Bradbury v. Wainwright, 82-5693

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Citation718 F.2d 1538
PartiesRonald BRADBURY, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Louie L. WAINWRIGHT, Respondent-Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 82-5693,82-5693
Decision Date07 November 1983

Richard A. Belz, Fla. Instit. Legal Services, Inc., Gainesville, Fla., for petitioner-appellant.

Gerald B. Curington, Asst. Atty. Gen., Dept. of Legal Affairs, Tallahassee, Fla., for respondent-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Before KRAVITCH, HENDERSON and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges.


Appellant Ronald Bradbury, an inmate in the Union Correctional Institution of the Florida prison system, challenges the constitutionality of Rule 33-3.13, a regulation promulgated by appellee Louie L. Wainwright and the Florida Department of Corrections. Rule 33.3-13 regulates inmate marriages. The Rule provides in pertinent part:

(1) The following inmates are not permitted to marry:

(a) Inmates under sentence of death.

(b) Inmates under sentence of life imprisonment and required to serve no less than twenty-five (25) years before becoming eligible for parole, except they may marry if they become eligible under sub-section (2)(c).

(c) Inmates to prisoners as defined in Sec. 944.02(5), Fla.Stat.

(2) Marriage of other inmates is permitted for inmates meeting one of the criteria below:

(a) In the event of a current pregnancy where both the inmate and the proposed spouse acknowledge they are the expected parents of a child.

(b) To legitimatize a child already born.

(c) If the inmate's release date can be determined definitely to be within one (1) year and the inmate is a participant in the community release and furlough program.

Rule 33.3-13, 1 Record on Appeal at 44. During his incarceration, Bradbury has been visited by Vivian Sapp, a non-inmate, and they agreed to marry. Bradbury requested the Department of Corrections to grant permission for him to marry Sapp. Pursuant to Rule 33.3-13, the Department denied Bradbury's request. Bradbury filed this action based on 42 U.S.C.A. Sec. 1983 (West 1981) seeking a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. Reviewing cross-motions for partial summary judgment, the district court entered summary judgment for defendant-appellee Wainwright. In this appeal, Bradbury argues that Rule 33.3-13 deprives him of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause. After reviewing the record, we have concluded that summary judgment was inappropriate. Thus, we reverse the district court's judgment, 538 F.Supp. 377, and remand for further proceedings in light of this opinion.

At the outset, we consider Bradbury's attempt to denigrate Rule 33-3.13 as an administrative regulation unauthorized by the Florida state legislature. Bradbury claims that the Department of Corrections should not be able to prohibit the marriage in the absence of a specific grant of statutory authority enabling the Department of Corrections to promulgate such a rule. This argument is untenable, however, because the First District Court of Appeal of Florida has already held that the Department of Corrections had statutory authority to promulgate Rule 33-3.13. Department of Corrections v. Roseman, 390 So.2d 394, 397 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1980), petition for rev. denied sub nom., Holden v. Florida Department of Corrections, 397 So.2d 778 (Fla.1981). The Roseman opinion relies on Fla.Stat.Ann. Sec. 20.315 (West Supp.1982) (creation of the Department of Corrections) and Fla.Stat.Ann. Sec. 944.09 (West Supp.1982) (supervision of offenders; rules and regulations). 390 So.2d at 397. In the absence of any persuasive indication that the state supreme court would hold otherwise, intermediate state appellate court decisions, such as Roseman, must be taken to reflect a valid interpretation of state law. Flintkote Co. v. Dravo Corp., 678 F.2d 942, 945 (11th Cir.1982); Allen v. A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., 606 F.2d 84, 87 (5th Cir.1979). 2 Our reliance upon the Roseman decision is buttressed by the fact that the Florida Supreme Court declined an opportunity to review the Roseman decision. See West v. American Telephone & Telegraph Co., 311 U.S. 223, 237, 61 S.Ct. 179, 183, 85 L.Ed. 139 (1940) (an intermediate state appellate court's judgment "is a datum for ascertaining state law ... the more so where, as in this case, the highest court has refused to review the lower court's decision in one phase of the litigation which is now prosecuted by the same parties before the federal court"). Hence, we will not draw any constitutionally significant distinction from the fact that Rule 33-3.13 is an administrative regulation rather than a legislative enactment.

The parties also dispute the nature of the right to marry. In evaluating their arguments, it is important to note the precise nature of Bradbury's request for permission to marry. Bradbury, according to his attorney, is willing to forego any claim to the usual incidents of marriage--cohabitation, sexual intercourse, procreation, and child-rearing. All Bradbury seeks is permission to marry Vivian Sapp in a simple ceremony officiated by a notary public. Thus, Bradbury relies upon "the fundamental character of the right to marry," Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 386, 98 S.Ct. 673, 681, 54 L.Ed.2d 618 (1978), insofar as it relates to his decision to enter into the marital relationship. "[A]n individual's 'freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life' " is "central" among due process liberties. City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, Inc., --- U.S. ----, ----, 103 S.Ct. 2481, 2490, 76 L.Ed.2d 687 (U.S.1983) (quoting Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 169, 93 S.Ct. 705, 735, 35 L.Ed.2d 147 (1973) (Stewart, J., concurring)). This freedom of choice extends to an individual's personal decision to enter into a marital relationship. Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. at 384-86, 98 S.Ct. at 680-81; Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 18 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1967). But, of course, the right to marry is not unfettered. Marriage and domestic relations have been regarded "as a virtually exclusive province of the States." Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U.S. 393, 404, 95 S.Ct. 553, 559, 42 L.Ed.2d 532 (1975). In addition to regulating the procedures, duties, and rights stemming from marriage, state regulations have absolutely prohibited certain marriages, such as result by incest, bigamy, or homosexuality. See Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. at 399, 98 S.Ct. at 688 (Powell, J., concurring).

Bradbury's request to marry must be considered in the special context in which it arises--the prison system. "Lawful incarceration brings about the necessary withdrawal or limitation of many privileges and rights, a retraction justified by the considerations underlying our penal system." Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners' Labor Union, Inc., 433 U.S. 119, 125, 97 S.Ct. 2532, 2537, 53 L.Ed.2d 629 (1977) (quoting Price v. Johnston, 334 U.S. 266, 285, 68 S.Ct. 1049, 1060, 92 L.Ed. 1356 (1948)). Yet, "prisoners do not forfeit all constitutional protections by reason of their conviction and confinement in prison." Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S 520, 545, 99 S.Ct. 1861, 1877, 60 L.Ed.2d 447 (1979); Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 555-56, 94 S.Ct. 2963, 2974-75, 41 L.Ed.2d 935 (1974). In the setting of a prison, there must be "mutual accomodation" between the penal institution's legitimate needs and goals and the prisoner's retained constitutional rights. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. at 546, 99 S.Ct. at 1877; Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. at 556, 94 S.Ct. at 2975. In short, "a prisoner loses only those rights that must be sacrificed to serve legitimate penological needs." United States v. Lilly, 576 F.2d 1240, 1244 (5th Cir.1978); see Pell v. Procunier, 417 U.S. 817, 822, 94 S.Ct. 2800, 2804, 41 L.Ed.2d 495 (1974).

Neither the Supreme Court 3 nor this circuit has developed a specific standard of review for prison regulations governing inmate marriages. 4 After reviewing related cases, we have concluded that there are two major Supreme Court decisions which suggest the appropriate standard for this case. The first is Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 94 S.Ct. 1800, 40 L.Ed.2d 224 (1974), which considered the constitutionality of prison regulations relating to censorship of prisoner mail. Martinez set out a two-part test. First, the prison regulation must further "an important or substantial governmental interest." Id. 416 U.S. at 413, 94 S.Ct. at 1811. Second, the regulation's restrictions "must be no greater than necessary or essential to the protection of the particular governmental interest involved." Id. at 413, 94 S.Ct. at 1811. Applying this standard in Martinez, the Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Corrections "failed to show that the broad restrictions on prisoner mail were in any way necessary to the furtherance of a governmental interest unrelated to the suppression of expression." 416 U.S. at 415, 94 S.Ct. at 1812. A regulation banning expression of inflammatory, political, racial, and religious views was struck down because it was "not narrowly drawn to reach only material that might be thought to encourage violence nor [was] its application limited to incoming letters." 416 U.S. at 416, 94 S.Ct. at 1812.

The second Supreme Court decision illuminating the appropriate standard of review is Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners' Labor Union, Inc., 433 U.S. 119, 97 S.Ct. 2532, 53 L.Ed.2d 629 (1977). In that case, the North Carolina Department of Corrections prohibited inmates from soliciting other inmates to join the Prisoners' Union, barred Union meetings, and declined to deliver Union literature mailed in bulk. The Union claimed that the Department's actions violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments, but the Supreme Court upheld the prison regulations. The Court decided that "[t]he ban on inmate solicitation and group meetings ... was rationally related to the reasonable,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
52 cases
  • Patterson v. Fuller
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Georgia
    • 17 Febrero 1987
    ...and all factual inferences should be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. See Bradbury v. Wainwright, 718 F.2d 1538, 1543 (11th Cir.1983). And in deciding a motion for summary judgment, it is no part of the court's function to decide issues of genuine materia......
  • Taylor v. Espy, Civ. A. No. 4:91-cv-199-HLM.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Georgia
    • 22 Marzo 1993
    ...view the evidence and all factual inferences in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. See Bradbury v. Wainwright, 718 F.2d 1538, 1543 (11th Cir. 1983). Once the moving party has adequately supported its motion, the nonmovant then has the burden to show that summary judg......
  • Robles v. Humana Hosp. Cartersville
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Georgia
    • 27 Febrero 1992 view the evidence and all factual inferences in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. See Bradbury v. Wainwright, 718 F.2d 1538, 1543 (11th Cir. 1983). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, it is not the Court's function to decide issues of genuine material fact......
  • Lynk v. LaPorte Superior Court No. 2
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 24 Abril 1986 that he can attend it. The state has, we should think, a right to limit the marital rights of its inmates, see Bradbury v. Wainwright, 718 F.2d 1538 (11th Cir.1983) (though Safley v. Turner, 777 F.2d 1307, 1314 (8th Cir.1985), seems to doubt this), and an even clearer right to limit the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT