2017-01-06 / Front Page

Federal court dismisses county complaint

By TAMMY WELLS
Senior Staff Writer

PORTLAND —  A federal lawsuit filed by a York County Jail inmate against the York County Sheriff’s Office alleging a corrections officer read his mail and that his mail was delivered late has been dismissed  by the court.

 Anthony Logan, 31, was an inmate at York County Jail when he filed the federal  complaint in September.  U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivison recommended  dismissal of the complaint, saying Logan had failed to state a claim under the law.  The case was dismissed  on Nivison’s recommendation by U.S.  District Court Judge George Z. Singal Dec. 16 .

According to Nivison’s recommendation, Logan had alleged that while incarcerated at York County Jail, he received his mail on a regular basis until  a specific corrections officer began working in the section of the jail in which he was held. Logan alleged at that time, the officer began reading his  mail and allegedly held some of his mail without first obtaining his signature on the appropriate consent form. On Sept. 11, Logan told the court,  he’d received an item of mail dated August 29. 

“A prisoner’s constitutional interest in receiving mail can be violated by the failure of prison staff to deliver timely incoming mail,” Nivison wrote, citing a 1987 case. “Isolated incidents and short-term delay, however, do not rise to the level of a constitutional violation.”

“An isolated delay or some other relatively short-term, non content-based disruption in the delivery of inmate reading materials will not support, even as against a motion to dismiss, a cause of action grounded upon the First Amendment,” Nivison further wrote, citing a 2008 case whereby an inmate sued a Wisconsin sheriff’s department.

“ In this case, Plaintiff’s allegations regarding (the officer’s)  handling of Plaintiff’s incoming mail, including the alleged delay in the delivery of the mail by 13 days, would not support a finding that Defendants violated Plaintiff’s constitutional rights,” Nivison concluded.

According to a York County Jail corrections officer, Logan was transferred to the custody of the Maine Department of Corrections following sentencing on assault charges. The DOC website shows Logan was convicted of  Class B felony aggravated assault and Class B felony witness tampering Dec. 15 and sentenced to nine years in prison, with all but three and one half years suspended.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or twells@journaltribune.com.

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