Holbrook v. Kingston, 011414 FED3, 13-2097

Docket Nº:13-2097
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:ROBERT L. HOLBROOK, Appellant v. CAPTAIN JOHN KINGSTON; CAPTAIN CRAIG HAYWOOD; SUPERINTENDENT LOUIS FOLINO
Judge Panel:Before: AMBRO, SHWARTZ and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:January 14, 2014
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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ROBERT L. HOLBROOK, Appellant

v.

CAPTAIN JOHN KINGSTON; CAPTAIN CRAIG HAYWOOD; SUPERINTENDENT LOUIS FOLINO

No. 13-2097

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

January 14, 2014

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) January 2, 2014.

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-00265) District Judge: Honorable Sean J. McLaughlin.

Before: AMBRO, SHWARTZ and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

PER CURIAM.

Pro se appellant Robert L. Holbrook appeals from the District Court's order granting the defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, we will affirm.

I.

Holbrook is a Pennsylvania state inmate. In 2003, he was transferred to SCI Greene from SCI Huntingdon after an investigation revealed that he had been involved in several incidents involving violence and possible gang-related activities. This investigation also indicated that Holbrook maintained a ranking position in the Fruits of Islam, an inmate organization.

In early 2007, Kingston, the Intelligence Gathering Captain at SCI Greene, conducted a records review involving Holbrook. On January 31, 2007, Kingston issued a Field Intelligence Report (hereinafter, "the Report") to the Intelligence Committee. The Report described Holbrook as a "self-avowed activist" who frequently wrote material considered to be "subversive and revolutionary." The Report detailed several examples of Holbrook's behavior. For example, earlier in January 2007, Holbrook had been mailed a newsletter entitled "The Don't Shank the Guard Handbook, " written by the Minister of Defense for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party. This newsletter was intercepted by SCI Greene's Security Office. Holbrook also had mailed three packets of his written material to addresses in England. When these packets were returned, Kingston inspected them and determined that they contained numerous articles written and submitted by Holbrook to "various subversive organizations." The Report also mentioned that Holbrook has known affiliations with the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army.

On February 1, 2007, Haywood, a Security Captain, issued a Security Review regarding Holbrook to the Program Review Committee at SCI Greene. The Security Review indicated that although Holbrook had maintained a "low profile" since his transfer to SCI Greene, he had continued to communicate with known radical organizations. Haywood also noted that Holbrook was still involved in distributing revolutionary and subversive materials, and that he was classified as an escape risk because of his connections with subversive and anti-government organizations.

Based upon the Report and the Security Review, Kingston sought authorization to place Holbrook on a "mail watch" to monitor his non-privileged mail. The Deputy Secretary of the Western Region of Pennsylvania's Department of Corrections ("DOC") approved the mail watch on February 6, 2007. The mail watch was terminated on June 5, 2007.

In December 2007, Kingston informed Superintendent Folino that Holbrook was among several inmates who had received a petition from Theresa Shoats, a resident of Philadelphia. Ms. Shoats is the daughter of Russell Shoats, a Pennsylvania inmate who has a history of affiliation with radical groups and prison violence. Included in this mailing was part of the DOC's policy and procedures manual, a confidential document not meant for public dissemination. Because of this, Kingston requested that Holbrook be placed on mail watch again to ensure that no more inappropriate mailings from Ms. Shoats entered SCI Greene. Folino approved the request, and Holbrook was placed on mail watch from December 6, 2007, until March 6, 2008.

In March 2010, Holbrook filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that officials at SCI Greene interfered with his mail. A Magistrate Judge construed Holbrook's complaint as alleging three distinct claims: (1) violation of his First Amendment rights when officials opened and read his outgoing and incoming non-legal mail; (2) violation of his First Amendment rights when officials opened and read a letter from his attorney outside of his presence on January 24, 2007; and (3) violation of his First Amendment rights when officials placed him on mail watch in retaliation for his past correspondence with religious and prison "watch-dog" groups. Although the defendants filed a motion to dismiss Holbrook's claims as barred by the statute of limitations, the District Court denied the motion.

Subsequently, the defendants filed two motions for...

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