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Ninth Circuit Upholds Discipline of Immigration Prisoner; PLRA Does Not Apply

The plaintiff, an immigration detainee, was in the law library when some visitors came in, and he made some disparaging remarks about the institution, handed them a flyer, and suggested they could not believe what officials told them. He was disciplined for "unauthorized contact with members of the general public."

The plaintiff need not exhaust administrative remedies that do not provide damages. The PLRA does not apply to immigration detainees, so McCarthy v. Madigan governs.

At 778: "We consider a person detained for deportation to be the equivalent of a pretrial detainee...." Since the plaintiff's claim involves an episodic act or omission, the deliberate indifference standard is applicable to his substantive due process claim for being placed in segregation. Since the decision was supported by evidence and the hearing officer followed agency rules, there was no deliberate indifference. Nor was there a due process violation, since Wolff was followed.

Disciplining the plaintiff for handing the visitors a note was not an exaggerated response; the rule against unauthorized physical contact with visitors is reasonable. See: Edwards v. Johnson, 209 F.3d 772 (9th Cir. 2000).

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Related legal case

Edwards v. Johnson