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Shinault v. Hawks

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 22, 2015

LESTER R. SHINAULT, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
DICK HAWKS; TAMI DOHRMAN; MARTHA MCDANIEL; OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS GENERAL SERVICE DIVISION, Defendants-Appellees

Argued and Submitted December 8, 2014

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. D.C. No. 3:11-cv-00436-PK. Anna J. Brown, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[*]

Prisoner Civil Rights

The panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment in an action brought by an Oregon state prisoner alleging that state officials violated his rights under the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments when the Oregon Department of Corrections froze more than $60,000 in his inmate trust account to recover the cost of his incarceration.

Plaintiff received a $107,416.48 settlement from a medical liability claim against a drug manufacturer whose products (prescribed while not in custody) caused him to develop diabetes. Addressing plaintiff's procedural due process claim, the panel held that a state must provide a pre-deprivation hearing before freezing substantial inmate assets. The panel nevertheless affirmed the district court's summary judgment in favor of defendants on the basis of qualified immunity because the constitutional obligation was not clearly established at the time of the conduct.

Plaintiff also asserted that the freeze and withdrawal of his funds constituted deliberate indifference to his medical needs under the Eighth Amendment because he intended to use the funds to secure medical treatment following release from incarceration. Rejecting the Eighth Amendment claim, the panel held that prison officials did not deprive plaintiff of care during his period of incarceration and a state's obligation to provide medical care does not extend to shielding assets in inmate accounts.

Daniel H. Bookin and Anna-Rose Mathieson (argued), O'Melveny & Myers LLP, San Francisco, California, Pro Bono Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, Peenesh H. Shah (argued), Assistant Attorney General, Salem, Oregon, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: Michael Daly Hawkins, M. Margaret McKeown, and Richard C. Tallman, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1028

HAWKINS, Circuit Judge:

Lester Shinault (" Shinault" ) appeals the adverse grant of summary judgment on his claim that state officials violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments when the Oregon Department of Corrections (" ODOC" ) froze more than $60,000 in his inmate trust account to recover the cost of his incarceration. The district court held that Shinault received

Page 1029

sufficient process because the State held a hearing prior to withdrawing the funds and that he did not suffer an injury under the Eighth Amendment. We affirm the district court on the Eighth Amendment claim because a state's obligation to provide medical care does not extend to shielding assets in inmate accounts. We disagree with the district court's due process determination because a state must provide a pre-deprivation hearing before freezing substantial inmate assets. Yet, we ultimately affirm on ...


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