United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
R. SWEENEY II JUDGE
Jurijus Kadamovas is incarcerated at the United States
Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. His amended complaint
alleges that defendant Katherine Siereveld opened and
inspected Mr. Kadamovas's legal mail outside his
presence. Dkt. 20 at 18-23. Ms. Siereveld has moved to
dismiss the amended complaint, arguing that (1) Mr. Kadamovas
has not alleged any constitutional violation; (2) Mr.
Kadamovas has not alleged an Eighth Amendment violation; and
(3) Mr. Kadamovas has no implied cause of action under
Bivens v. Six Unknown Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388
(1971). Dkts. 23, 24. Because Mr. Kadamovas has not alleged
an Eighth Amendment violation and because any other alleged
constitutional violation does not give rise to an implied
cause of action under Bivens, Ms. Siereveld's
motion to dismiss is granted.
state a claim for cruel and unusual punishment in violation
of the Eighth Amendment, a prisoner must allege (1) that the
conditions of confinement result in a denial of “the
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities”
and (2) that a prison official was deliberately indifferent
to such denial. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834
(1994) (quotation marks omitted); see also Budd v.
Motley, 711 F.3d 840, 842 (7th Cir. 2013) (same, noting
that “the minimal civilized measure of life's
necessities” include adequate sanitation and personal
hygiene items). Mr. Kadamovas's allegations fail to
satisfy the first prong. Immediate access to one's mail
and the attorney-client privilege are not among “the
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities.”
Cf. Budd, 711 F.3d at 842. He has therefore failed
to state a claim under the Eighth Amendment.
U.S.C. § 1983 provides a damages remedy for plaintiffs
who assert constitutional violations by state officials, but
no statute provides such a remedy against federal officials.
Ziglar v. Abbasi, 137 S.Ct. 1843, 1854 (2017).
However, the Supreme Court has recognized an implied cause of
action for three types of constitutional violations by
federal officials: (1) unlawful search and seizure in
violation of the Fourth Amendment, see Bivens, 403
U.S. at 397; (2) gender discrimination in violation of the
Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause, Davis v.
Passman, 442 U.S. 228, 248-49 (1979); and (3) failure to
provide adequate medical treatment to a prisoner in violation
of the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishments
Clause, Carlson v. Green, 446 U.S. 14, 19 (1980).
But the Supreme Court has “never held that
Bivens extends to First Amendment claims.”
Reichle v. Howards, 566 U.S. 658, 663 n.4 (2012).
the Bivens remedy is a “disfavored”
judicial activity. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
675 (2009); see also Corr. Serv. Corp. v. Malesko,
534 U.S. 61, 68 (2001) (“Since Carlson we have
consistently refused to extend Bivens liability to
any new context or new category of defendants.”). So
where, as here, a plaintiff seeks to expand Bivens
to a new context, a court must assess “whether any
alternative, existing process for protecting the interest
amounts to a convincing reason for the Judicial Branch to
refrain from providing a new and freestanding remedy in
damages.” Wilkie v. Robbins, 551 U.S. 537, 550
(2007). “[T]he existence of alternative remedies
usually precludes a court from authorizing a Bivens
action.” Abbasi, 137 S.Ct. at 1865.
Mr. Kadamovas has alternative remedies to redress his claims.
He may use the Bureau of Prisons' administrative remedy
process. See dkt. 1-3. And he may file motions in
any pending litigation to prevent misuse of privileged
documents. See dkt. 1-2. Mr. Kadamovas asserts that
those remedies have proven ineffective, but his failure to
obtain his desired relief through other means does not compel
the creation of a new implied right of action. See Vega
v. United States, 881 F.3d 1146, 1155 (9th Cir. 2018)
(plaintiff had meaningful alternative remedies, despite
failure to obtain relief in administrative review process and
state court litigation). Finally, to the extent Mr. Kadamovas
complains about destruction of property, he may be able to
seek relief under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C.
§ 2671, et seq.
“legislative action suggesting that Congress does not
want a damages remedy is itself a factor counseling
hesitation.” Abbasi, 137 S.Ct. at 1865. In
passing the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995
(“PLRA”), Congress “placed a series of
controls on prisoner suits . . . designed to prevent sportive
filings in federal court.” Skinner v. Switzer,
562 U.S. 521, 535-36 (2011); see also Jones v. Bock,
549 U.S. 199, 223 (2007) (one goal of PLRA was to
“reduce the quantity of inmate suits”).
Congress's enactment of the PLRA further suggests that it
would not endorse the creation of a new cause of action in
the Court declines to extend Bivens to create an
implied cause of action for First Amendment claims based on
prison officials' inspection of inmates' legal mail
or any other constitutional violation alleged in Mr.
Kadamovas's amended complaint.
Siereveld's motion to dismiss the amended complaint for
failure to state a claim, dkt. , is
marks at least the third time Mr. Kadamovas has brought an
action or appeal in federal court that was dismissed for
failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted.
See Kadamovas v. Caraway, No. 2:14-cv-00179-WTL-WGH,
Dkt. 11 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 11, 2015); Kadamovas v.
Watts, No. 2:09-cv-00259-WTL-JMS, Dkt. 12 (S.D. Ind.
Nov. 30, 2009). Accordingly, he may no longer “bring a
civil action or appeal a judgment in a civil action or
proceeding under [28 U.S.C. § 1915] . . . unless [he] is
under imminent danger of serious physical injury.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g). In other words, he may no longer file
an action or ...