Starr v. Knierman, 041012 FED1, 11-1856

Docket Nº:11-1856
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:DARREN F. STARR, Plaintiff, Appellant, v. CORPORAL KNIERMAN, ET AL., Defendants, Appellees.
Attorney:Darren Starr on brief pro se.
Judge Panel:Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Torruella and Howard, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:April 10, 2012
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

DARREN F. STARR, Plaintiff, Appellant,


CORPORAL KNIERMAN, ET AL., Defendants, Appellees.

No. 11-1856

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

April 10, 2012

Not for Publication in West's Federal Reporter

Appeal From The United States District Court For The District of New Hampshire Hon. Paul J. Barbadoro, U.S. District Judge.

Darren Starr on brief pro se.

Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Torruella and Howard, Circuit Judges.


Darren Starr, a New Hampshire state prison inmate, appeals a district court judgment dismissing his complaint, which raised procedural due process claims relative to the rejection of certain incoming personal mail, for failure to state a plausible claim for relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a)-(b) (providing for screening and dismissal of prisoner civil complaints against government defendants if no claim for relief is stated); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007) (complaint must state a plausible claim).

We review de novo, treating the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and drawing all reasonable inferences in Starr's favor. Toolin v. White, 89 Fed.Appx. 746, *746 (1st Cir. 2004) (unpublished per curiam) (§ 1915A dismissal) (citations omitted). We affirm for the following reasons.

I. Background

Starr's complaint and attached documents show that mail addressed to him was rejected and returned to its senders pursuant to prison policy. Under that policy, Starr received notice when one of his three pieces of mail was opened and rejected because it contained an unauthorized item, but no opportunity to appeal the rejection decision before the mail was returned to the sender. He received no notice or opportunity to appeal relative to the other two pieces of mail, which were rejected before being opened because formal deficiencies revealed on the face of the envelopes rendered the mail unacceptable for further processing. Starr asserts that the prison's policy of not giving him notice of and/or an opportunity to appeal the rejection of his mail before it was returned to the sender violated his Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process rights.

Starr argues on appeal that his due process claims are plausible. In effect, he treats as dispositive the "minimum" procedural protections described in Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974) overruled on other grounds by...

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