, once a week. There are presently no deadlines facing Petitioner in this case. He has already filed his objections to the pending Report and Recommendation.
"[F]ederal courts are most reluctant to interfere with the internal administration of state prisons because they are less qualified to do so than prison authorities." Thomas v. Ramos, 130 F.3d 754, 764 (7th Cir. 1997)(citations omitted). Inmate use of law library facilities requires the expenditure of staff time and other resources. As long as a constitutional level of access is afforded to petitioner, prison authorities are entitled to make the necessary decisions about allocation of prison resources without interference by this Court. Prisoners do not have a constitutional right to browse in a law library. Smith v. Shawnee Library System, 60 F.3d 317, 323 (7th Cir. 1995). A prison system is not required to provide unlimited access to a law library, even for pro se litigants. Martin v. Davies, 917 F.2d 226, 240 (7th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 501 U.S. 1208 (1991).
Petitioner has not alleged that he is unable to use the library, only that he will be lucky to attend one of the scheduled library times a week and believes that more time is needed in order to defend himself. The Court further notes that Petitioner has no pending deadlines as he has already filed his objections to the pending Report and Recommendation. Therefore, the Court DENIES Petitioner's Motion Seeking Access to Law Library (Doc. 63).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
David R Herdo Chief Judge United States District Court
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