United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill, U.S. District Court Judge.
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
(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);
(9) Plaintiff’s Motion to Disqualify Judge on the Basis
of Bias and/or Prejudice (Dkt. 35).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...