Case: Spruytte v. Walters

2:82-00142 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Filed Date: July 30, 1982

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Floyd Spruytte, an inmate at the Michigan Intensive Program Center in Marquette, Michigan, filed a pro se complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as well as money damages against two prison hearing officers under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The complaint alleged that Spruytte's due process rights were violated because of the hearing officers' decision to prohibit him from receiving a paperback dictionary from his mother. Spruytte …

Floyd Spruytte, an inmate at the Michigan Intensive Program Center in Marquette, Michigan, filed a pro se complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as well as money damages against two prison hearing officers under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The complaint alleged that Spruytte's due process rights were violated because of the hearing officers' decision to prohibit him from receiving a paperback dictionary from his mother. Spruytte was represented by court-appointed private counsel. The District Court (Judge Douglas W. Hillman) sua sponte dismissed Spruytte's complaint as frivolous.

Spruytte appealed, and on January 28, 1985 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr.) reversed Judge Hillman's dismissal. Spruytte v. Walters, 753 F.2d 498 (6th Cir. 1985). The Court of Appeals held that under Michigan law a policy directive adopted by the Michigan Department of Corrections which only allowed inmates to receive books from publishers was invalid because it conflicted with a state regulation which allowed inmates to receive books that did not threaten security. The Court further found that this state regulation created an interest protected under due process, and because the prison officials applied the invalid policy directive only permitting inmates to receive books from publishers, they had violated the inmate's due process rights. The Court also held that the prison officials were not entitled to qualified immunity because they had violated a clearly established state regulation. Senior Circuit Judge Paul Charles Weick filed an opinion concurring in part. The case was remanded for further proceedings, and motions for a rehearing and a rehearing en banc were denied on March 27, 1985. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on January 13, 1986. Walters v. Spruytte, 474 U.S. 1054 (1986).

The docket for this case was not available on PACER, and accordingly, we have no further information on the case.

Summary Authors

Tom Madison (11/10/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Jones, Nathaniel Raphael (Ohio)

Martin, Boyce Ficklen Jr. (Kentucky)

Weick, Paul Charles (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Stowe, Meri Anne (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kelley, Frank J. (Michigan)

Nelson, Thomas C. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Jones, Nathaniel Raphael (Ohio)

Martin, Boyce Ficklen Jr. (Kentucky)

Weick, Paul Charles (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Stowe, Meri Anne (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kelley, Frank J. (Michigan)

Nelson, Thomas C. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

753 F.2d 498

Jan. 28, 1985 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision

Walters v. Spruytte

Supreme Court of the United States

474 U.S. 1054, 106 S.Ct. 788, 88 L.Ed.2d 767

Jan. 13, 1986 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 30, 1982

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prison inmate alleging violation of due process by prison officials prohibiting him from receiving paperback dictionary from his mother

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Michigan Intensive Program Center (Marquette), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Confession of Judgment

Issues

General:

Disciplinary procedures

Library (non-law) access

Loss or damage to property

Mail

Type of Facility:

Government-run