LOCATION: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
DOCKET NO.: 76-446
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
CITATION: 434 US 555 (1978)
ARGUED: Oct 11, 1977
DECIDED: Feb 22, 1978
Michael E. Adams - for respondent
Sanford Svetcov - for petitioners
Facts of the case
Media for Procunier v. NavaretteAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 11, 1977 in Procunier v. Navarette
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 22, 1978 in Procunier v. Navarette
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinion of the Court in 76-446 Procunier against Navarette will be announced by Mr. Justice White.
Byron R. White:
This case involves a suit by an inmate of a state prison against various prison officials.
It was brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the complaint alleged various violations of the plaintiff's constitutional rights, among which as a claim that the prison officials negligently interfered with his mailing privileges.
The District Court, the Federal District Court in California dismissed this particular claim on summary judgment, holding that the prison officials were immune from liability for damages under the applicable decisions of this Court.
The Court of Appeals reversed, indicating that summary judgment on immunity ground was improper.
We granted certiorari and we reverse the Court of Appeals.
In our judgment in the circumstances of this case, the District Court was correct in holding that the officials were immune as a matter of law.
The opinion we have filed, attempts to state the reasons for this result, but not well enough to convince everyone.
The Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Stevens have each filed a dissenting opinion.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice White.