713 F.2d 143 (5th Cir. 1983), 82-4472, McFadden v. Lucas

Docket Nº82-4472
Citation713 F.2d 143
Party NameAlan Kimbrough McFADDEN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Eddie LUCAS, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case DateSeptember 01, 1983
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 143

713 F.2d 143 (5th Cir. 1983)

Alan Kimbrough McFADDEN, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Eddie LUCAS, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 82-4472

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

September 1, 1983

Certiorari Denied Nov. 28, 1983.

See 104 S.Ct. 499.

Page 144

Alan Kimbrough McFadden, pro se.

W.V. Westbrook, III, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, Miss., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.

Before REAVLEY, GARWOOD and JOLLY, Circuit Judges.

E. GRADY JOLLY, Circuit Judge:

The plaintiff, an inmate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, filed this pro se section 1983 suit against the warden, associate warden, chaplain and administrator of Unit 23 at Parchman. The essence of the plaintiff's complaint was that his first amendment right to the free exercise of his Sunni Moslem religion had been violated and that he had been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his eighth amendment rights when, after he had refused to shave his Moslem beard in conformance with prison regulations, twenty-two prison officials had gathered in his prison unit and had forced him to shave his beard.

In his complaint, the plaintiff sought $250,000 in punitive damages, declaratory relief from violation of his constitutional rights, and injunctive relief enjoining the defendants from shaving his beard, enjoining the defendants from physical or mental attacks or the rewarding of inmates who physically or mentally attacked him, enjoining the defendants to allow him access to the prison law library, and enjoining the defendants to prepare new regulations governing Sunni Moslems' grooming standards. The plaintiff alleges no facts which have occurred (except, of course, as relate to new grooming standards) requiring the relief prayed for, but apparently anticipates the need in the future.

The pro se complaint was filed in early May of 1982. In the latter part of September 1982, the United States Magistrate to whom the case had been assigned granted leave in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) for the plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis. The magistrate also ordered, however, that process should not issue in the case until further order of the court. Thereafter, acting without service of process, the magistrate recommended that the claim of damages be denied because the defendants enjoyed qualified immunity from the plaintiff's claim regarding grooming standards under Shabazz v. Barnauskas, 598 F.2d 345, 347 (5th Cir.1979) (qualified immunity exists because of the "uncertain nature of the jurisprudence"). As to the injunctive relief sought by the plaintiff, the magistrate recommended that the claim be treated as a motion to intervene

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in a pending class action on behalf of Sunni Moslems at Parchman. 1 The magistrate ruled that the plaintiff's interests were adequately represented by the parties in the class action and therefore recommended that the putative motion to intervene in the class action be denied.

The plaintiff objected to the magistrate's report, claiming that the charges in his suit were not typical of the class action claims, that the law and facts applicable to his case differed from those in the class action, and that he would not be fairly and adequately represented by the parties in the class action. The plaintiff specifically pointed out his claim of cruel and unusual punishment in the shaving of his beard. Additionally, the plaintiff pointed out that a portion of the injunctive relief which he sought differed from that injunctive relief sought in the class action.

The district court adopted the magistrate's report, dismissed the claim for damages, and, treating the claim for injunctive relief as a motion to intervene in the class action, denied it. The plaintiff filed a timely notice of appeal. The district court granted leave to appeal in forma pauperis.

The two principal issues before us are 1) whether the complaint failed to state an arguable violation of the plaintiff's eighth amendment rights and 2) whether the court acted properly in treating the portion of the complaint alleging a first amendment violation as a motion to intervene and in...

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