United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ROBERT L. COLLINS BEY, Plaintiff,
EDWARD WALL, et al., Defendants.
DECISION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
JOSEPH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Collins Bey, a state prisoner who is representing himself,
filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that
the defendants violated his civil rights. The Prison
Litigation Reform Act applies to his case because he was
incarcerated when he filed his complaint. As required by that
law, I screened Collins' complaint to determine whether
he stated a claim with which he could proceed. He did not, so
I dismissed his complaint and assessed him a strike in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). (See
Docket # 12.)
filed a motion for reconsideration. He argues that I
incorrectly determined that he did not state a claim under
the First Amendment and that I ignored his allegations giving
rise to claims under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. I
will deny Collins' motion.
motion for reconsideration may be granted where a party
demonstrates that the discovery of new evidence, an
intervening change in the controlling law, or a
“manifest error of law” by the court warrants the
alteration or amendment of a previous judgment.
Harrington v. City of Chicago, 433 F.3d 542, 546
(7th Cir. 2006) (citations omitted). “A manifest error
is not demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing
party. It is the wholesale disregard, misapplication, or
failure to recognize controlling precedent.” Oto v.
Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000)
(citations and internal quotations omitted). The purpose of
such a motion is to enable a district court to correct its
own errors and thus avoid unnecessary appellate procedures.
Divane v. Krull Elec. Co., 194 F.3d 845, 848 (7th
Cir. 1999). Granting a motion for reconsideration is an
“extraordinary remedy” that should be granted
only in rare cases. See Foster v. DeLuca, 545 F.3d
582, 584 (7th Cir. 2008). The decision “is entrusted to
the sound judgment of the district court.” Matter
of Prince, 85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th Cir. 1996).
sought to state a First Amendment claim based on the
institution's alleged departure from its policy of
providing indigent inmates with free writing supplies and
easy access to collect calls to stay in contact with family
and friends. I explained that he failed to state a claim on
these allegations because there is generally “no
constitutional right to subsidy, ” so defendants'
refusal to provide Collins with free postage and writing
supplies and their requirement that collect calls be prepaid
did not violate the First Amendment. Lewis v.
Sullivan, 279 F.3d 526, 528 (7th Cir.2002); Walker
v. Litscher, Case No. 02-C-430, 2003 WL 23200259 at *3
(W.D. Wis. March 14, 2003); Van Poyck v. Singletary,
106 F.3d 1558 (11th Cir.1997) (indigent inmates do not have
right to free postage for personal mail); Hershberger v.
Scaletta, 33 F.3d 955, 956-57 (8th Cir.1994) (same);
Dawes v. Carpenter, 899 F.Supp. 892, 899
(N.D.N.Y.1995) (“[T]he Constitution does not require
the State to subsidize inmates to permit [personal]
disagrees with this decision, arguing that he states a claim
because defendants were violating Department of Corrections
policy when they made these decisions. Collins' argument
fails. A violation of state laws or regulations is not
grounds, on its own, for a federal civil rights lawsuit.
See Guajardo-Palma v. Martinson, 622 F.3d 801, 806
(7th Cir. 2010). The alleged misconduct must itself violate
the Constitution, regardless of whether it violates state
laws or regulations. Here, defendants' actions do not
violate the Constitution, so he does not state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. Collins may pursue his claim
that defendants violated states laws and regulations in state
court, if he would like.
remainder of Collins' arguments on this point merely
rehash the arguments in his complaint. They do not
demonstrate that I disregarded, misapplied, or failed to
recognize controlling precedent, so I will not reconsider my
decision that he fails to state a claim.
also argues that I failed to address his proposed claims
under the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments. I did not address
those claims because his allegations did not suggest such
claims. Collins cannot state a class of one equal protection
claim because he was not “irrationally singled
out”; to the contrary, the policy he complained about
applied to all the inmates in segregation at his institution.
See LaBella Winnetka, Inc. v. Village of Winnetka,
628 F.3d 937, 941-42 (7th Cir. 2010).
assertion that his allegations give rise to claim under the
Eighth Amendment because defendants' actions constitute
“cruel and unusual punishment” is frivolous and
does not warrant further discussion. See McNeil v.
Lane, 16 F.3d 123, 125 (7th Cir. 1993) (“For a
condition in prison to violate the Eighth Amendment, it must
result in unquestioned and serious deprivations of basic
human needs, or deprive inmates of the minimal civilized
measure of life's necessities.”) (internal quotes
and citations omitted)).
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Collins' motion to
alter or amend ...