11 F.3d 991 (10th Cir. 1993), 93-7062, Petrick v. Maynard

Docket Nº:93-7062.
Citation:11 F.3d 991
Party Name:Rick Dean PETRICK, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Gary D. MAYNARD, Director, Department of Corrections, State of Oklahoma; Dan Reynolds, Warden of Oklahoma State Penitentiary; Billy Key, Law Library Supervisor, Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:December 13, 1993
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 991

11 F.3d 991 (10th Cir. 1993)

Rick Dean PETRICK, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Gary D. MAYNARD, Director, Department of Corrections, State

of Oklahoma; Dan Reynolds, Warden of Oklahoma State

Penitentiary; Billy Key, Law Library Supervisor, Oklahoma

State Penitentiary, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 93-7062.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

December 13, 1993

Page 992

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 993

Rick Dean Petrick, pro se.

Karin M. Kriz, Asst. Atty. Gen., Oklahoma City, OK (Susan B. Loving, Atty. Gen., with her on the brief), for defendant-appellee.

Before SEYMOUR, ANDERSON and EBEL, Circuit Judges.

EBEL, Circuit Judge.

In this appeal, we consider whether Oklahoma deprived a state inmate of his constitutional right of meaningful access to the courts by failing to provide requested legal materials. 1 The Plaintiff-Appellant, Rick Dean Petrick ("Petrick"), an inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary ("OSP"), filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. He alleged that OSP's inability to obtain specified legal materials precluded him from attacking prior convictions in North Dakota and Minnesota. 2 These prior convictions were used to enhance the sentence arising from an Oklahoma conviction that he is currently serving. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendants. We reverse.

I.

In September 1990, Petrick was convicted of various charges in Oklahoma and received an enhanced sentence based upon his prior convictions in North Dakota and Minnesota. See Okla.Stat.Ann. tit. 21, Secs. 51 & 54 (West 1983). Petrick alleges that, after starting his sentence, he repeatedly sought assistance from the OSP library personnel regarding access to legal materials to attack the North Dakota and Minnesota convictions. Because the OSP's law library did not possess the requested North Dakota and Minnesota legal materials, Petrick sought to borrow the items through Oklahoma's Intra-Library Loan Program.

The Prison Law Library Supervisor, Billy Key, failed to accommodate Petrick's request. Key contacted both the North Dakota and Minnesota Offices of the Attorney General, but refused to authorize the expenditures necessary to obtain the materials from those two sources. Instead, Key gave Petrick the addresses to the Attorneys General and to the prison law libraries in North Dakota and Minnesota. Key also informed Petrick that he was ineligible to participate in the intra-library loan program because he was not an Interstate Compact inmate. On April 24, 1992, Petrick filed a grievance report with Dan Reynolds, the OSP Warden, challenging the Prison Law Library Supervisor's rejection of his request and itemizing desired materials for his research. On April 27, 1992, Warden Reynolds denied Petrick's request and concluded that the library did not violate prison policy. Finally, on May 22, 1992, Jerry Johnson, Deputy Director of Offender Services for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, denied Petrick's appeal from Warden Reynolds' denial of his grievance.

After failing to obtain any legal materials to attack the two prior convictions, Petrick filed this Sec. 1983 action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of

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Oklahoma. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendants, concluding that the OSP had not violated Petrick's constitutional right of meaningful access to the courts. Petrick timely filed this appeal on November 13, 1993.

II.

We review de novo the district court's grant of summary judgment and apply the same legal standard used by the district court under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Applied Genetics Int'l, Inc. v. First Affiliated Sec., Inc., 912 F.2d 1238, 1241 (10th Cir.1990). Summary judgment is appropriate only if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to...

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