Chapman v. Pickett, Nos. 84-2842

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CUMMINGS, Chief Judge, CUDAHY and EASTERBROOK; CUDAHY; EASTERBROOK
Citation801 F.2d 912
PartiesEdward Joseph X. CHAPMAN, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. George W. PICKETT, Warden, U.S. Penitentiary, Marion, et al., Defendants- Appellants.
Docket NumberNos. 84-2842,84-2913
Decision Date25 September 1986

Page 912

801 F.2d 912
Edward Joseph X. CHAPMAN, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
George W. PICKETT, Warden, U.S. Penitentiary, Marion, et
al., Defendants- Appellants.
Nos. 84-2842, 84-2913.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued March 31, 1986.
Decided Sept. 15, 1986.
As Amended Sept. 25, 1986.

Page 913

James A. Lewis, U.S. Atty., Springfield, Ill., for defendants-appellants.

David Anderson, Northwestern University Legal Clinic, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before CUMMINGS, Chief Judge, CUDAHY and EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judges.

CUDAHY, Circuit Judge.

After refusing on religious grounds to clean pork off food trays, plaintiff, a prisoner at the federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, was held in segregated confinement for nine months. He filed suit contending that the punishment was excessive. After numerous trials and appeals, this court determined that defendants--officials at the prison--had violated plaintiff's eighth amendment rights. On remand, the district court for the Central District of Illinois found defendants individually liable to plaintiff for $7,000. Defendants appeal the size of the award and the finding of individual liability. Plaintiff cross-appeals the award--arguing that it is too small--as well as the district court's failure to grant punitive damages. We affirm.

Page 914

Edward Joseph X. Chapman was convicted in 1969 of armed robbery and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was originally detained at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, then at Leavenworth, Kansas, before being transferred to the Marion Penitentiary on October 4, 1972. On October 9, 1972, Chapman was assigned to kitchen detail. This included removing trays from food carts and cleaning off the carts. Because the food trays had pork on them, plaintiff, a devout Black Muslim whose faith forbids any handling of pork, refused to perform the task. James E. Brown, the supervising officer, warned Chapman that if he did not complete his assignment he would receive a disciplinary citation. Chapman still refused and told Brown that the last person who had written a disciplinary report on him had been "blown out of an oven" at Leavenworth two months earlier. 1

Brown filed a report with the prison's Adjustment Committee under Prison Code section 303, charging Chapman with "failing to perform work as instructed by supervisor." This report noted Chapman's religious grounds for refusing to work. The report also mentioned Chapman's remark about the Leavenworth incident, although Chapman was not charged with threatening an officer. That same day, an investigation by a member of the Adjustment Committee concluded that Chapman generally had a good attitude and noted that Chapman had found another prisoner to remove the pork and had afterwards completed the task. Chapman also performed his kitchen tasks the following two days without incident.

On October 11, 1972, the Adjustment Committee met on Brown's report and concluded that Chapman should be placed in segregated confinement for an indeterminate period. Thereafter, Chapman's status in segregated confinement was reviewed regularly. At one point, he wrote Warden George W. Pickett and requested immediate release and an explanation of why he was in segregation. This inquiry was not answered. On March 15, 1973, Warden Pickett received a copy of a letter dated March 9, 1973 from the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Norman A. Carlson, in which the director told Congressman Charles Rangel that prisoners should not be assigned to details involving the handling of pork if their religious beliefs forbade it. Despite this letter, Chapman remained segregated. He was returned to the general population on July 25, 1973, after spending 289 days in segregation.

While in segregation, Chapman had no social contact with other inmates. Many of his religious materials were confiscated and he had no opportunity to attend religious services. While prisoners in the general population were allowed out of their cells up to 12 hours a day, Chapman was only allowed out for exercise a few times each week and then only for 15 to 30 minute intervals. He was unable to bathe as frequently as those in the general population, was unable to request food that complied with his religious dietary restrictions, and received no vocational training.

He initially filed suit in April 1973. After much litigation, 2 this court found Chapman's

Page 915

eighth amendment rights to have been violated by his extended confinement in segregation. Chapman v. Pickett, 586 F.2d 22 (7th Cir.1978). The case was then remanded to the district court for determination of who was responsible for the eighth amendment violation, when the violation began and what damages Chapman should receive. 3

The district court determined that segregating Chapman for more than one week for failure to work was impermissible. Based on prior awards for wrongful segregation, the district court determined that Chapman should receive $7,000. The court determined that the three members of the Adjustment Committee, Jack Culley, E.M. Cage and Earl Buzzard were individually liable because they made the determination that Chapman should be segregated for an indefinite period. The court found Deputy Warden Fred Frey liable for approving this indeterminate sentence. The court also found Warden Pickett liable, based on the specific facts to which he had stipulated. Pickett admitted having the authority to override the Adjustment Committee's determination. He admitted knowing of plaintiff's confinement after October 11, 1972. He also knew of Norman Carlson's letter stating that individuals should not be forced to handle meat in violation of their religious beliefs.

The district court did not award plaintiff punitive damages, finding that the officers had not acted with malice and that they legitimately believed that Chapman had threatened Officer Brown. Defendants now appeal the award of more than nominal damages to Chapman, contending that evidence of Chapman's threat should be considered in assessing the reasonableness of his confinement. Defendants also contend that they should not be held individually liable. Chapman cross-appeals contending that the award of actual damages was too small in light of the length of his confinement and claiming that his treatment warranted punitive damages.

I.

Defendants first argue that Chapman is not entitled to more than nominal damages because, even if he was wrongfully confined for refusing to work on religious grounds, his comment that the last man who had written a disciplinary report on him had been blown out of an oven provided a reasonable basis for his long-term segregation. Defendants note that this comment was in Officer Brown's report and was admitted by Chapman before the Adjustment Committee. As Chapman was an armed robber confined in a maximum security prison, defendants contend, it was reasonable to take his comment seriously and keep him under stricter supervision for 289 days. Thus, under Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 98 S.Ct. 1042, 55 L.Ed.2d 252 (1978)--which holds that damages are only recoverable when a deprivation of a right would not have occurred absent a constitutional violation--they conclude that Chapman is entitled to no more than nominal damages.

In raising this argument, defendants attempt to circumvent the settled law of this case. In 1978, this circuit stated:

Page 916

Defendants assert that Chapman's remarks concerning the supervisor at Leavenworth properly may have been considered in determining the length of Chapman's confinement, even though defendants admit the Leavenworth investigation of the oven incident did not raise Chapman as a suspect. If the prison authorities had wished to charge Chapman with threatening another with bodily harm, they could have done so; it was, in fact, a separately listed "Prohibited Act" under Prison Code Sec. 004. No such charge was ever made, nor was any hearing regarding it ever held. Defendant Pickett did not even reply to Chapman's request for a formal explanation of his confinement. The mere fact that the remark was listed in the violation report and the investigator's report is not sufficient. Not having been communicated to Chapman as a ground for the decision, it may not properly be relied on as justifying the punishment of indeterminate segregation.

Chapman v. Pickett, 586 F.2d 22, 28 n. 4 (7th Cir.1978). Never in the nine months of his segregation did any of the defendants profess that the remark was the reason for Chapman's being penalized. Moreover, the officials knew that Chapman was not suspected of causing any harm to the employee at Leavenworth. We can only conclude that Chapman was punished solely for the offense he was charged with--failing to perform work as instructed by his supervisor. As the Adjustment Committee explained in its Committee Action Report of October 11, 1972:

The inmate stated that he has a Muslim order and that he always follows them to the letter. It forbids one from being around pork much less touch or eat. It is Allah's way. Now that he is in our house he will do as he is told.

Appendix for Plaintiff-Appellee, Cross-Appellant at A-28. As a result of this determination, Chapman was kept in virtual isolation for nine months with severe restrictions on his mobility and daily routine. We cannot say that Chapman did not suffer actual damage.

II.

Granting that Chapman has suffered actual damage, it is appropriate to consider his argument that he should have received more than $7,000 in compensation for his injuries. He notes that in certain instances courts have overturned damage awards that were substantially out of line with awards in similar cases. See Levka v. City of Chicago, 748 F.2d 421 (7th Cir.1984) ($50,000 award for victim of unwarranted strip search reduced as excessive); Phillips v. Hunter Trail Community Association, 685 F.2d 184 (7th Cir.1982) ($25,000...

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15 practice notes
  • Mustfov v. Rice, No. 86 C 3905.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • March 30, 1987
    ...or if the conduct causing the constitutional deprivation occurs at her direction or with her knowledge or consent.'" Chapman v. Pickett, 801 F.2d 912, 917 (7th Cir.1986). As for the liability of supervisors, "under certain circumstances supervisors may be personally liable for failing to ac......
  • Davenport v. DeRobertis, No. 83 C 4392.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • January 30, 1987
    ...cause compensable emotional damages even where there is no evidence that it caused mental or physical deterioration. Chapman v. Pickett, 801 F.2d 912, 916 (7th Cir.1986) ("Chapman was kept in virtual isolation for nine months with severe restrictions on his mobility and daily routine. We ca......
  • Weber v. Village of Hanover Park, No. 90 C 2195.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Illinois
    • June 12, 1991
    ...face of a constitutional deprivation of which the supervisor had knowledge, the supervisor may be personally liable. Chapman v. Pickett, 801 F.2d 912, 918 (7th Cir.1986), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 484 U.S. 807, 108 S.Ct. 54, 98 L.Ed.2d 19 (1987). "The knowledge that is required......
  • Young v. Lane, Nos. 89-3382
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • January 7, 1991
    ...at one penal institution must be permitted at all institutions." Bell, 441 U.S. at 554, 99 S.Ct. at 1882. 17 See also Chapman v. Pickett, 801 F.2d 912, 919 (7th Cir.1986) (Easterbrook, J., dissenting) ("a prisoner is more like a member of the military than of free society"), cert. granted a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
15 cases
  • Mustfov v. Rice, No. 86 C 3905.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • March 30, 1987
    ...or if the conduct causing the constitutional deprivation occurs at her direction or with her knowledge or consent.'" Chapman v. Pickett, 801 F.2d 912, 917 (7th Cir.1986). As for the liability of supervisors, "under certain circumstances supervisors may be personally liable for failing to ac......
  • Davenport v. DeRobertis, No. 83 C 4392.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • January 30, 1987
    ...cause compensable emotional damages even where there is no evidence that it caused mental or physical deterioration. Chapman v. Pickett, 801 F.2d 912, 916 (7th Cir.1986) ("Chapman was kept in virtual isolation for nine months with severe restrictions on his mobility and daily routine. We ca......
  • Weber v. Village of Hanover Park, No. 90 C 2195.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Illinois
    • June 12, 1991
    ...face of a constitutional deprivation of which the supervisor had knowledge, the supervisor may be personally liable. Chapman v. Pickett, 801 F.2d 912, 918 (7th Cir.1986), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 484 U.S. 807, 108 S.Ct. 54, 98 L.Ed.2d 19 (1987). "The knowledge that is required......
  • Young v. Lane, Nos. 89-3382
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • January 7, 1991
    ...at one penal institution must be permitted at all institutions." Bell, 441 U.S. at 554, 99 S.Ct. at 1882. 17 See also Chapman v. Pickett, 801 F.2d 912, 919 (7th Cir.1986) (Easterbrook, J., dissenting) ("a prisoner is more like a member of the military than of free society"), cert. granted a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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