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Ohio State Prisoner Denied Visit with Ex-Guard

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that denial of unfettered visitation
between a prisoner and a former prison guard was not unconstitutional,
since visitation is not constitutionally guaranteed. Based on the former
employee's training in security procedures, knowledge of facility
operations and the threat of disruption of orderly institution operations,
the warden considered the visit a security risk. The 1983 action was
denied. See: Manson v. Morris, 66 Ohio St.3d 440, 613 N.E.2d 232 (Ohio

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Related legal case

Manson v. Morris

State ex rel. Manson v. Morris, 66 Ohio St.3d 440, 613 N.E.2d 232 (Ohio 06/16/1993)


[2] No. 92-2179

[3] 66 Ohio St.3d 440, 613 N.E.2d 232, 1993

[4] June 16, 1993.


[6] David A. Manson, pro se.

[7] Per Curiam.

[8] For the following reasons we grant respondents' motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, Manson's request for a writ of mandamus is denied.

[9] Manson argues that CCI's visiting office and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction denied him Addy's visitation because she was a former employee of the department and that the denial was unconstitutional.

[10] Three requirements must be met to establish a right to a writ of mandamus: that relator have a clear legal right to the relief prayed for, that respondent have a clear legal duty to perform the acts, and that relator have no plain and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. State ex rel. Berger v. McMonagle (1983), 6 Ohio St.3d 28, 29, 6 OBR 50, 51, 451 N.E.2d 225, 226.

[11] Manson does not meet the first requirement because he does not have a constitutional right to receive certain visitors. As the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has stated: "Prison inmates have no absolute constitutional right to visitation." Bellamy v. Bradley (C.A.6, 1984), 729 F.2d 416, 420, certiorari denied (1984), 469 U.S. 845, 105 S.Ct. 156, 83 L.Ed.2d 93.

[12] In Kentucky Dept. of Corr. v. Thompson (1989), 490 U.S. 454, 460-461, 109 S.Ct. 1904, 1908-1909, 104 L.Ed.2d 506, 515, the United States Supreme Court stated:

[13] "Respondents do not argue-nor can it seriously be contended, in light of our prior cases-that an inmate's interest in unfettered visitation is guaranteed directly by the Due Process Clause. * * * The denial of prison access to a particular visitor 'is well within the terms of confinement ordinarily contemplated by a prison sentence,' Hewitt v. Helms [1983], 459 U.S. [460] at 468, [103 S.Ct. 864, 869, 74 L.Ed.2d 675, 686] and therefore is not independently protected by the Due Process Clause."

[14] In addition, Manson, as an Ohio inmate, does not have a state-protected liberty interest in receiving certain visitors. The Thompson court found that in order for prison regulations to create for an inmate a protected liberty interest in receiving certain visitors, the relevant regulations must contain "`explicitly mandatory language,' i.e., specific directives to the decisionmaker that if the regulations' substantive predicates are present, a particular outcome must follow * * *." Id., 490 U.S. at 463, 109 S.Ct. at 1910, 104 L.Ed.2d at 516. Ohio Adm.Code 5120-9-15, which governs prison visitation in Ohio, is not sufficiently mandatory to create for Manson a protected liberty interest in receiving certain visitors. Addy clearly falls within the rule's excludable visitor category. Ohio Adm.Code 5120-9-15(C) states in part:

[15] "It is recognized that certain visitors should be excluded. A visitor may be excluded when there are reasonable grounds to believe that:

[16] "(1) The visitor's presence in the institution could reasonably pose a threat to the institution's security, or disrupt the orderly operations of the institution[.] * * *"

[17] Because Addy was a former correctional officer of the Ross Correctional Institution located across the street from CCI, she could reasonably be considered a security risk based on her training in security procedures and knowledge of facility operations.

[18] Accordingly, Manson has failed to meet the first and second requirements for a writ of mandamus. He has no clear legal right to the relief prayed for, nor do respondents have a clear duty to perform the acts. Respondents' motion for summary judgment is granted.

[19] Writ denied.


[21] PFEIFER, J., dissents.