Thursday, April 10, 2008

Prisoner's Complaint that his Property was Unlawfully Destroyed Dismissed

Thomas v. NM Corrections, No. 06-2224 (10th Cir. April 9, 2008) (unpublished): Although the Tenth reviews the pro se prisoner's claims liberally, it concludes that he can not prevail in his 42 USC 1983 action based on the facts he alleged and affirm dismissal of the claims. Mr. Thomas finished his federal time and was sent to state prison in NM, where he tried to mail his personal property home at his own expense. A property officer refused to allow this, and said he had to donate his property or it would be destroyed. Mr. Thomas refused to sign a disposition sheet. He later learned the policy did allow him to mail his property home. He tried informal settlement, and then filed two grievances. The second was denied because the prison produced a disposition sheet with his alleged signature, which Mr. Thomas said was forged. His state Tort Claims Act was dismissed. Despite dismissal of the TCA lawsuit, there was no due process violation because NM provided an adequate post deprivation remedy. He failed to state sufficient facts to support an equal protection claim. He was not subject to cruel and unusual punishment. Once there were no more federal claims, the district court properly declined to assert jurisdiction over the state fraud claim.