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Denial of Visiting Between Prisoner, Ex Prisoner Upheld

Plaintiff, a member of MOVE, was refused a visit from a female member of MOVE who he said was his wife because she was a former prisoner. The court previously refused defendants summary judgment because other prisoners married to former prisoners are permitted such visits. However, defendants are now granted summary judgment because the plaintiff and the visitor are not actually married under state law. The plaintiff failed to show that the elements of common law marriage in Pennsylvania were met. The court is unimpressed with the plaintiff's argument that he has his own system of marriage, and points out that he can get married if he wants to and have the visits.

At 554: "Neither convicted prisoners nor their family members have an inherent constitutional right to visitation. ... The equal protection clause, however, requires that the state treat similarly situated individuals alike absent a rational reason for doing otherwise." See: Africa v. Vaughan, 998 F.Supp. 552 (E.D.Pa. 1998).

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Related legal case

Africa v. Vaughan