465 F.2d 365 (7th Cir. 1972), 71-1322, Bryant v. Harris

Docket Nº:71-1322, 71-1323,, 71-1910.
Citation:465 F.2d 365
Party Name:Billie Austin X. (BRYANT), Petitioner-Appellant, v. Charles E. HARRIS, Warden, et al., Respondents-Appellees. Byron F. KALAMA, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Charles E. HARRIS, Warden, et al., Respondents-Appellees. David Lee X (WARREN), Petitioner-Appellant, v. G. W. PICKETT, Warden, et al., Respondents-Appellees.
Case Date:July 26, 1972
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 365

465 F.2d 365 (7th Cir. 1972)

Billie Austin X. (BRYANT), Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

Charles E. HARRIS, Warden, et al., Respondents-Appellees.

Byron F. KALAMA, Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

Charles E. HARRIS, Warden, et al., Respondents-Appellees.

David Lee X (WARREN), Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

G. W. PICKETT, Warden, et al., Respondents-Appellees.

Nos. 71-1322, 71-1323,, 71-1910.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

July 26, 1972

Argued May 24, 1972.

As Amended Aug. 4, 1972.

Jerold S. Solovy, and Alan L. Metz, Chicago, Ill., for petitioners-appellants; Jenner & Block, Chicago, Ill., of counsel.

Henry A. Schwarz, U. S. Atty., and Jack A. Strellis, Asst. U. S. Atty., St.

Page 366

Louis, Ill., Eugene B. Culberson, Asst. U. S. Atty., Danville, Ill., respondents-appellees.

Before CLARK, 1 Associate Justice, KNOCH, Senior Circuit Judge and KILEY, Circuit Judge.

KILEY, Circuit Judge.

The district court dismissed without a show cause order or hearing the pro se habeas petitions in these three cases. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

The habeas petitions 2 are virtually the same. They generally allege that petitioners' prolonged solitary confinements in the Marion Federal Penitentiary violate their First Amendment rights because they are denied, under racial discrimination, the exercise of their rights to religious worship; and that their prolonged solitary confinements are in violation of their Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and inhuman punishment.

The district court dismissed the petitions on two grounds: that habeas relief could not be granted because to grant the relief would interfere with the internal government of the prison; and, alternatively, that if the petitions were taken as being for mandamus, the allegations did not present "exceptional cases" warranting relief. Furthermore, as to Warren, the district court held that he was properly subjected to some curtailment of the free exercise of religious beliefs, and that during segregation "all inmates are denied the right to attend religious services no matter what their belief may be."

I.

Respondents argue that the allegations in the petitions are mere conclusions and are insufficient to require a show cause order or an evidentiary hearing.

Taken as true, the allegations are substantially that-when the petitions were filed-Bryant had been in solitary confinement for 125 days, Kalama for 230 days, and Warren for about a month. 3 There are appended to respondents' brief a Bureau "Policy Statement" on privileges of segregated prisoners, and also prison misconduct records pertaining to Warren and Kalama. No permission was given by this court for submitting the appended materials which could have been presented to the district court by response to a show cause order, had one been ordered. We have nevertheless looked at the appendages and we think in some respects they may give support to the general allegations in the petitions, e. g., Kalama's prolonged solitary confinement for possession of a knife, and Warren's "continuing" solitary confinement. Moreover, the Bureau Policy Statement appended makes no specific provision for bringing religious services to segregated prisoners.

We point out that the district court did not base the dismissal of the petitions on the ground that the...

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