United States v. Radio Station WENR, 11047

Decision Date30 December 1953
Docket NumberNo. 11047,11048.,11047
Citation209 F.2d 105
PartiesUNITED STATES ex rel. MORRIS v. RADIO STATION WENR. MORRIS v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, NORTHERN DIST. OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION et al.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit

Edmund Robert Morris, pro se.

Before MAJOR, Chief Judge, and DUFFY and LINDLEY, Circuit Judges.

DUFFY, Circuit Judge.

The above causes have not been docketed in this court. The papers applicable to each of them have been received by the clerk of court, further handling being contingent on orders of the court. Furthermore, none of the defendants or respondents named has been served nor has any of them appeared. This somewhat anomalous status obtains because the two applications by Morris asking leave to proceed in forma pauperis were not granted by the district court, and the one made to this court pertaining to his petition for writ of mandamus has not previously been acted upon. The presentation by Morris of his complaint to the district court and the presentation to this court of his petition for writ of mandamus constituted the institution of such causes; and the denial sub silentio of leave to proceed in forma pauperis in the district court was the judicial determination of a case or controversy, reviewable on appeal, to the extent provided by law.1 Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, 24, 63 S.Ct. 2, 87 L.Ed. 3.

We shall first consider the unrecorded refusals of the district court to enter orders (a) granting leave to file Morris' complaint and permitting him to proceed as a poor person, and (b) directing the clerk to provide him with a certified transcript of the record for purposes of his appeal.

In Morris' complaint jurisdiction is alleged to be based upon diversity of citizenship and also upon the claim that the action arises under the Constitution of the United States. Morris alleges he is in custody at the Stateville Branch of the Illinois State Penitentiary. He alleges that at various times he requested permission of defendant Warden Ragen to submit various literary scripts to publishing companies with a view to selling same, but that he was denied permission on the ground that "commercializing by convicts is prohibited" by State law. Morris then alleges that he is being discriminated against and denied the equal protection of the laws, because an agreement exists between Radio Station WENR and the warden, whereby a radio program, "Anonymous," is transcribed at the Stateville Branch of the State Penitentiary to be broadcast weekly over said radio station, and that the talent for the program are felons imprisoned in said penitentiary; also that the convict talent are paid a sum of money for their services, and that this is in violation of an Illinois State statute. Morris further alleges that defendants discriminated between convicts in that negroes are denied the privilege to audition or act as announcers or narrators of the program. Morris asserts further that he has been unable to obtain a hearing in any court of the State of Illinois.

In his prayer for relief Morris asks that the contract between the defendants for the production of the radio program be held illegal and in violation of his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, and that the warden be enjoined from continuing to contract or to permit the program, "Anonymous," from being broadcast.

In Morris' petition lodged with this court, asking for the issuance of a writ of mandamus, he incorporates by reference the allegations of the complaint which he attempted to file in the district court, and alleges that the action of the district court in refusing him permission to file the cause as a poor person was arbitrary and done for the purpose of depriving him of a hearing and the right to appeal. He concludes his petition with the following prayer for relief: "Wherefore, this petitioner respectfully prays that this court issue a writ of mandamus directed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern...

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  • Ramos v. Lamm
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Colorado
    • February 21, 1980
    ...violation of his constitutional rights. Citations omitted. 324 F.2d 165, 167 (7th Cir. 1963) (quoting United States ex rel. Morris v. Radio Station WENR, 209 F.2d 105, 107 (7th Cir. 1953)). On certiorari, the Supreme Court reversed. "Taking as true the allegations of the complaint, as they ......
  • Roberts v. Pepersack
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maryland
    • June 29, 1966
    ...485 (7th Cir. 1965), Harris v. Settle, 322 F.2d 908, 910 (7th Cir. 1965)); unreasonable regulations (United States ex rel. Morris v. Radio Station WENR, 209 F.2d 105, 107 (7th Cir. 1953), Lockhart v. Prasse, 250 F.Supp. 529, 531 (E.D.Pa.1965)). The difficulty of securing relief under the Ci......
  • State ex rel. Pingley v. Coiner
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • January 25, 1972
    ...322 F.2d 908; Childs v. Pegelow, (4th Cir.), 321 F.2d 487; Sostre v. McGinnis, (2nd Cir.), 334 F.2d 906; United States ex rel. Morris v. Radio Station WENR, (7th Cir.), 209 F.2d 105. Prison officials are vested with wide discretion in controlling prisoners committed to their custody and unl......
  • Weller v. Dickson
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • March 29, 1963
    ...Accident Ins. Co., 5 Cir., 1935, 79 F.2d 721. Similar views have been expressed in civil rights cases: United States ex rel. Morris v. Radio Station WENR, 7 Cir., 1953, 209 F.2d 105, 107. See also, Caviness v. Somers, 4 Cir., 1956, 235 F.2d 455 and our own decision in John v. Gibson, 9 Cir.......
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