Houghton v. Shafer, No. 668

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation88 S.Ct. 2119,392 U.S. 639,20 L.Ed.2d 1319
PartiesJoseph M. HOUGHTON v. SHAFER, Governor, et al. isc
Decision Date17 June 1968
Docket NumberNo. 668,M

392 U.S. 639
88 S.Ct. 2119
20 L.Ed.2d 1319
Joseph M. HOUGHTON

v.

SHAFER, Governor, et al.

No. 668, Misc.
Decided June 17, 1968.

William C. Sennett, Atty. Gen. of Pennsylvania, Frank P. Lawley, Jr., Deputy Atty. Gen., and Edward Friedman, for respondents.

PER CURIAM.

Petitioner was convicted of burglary and is serving a sentence of four to 10 years in a Pennsylvania state prison. In pursuing his appeal pro se petitioner acquired law books, trial records, and other materials with the consent of prison authorities. Before petitioner had filed his appeal brief, prison authorities confiscated these materials because they were found in the possession of another inmate. Petitioner's efforts to obtain the return of the materials were not successful, and he commenced this action in the United States District Court, claiming that the prison authorities had violated § 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 17 Stat. 13, now 42 U.S.C. § 1983, by depriving him of his legal materials. The District Court

Page 640

dismissed the complaint on the sole ground that petitioner had not alleged exhaustion of state administrative remedies, citing Gaito v. Prasse, 312 F.2d 169 (C.A.3d Cir.) The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed without opinion. We grant the petition for certiorari and reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Petitioner's legal materials were confiscated pursuant to prison rules forbidding the possession of articles not sold through the canteen or approved by the authorities and forbidding the unauthorized loaning of books to another inmate. According to the inmates' handbook, petitioner could have taken his problem to the 'Classification and Treatment Clinic'; it was also his privilege 'to address a communication at any time to the Superintendent, the Deputy Commissioner of Correction, or the Commissioner of Correction, and as a final appeal, to the Attorney General.' Petitioner did seek relief from the Deputy Superintendent of his prison, but without result. He was told, he says, to 'leave well enough alone.' His mother's telephone calls and correspondence with prison authorities were likewise unavailing. He has not, however, taken an appeal to the Deputy Commissioner of Correction, the Commissioner, or to the Attorney General.

As we understand the submission of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania in this Court, the rules of the prison were validly and correctly applied to petitioner; these rules are further said to be...

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175 practice notes
  • Edwards v. Schmidt, No. 70-C-97.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Western District of Wisconsin
    • January 5, 1971
    ...Moreover, this non-exhaustion doctrine has been explicitly applied by the Court to prisoner suits under § 1983. Houghton v. Shafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S. Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968) (per curiam). Houghton had brought a § 1983 action claiming that prison authorities had confiscated legal ......
  • HOUSING AUTHORITY OF CITY OF NEWARK v. Henry, Civ. No. 226-71.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • November 18, 1971
    ...As for federal primacy, see Lewis v. Kugler, supra, 446 F.2d at 1346, n. 3, citing the now familiar authorities of Houghton v. Shafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S.Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968); Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L.Ed.2d 647 (1967); Zwickler v. Koota, 389 U.S. 24......
  • Salvati v. Dale, Civ. A. No. 73-461
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 5, 1973
    ...grant the relief sought. Plaintiffs rely on Gibson v. Berryhill, 411 U.S. 564, 93 S.Ct. 1689, 36 L.Ed.2d 498 (1973); Houghton v. Shafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S. Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968); King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118 (1968); Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 4......
  • Lopez v. White Plains Housing Authority, No. 72 Civ. 223.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • October 4, 1972
    ...the complaint should be dismissed for plaintiffs' failure to exhaust their administrative remedies is without merit. Houghton v. Schafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S.Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 Having satisfied the requirements necessary to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under § 1983, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
175 cases
  • Edwards v. Schmidt, No. 70-C-97.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Western District of Wisconsin
    • January 5, 1971
    ...Moreover, this non-exhaustion doctrine has been explicitly applied by the Court to prisoner suits under § 1983. Houghton v. Shafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S. Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968) (per curiam). Houghton had brought a § 1983 action claiming that prison authorities had confiscated legal ......
  • HOUSING AUTHORITY OF CITY OF NEWARK v. Henry, Civ. No. 226-71.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • November 18, 1971
    ...As for federal primacy, see Lewis v. Kugler, supra, 446 F.2d at 1346, n. 3, citing the now familiar authorities of Houghton v. Shafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S.Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968); Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L.Ed.2d 647 (1967); Zwickler v. Koota, 389 U.S. 24......
  • Salvati v. Dale, Civ. A. No. 73-461
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 5, 1973
    ...grant the relief sought. Plaintiffs rely on Gibson v. Berryhill, 411 U.S. 564, 93 S.Ct. 1689, 36 L.Ed.2d 498 (1973); Houghton v. Shafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S. Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968); King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118 (1968); Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 4......
  • Lopez v. White Plains Housing Authority, No. 72 Civ. 223.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • October 4, 1972
    ...the complaint should be dismissed for plaintiffs' failure to exhaust their administrative remedies is without merit. Houghton v. Schafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S.Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 Having satisfied the requirements necessary to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under § 1983, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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