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Hogue v. Yordy

United States District Court, D. Idaho

September 19, 2019

BRIAN HOGUE, Plaintiff,
v.
KEITH YORDY and HENRY ATENCIO sued in their official and individual capacities, and SERGEANT JOHN DOE, sued in his individual capacity, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill, U.S. District Court Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Brian Hogue, a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) is proceeding pro se in this prisoner civil rights action. Pending before the Court are nine motions:

(1) Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 15);
(2) Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike (Dkt. 18);
(3) Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint (Dkt. 23);
(4) Plaintiff’s Motion for Initial Review of Amended Complaint (Dkt. 25);
(5) Plaintiff’s Motion for Ruling on Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint Prior to Hearing Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 29);
(6) Plaintiff’s Objection and Motion to Exclude Declaration of Brian Adams in Support of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 31);
(7) Plaintiff’s Renewed Motion to Defer or Deny Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Pending the Completion of Discovery and Request for Hearing re Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 32);
(8) Plaintiff’s Motion for Finding of Contempt, Imposition of Sanctions, and Request for a Hearing (Dkt. 33); and
(9) Plaintiff’s Motion to Disqualify Judge on the Basis of Bias and/or Prejudice (Dkt. 35).

         Having reviewed the record and considered the written arguments of the parties, the Court concludes that oral argument is unnecessary. The Court will rule on each of the pending motions below. The key rulings will be as follows: First, the Court will deny Defendants’ motion for summary judgment without prejudice. Second, Mr. Hogue will be allowed to conduct limited discovery for a period of 90 days from the date of this Order. At the conclusion of this discovery period, Defendants may renew their motion for summary judgment. Third, Mr. Hogue will be allowed to amend his complaint to correct a clerical error, but he will not be allowed to otherwise amend his complaint at this time.

         BACKGROUND

         1. Factual History

         From September 2016 to June 2017, IDOC facilities operated under Standard Operating Procedure 402.02.01.001 Version 9.0 (“Mail Policy”) which restricted inmates from receiving mail in colored envelopes, padded envelopes, or envelopes with stains on them. Dkt. 30-3; Dkt. 30-2. IDOC states the Mail Policy was put in place because illegal substances such as methamphetamines and suboxone can more easily be hidden in or on colored envelopes than white envelopes. Dkt.30-2; Dkt. 15-5.

         Brian Hogue is an inmate in the custody of the Idaho Department of Corrections. At all times relevant to this suit, he was housed at the Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI) in Ada County, Idaho.

         In December 2016, while incarcerated at the ISCI, Mr. Hogue reviewed on a bulletin board a memorandum outlining the change to Mail Policy to ban receipt of colored envelopes. Dkt. 30-1 at 2. Mr. Hogue later reviewed the Mail Policy in the IDOC’s Standard Operating Procedures. Id. at 3.

         On April 7, 2017, a birthday card in a colored envelope sent to Mr. Hogue by his mother was “seized” by staff in the mail room and destroyed. Id. at 3, 5; Dkt. 3. Mr. Hogue was notified of that seizure on April 13, 2017. Dkt. 30-1 at 3. an offender grievance, which he attached to the offender concern form. Id. On June 14, 2017, he received the level one and level two responses to that grievance. Id. On June 21, 2017, he filed his appeal to those responses, exhausting his administrative remedies. Id.

         2. Procedural History

         In September 2017, Mr. Hogue filed this lawsuit. Dkt. 3. In the Initial Review Order issued in August 2018, Mr. Hogue was authorized to proceed on a claim that the Mail Policy and seizure violated his First Amendment rights to send and receive mail. Dkt. 9.

         Mr. Hogue has since asked the Court for leave to amend his complaint. Dkt. 23. In the First Amended Complaint, Mr. Hogue corrects a typographical error misidentifying the date of seizure. Dkt. 24. He also seeks to ...


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