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Anderson v. Craven

March 16, 2010

GERALD L. ANDERSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OLIVIA CRAVEN, DIRECTOR OF IDAHO PARDON AND PAROLE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

Pending before the Court is Defendant Olivia Craven's Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment. (Docket No. 21.) Having reviewed the parties' filings, as well as the record in this case, the Court has determined that oral argument is unnecessary, and thus enters the following Order denying without prejudice the Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is an Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) inmate who sought release on parole in 2005, and continues to seek parole today. The defendant in this case is Olivia Craven, Executive Director of the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole. Plaintiff is serving a sentence for aggravated DUI and has two prior DUIs on his record. As a result, the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole recommended that Plaintiff participate in a Therapeutic Community (TC) program for rehabilitative purposes prior to parole.

This case concerns whether Defendant violated Plaintiff's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights in requiring him to attend the Therapeutic Community Program ("TC"), which included Alcoholics Anonymous ("AA"), a religion-based program, prior to considering his eligibility for parole. (Docket No. 16, Attach. 3, Ex. A.)

The Court earlier determined that Plaintiff is not entitled to monetary relief. (Order of March 26, 2009, Docket No. 20.) The Court left open the issues of whether Plaintiff was entitled to declaratory or injunctive relief, because it appeared that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Defendant Craven, in her official capacity, has provided Plaintiff the opportunity to complete a truly secular program as part of his therapeutic program and whether Plaintiff's opposition to the program will be used as a factor in future parole hearings. Defendant was invited to file a supplemental motion for summary judgment if facts existed to support her position that Plaintiff's remaining claims are moot.

A timeline of pertinent facts are as follows: Feb. 9, 2005 Plaintiff was granted a tentative parole date conditioned upon successfully completing TC.

June 2005 The ACLU notified the ICPP that the TC program violated inmates' First Amendment rights under the Establishment Clause because of the religious nature of the AA program.

Sept. 24, 2005 Plaintiff submitted a self-initiated progress report (SIPR) requesting reconsideration of the TC requirement. "Due to my age, I was unable to endorse the TC requirement," he stated.

Oct. 20, 2005 The ICPP denied the SIPR, noting that Plaintiff had asked to be removed from TC because "he didn't trust the staff, did not like their decision-making process, and didn't like to confront others."

Dec. 2005 The traditional TC program was modified to provide a secular alternative to the AA/NA program components, called "Beat Your Own Addiction" (BA).

Jan. 23, 2006 Plaintiff submitted another SIPR, alleging that he withdrew from the TC program because it violated his civil rights.

Feb. 27, 2006 Plaintiff was told that the TC program was modified to provide a secular alternative and was provided a chance to re-enroll. He refused.

May 26, 2006 Plaintiff filed another SIPR, but it did not state that he had civil rights or religious objections to the TC program Aug. 8, 2006 Plaintiff filed a "petition for release" with Defendant, ...


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