McFadden v. State

Citation580 So.2d 1210
Decision Date03 May 1991
Docket NumberNo. 89-KP-1071,89-KP-1071
PartiesAlan McFADDEN v. STATE of Mississippi.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi

Page 1210

580 So.2d 1210
STATE of Mississippi.
No. 89-KP-1071.
Supreme Court of Mississippi.
May 3, 1991.
Rehearing Denied June 19, 1991.

Page 1212

Alan McFadden, pro se.

Mike C. Moore, Atty. Gen., Richard A. Compere, John L. Clay, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Jackson, for appellee.

Before DAN M. LEE, P.J., and SULLIVAN and McRAE, JJ.

SULLIVAN, Justice, for the Court:

Alan McFadden, a state prisoner, filed a Civil Rights Complaint against various prison officials in the Rankin County Circuit Court alleging denial of due process and equal protection when he was transferred from the Rankin County Correctional Facility (RCCF) to the Mississippi State Prison at Parchman. He asked for declaratory and injunctive relief and monetary damages for the intentional conduct of the defendants.

The named defendants in this suit are Charles Jackson, the Commissioner of Corrections; Edgar Joor, Superintendent of the Rankin County Correctional Facility; Donald Cabana, Superintendent of the Mississippi State Prison at Parchman; Margret Bingham, Deputy Warden at RCCF; Lora Cole, Deputy Warden at RCCF; Jackie Parker, Director of Classification at RCCF; and Leanette Jordan, Case Manager Supervisor at RCCF. These defendants allege, as an affirmative defense, that they are immune from this cause of action.

The defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Motion to Dismiss. McFadden responded by filing a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to Liability. The court held a hearing on the motions. Thereafter, the court granted the defendants' Motion and overruled McFadden's Motion. McFadden has appealed the court's ruling on the basis that summary judgment was improper since his Complaint raised genuine issues of material fact.


On July 21, 1988, a Staff Request for Inmate Classification was entered for Alan McFadden requesting that McFadden be moved from the RCCF to Parchman. The transfer was classified as an "administrative move." McFadden's custody status of 'A' would not be changed.

A letter dated July 29, 1988 from Deputy Warden Lora Cole to McFadden explained why the request was made. Evidently, a letter had been written to the Commissioner concerning a Ms. Bell who worked at RCCF. The letter was signed by Walter Leonard but was purportedly written by McFadden. The letter contained allegations against Ms. Bell and led to an investigation. During the investigation, the following had been determined as to McFadden's participation:

(1) Walter Leonard did sign the letter but reported having absolutely no personal knowledge of any of the allegations made therein other than what he had been told by you.

(2) Walter Leonard reportedly did not know that Ms. Bell was being accused of extortion in the letter.

(3) Approporate [sic] action is being taken regarding Ms. Bell's admitted involvement in delivering money to you.

(4) Your transfer from Rankin County was the appropriate action to take considering your involvement in having money sent to the local Western Union for you in Ms. Bell's name. In addition your recent actions towards and threatening statements to Ms. Bell also warranted your being transferred.

Page 1213

According to McFadden, he was summoned to the Women's Administration Building at RCCF on July 21, 1988. There, he met with defendants Cole, Bingham, Jordan and Parker. He was asked if he had written a letter to the Commissioner concerning Ms. Bell. He responded negatively but the defendants cursed him and verbally abused him saying that he had and that he was being reclassified to Parchman for doing so.

McFadden alleges that the reclassification form contains fraudulent information. Specifically, defendant Jordan was not his unit case manager but she signed the form as such. Also, defendant Lora Cole was not his work supervisor but she signed the form in that capacity. The form, in fact, did not contain the signatures of McFadden's unit administrator, his work supervisor, or his unit case manager. Included on the form was the signature of defendant Winkle as a member of the Classification Team but she was not in the meeting.

Additional allegations were made by McFadden regarding his reclassification. They include the fact that the request was not approved by Mr. Cabana, although the request indicated otherwise, and that the request was not submitted to the Classification Committee twenty-four hours in advance of the classification action. Also, there are no minutes of the meeting and McFadden was classified by individuals and not by the Classification Committee in regular or special meetings. In fact, McFadden alleges that the reclassification was done in retaliation for his alleged activities which included helping other inmates draft grievances.

McFadden and his wife, who were married while in prison, were both incarcerated at RCCF. He was allowed conjugal visits with his wife every Sunday except fifth Sundays and was allowed family visits with his wife and ten-year old son every sixty days. As an 'A' custody inmate, he was allowed to participate in various co-ed programs with his wife and he was allowed access to a non-security telephone twenty-four hours a day. He has not been allowed to continue visits with his wife since being transferred to Parchman.

At RCCF, McFadden was employed in the law library. Since being transferred to Parchman, he has been assigned a job at the Cold Storage in the Freezer Crew. He complains of this job for two reasons. First, he says that his best interests are not served because his job in the law library was helping him towards his goal of becoming a paralegal upon his release from prison. Also, he suffers from chronic sinusitis and this job aggravates the problem.

Another of McFadden's grievances concerns his safety. He alleges that his life is in danger at Parchman because he once testified against a correctional officer and that individual is still employed at Parchman. McFadden also alleges that his life has been threatened by a group of prisoners known as the Mississippi Prisoners' Union. He says that the group claims that he acted as an aide and henchman for Superintendent Cabana and that he is in fear of physical harm because of this.







McFadden's complaints under this assignment of error are many. He alleges that he has a protected liberty interest in continued classification at the RCCF, in continued visitation with his wife and child, and in continued participation in his job assignment in the law library. Furthermore, he alleges that he was denied procedural due process.


In considering a Motion for Summary Judgment, the lower court must take as true those allegations which are well

Page 1214

pleaded. Considering these and any defenses which have been raised, the Motion must be overruled unless, beyond any reasonable doubt, the court believes that the plaintiff would be unable to prove any facts which would support his claim. McFadden v. State, 542 So.2d 871, 874 (Miss.1989). The court

must review carefully all of the evidentiary matters before it--admissions in pleadings, answers to interrogatories, depositions, affidavits, etc. The evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party against whom the motion has been made. If in this view the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, summary judgment should forthwith be entered in his favor. Otherwise the motion should be denied.

Dennis v. Searle, 457 So.2d 941, 944 (Miss.1984) [quoting Brown v. Credit Center, Inc., 444 So.2d 358, 362 (Miss.1983) ].

On appeal, we conduct de novo review of the grant or denial of a Motion for Summary Judgment. See Newell v. Hinton, 556 So.2d 1037, 1041 (Miss.1990); Allison v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 543 So.2d 661, 663 (Miss.1989). Although we must accept well pleaded allegations, where a prisoner is proceeding pro se, the fact that the complaint is not precisely stated nor consistent will not harm his case. A pro se complaint is held "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 529, 92 S.Ct. 594, 596, 30 L.Ed.2d 652, 654 (1972). See also McFadden, 542 So.2d at 875.


In 1976, the United States Supreme Court addressed in two separate opinions the question of whether a prisoner has a liberty interest in being transferred from one correctional institution to a less favorable institution. In Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 96 S.Ct. 2532, 49 L.Ed.2d 451 (1976), several Massachusetts prisoners alleged that they were...

To continue reading

Request your trial
36 cases
  • Elkins v. McKenzie, No. 2002-IA-00845-SCT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • October 30, 2003
    ...doubt, the court believes that the plaintiff would be unable to prove any facts which would support his claim." McFadden v. State, 580 So.2d 1210, 1214 (Miss.1991). Further, "[w]here doubt exists as to whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, the trial judge should err on the side......
  • Coleman v. Rance, Civil Action No. 4:96cv21-D-B (N.D. Miss. 4/__/2001), Civil Action No. 4:96cv21-D-B.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Mississippi
    • April 1, 2001
    ...of his office. Evans v. Trader, 614 So.2d 955, 957 (Miss. 1993); Barrett v. Miller, 599 So.2d 559, 567 (Miss.1992); McFadden v. State, 580 So.2d 1210 (Miss.1991); Starnes v. Vardaman, 580 So.2d 733, 737 (Miss.1990). In their submissions to this court, however, the defendants rest their argu......
  • Skelton By and Through Roden v. Twin County Rural Elec. Ass'n, 90-CA-0523
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • December 31, 1992
    ...depositions, affidavits, and any other evidence, viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the non-movant. McFadden v. State, 580 So.2d 1210, 1213-14 (Miss.1991). The movant and non-movant bear the burdens of production corresponding to the burdens of proof they would bear at trial.......
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • February 17, 2000
    ...facts to support his claim. Yazoo Properties v. Katz & Besthoff No. 284, Inc., 644 So.2d 429, 431 (Miss.1994) (citing McFadden v. State, 580 So.2d 1210 (Miss.1991)). This Court conducts a de novo review of the record on appeal from the lower court's 753 So.2d 1083 grant of summary judgment.......
  • 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