Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Griffin v. New Hampshire Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

September 25, 2017

John R. Griffin, Jr.
v.
New Hampshire Department of Corrections

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Andrea K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the court for preliminary review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and LR 4.3(d)(1), is plaintiff John R. Griffin, Jr.'s complaint (Doc. No. 1). Griffin names the New Hampshire Department of Corrections (“DOC”) as the defendant. Also before the court is Griffin's motion for summary judgment (Doc. No. 5), filed before this court completed its preliminary review of the complaint.

         Background

         Griffin is currently incarcerated at the New Hampshire State Prison (“NHSP”). Griffin was paroled to the community in 2016, but his parole was revoked in June 2016. Griffin has filed a number of federal cases, including several challenging the validity of the revocation of his parole and his recommittal to the NHSP.

         Griffin asserts that the NHSP law library is deficient because there is no “paralegal librarian” available to assist inmates with their cases, and inmates receive only five hours of law library time each week. He further asserts that he is indigent and has no funds to pay for copies of documents he asserts he needs to litigate his cases.

         While at the NHSP, on February 24, 2017, Griffin submitted an Inmate Request Slip (“IRS”) to Ashlyn St. Germain, Executive Assistant to the New Hampshire Adult Parole Board (“APB”), requesting a copy of an audio recording of his June 21, 2016 parole revocation hearing, which he asked the APB to mail to this court. See IRS, Feb. 24, 2017 (Doc. No. 1, at 3). In her response, St. Germain noted that there is a fee for obtaining such recordings, and that Griffin did not have enough money in his account to pay that fee. See Response, Mar. 3, 2017 (Doc. No. 1, at 3).

         Griffin submitted an IRS to Inmate Records on March 4, 2017, asking for a copy of an inmate evaluation in his file, and for a copy of the state habeas petition that he had filed in the Merrimack County Superior Court. See IRS, Mar. 4, 2017 (Doc. No. 1, at 5). He was told he needed to pay for copies. See Response, Mar. 10, 2017 (Doc. No. 1, at 5).

         On March 30, 2017, Griffin submitted another IRS, asking Inmate Records for a free copy of his state habeas petition. See IRS, Mar. 30, 2017 (Doc. No. 1, at 7). Inmate Records denied that request, see Response, Apr. 5, 2017 (Doc. No. 1, at 7), specifically referring to the August 4, 2016 Order in Griffin v. Zenk, No. 217-2016-cv-117 (N.H. Super. Aug. 4, 2016) (Doc. No. 1, at 9), in which the Superior Court ruled that Griffin could obtain a copy of his state habeas petition from the clerk's office at his own expense.

         Claims

         Griffin asserts the following claims in this action, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983:

1. The absence of a paralegal librarian who could assist inmates and restrictions on inmate access to the NHSP law library violate Griffin's right of access to the courts, under Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343 (1996).
2. The decision by DOC Offender Records, to deny Griffin's request for a free copy of an inmate evaluation and his state habeas petition, violated Griffin's First and Fourteenth Amendment right of access to the courts and his right to trial records as an indigent inmate, under Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977), and Griffin v. Illinois, 351 U.S. 12, 20 (1956).
3. St. Germain's decision not to grant Griffin's request to send a recording of the June 21, 2016 APB hearing to this court's clerk's office free of charge, violated Griffin's First and Fourteenth Amendment right of access to the courts, and his right to trial records as an indigent inmate, under Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977), and Griffin v. Illinois, 351 U.S. 12, 20 (1956).

         Griffin seeks damages and injunctive relief, specifically, an order requiring the DOC to alter parole procedures to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.