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Prisoners’ Right to Receive Subscription Mail Clearly Established in Ninth Circuit in 2001

Eric K. Dannenberg, a California state prisoner, filed a pro se civil rights suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in federal district court alleging that, while he was incarcerated in the transient section at the Wasco State Prison's Reception Center in 2000, his personal property was lost and he was not allowed to receive his magazine subscription. The court dismissed the suit. Dannenberg appealed.

The Ninth Circuit held that Dannenberg could not sue over the loss of his personal property as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment because California had an adequate post-deprivation remedy under state law. It also held that, whereas the right of a prisoner to receive subscription mail was established in Prison Legal News v. Cook, 238 F.3d 1145 (9th Cir. 2001), Dannenberg's deprivation preceded that decision. Therefore, the right to receive subscription mail had not yet been established when Dannenberg was deprived of his magazines and the prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity. See: Dannenberg v. Candelaria, 250 Fed.Appx. 201 (9th Cir. 2007).

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Related legal case

Dannenberg v. Candelaria

250 Fed. Appx. 201, *; 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 22759, **

ERIC K. DANNENBERG, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. R. CANDELARIA, Warden; et al., Defendants - Appellees.

No. 05-16229


250 Fed. Appx. 201; 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 22759

September 13, 2007, Submitted, San Francisco, California
September 21, 2007, Filed


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. D.C. No. CV-02-05295-REC/SMS. Robert E. Coyle, Senior Judge, Presiding. Argued April 18, 2007.

DISPOSITION: For the reasons stated, the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.

COUNSEL: For ERIC K. DANNENBERG, Plaintiff - Appellant: Warrington S. Parker, III, Esq., Elisabeth R. Brown, Esq., HELLER EHRMAN, LLP, San Francisco, CA; Eric K. Dannenberg, COALINGA STATE HOSPITAL, Coalinga, CA.

For R. CANDELARIA, Warden, T. SEPULVEDA, P. RODRIQUEZ, J. DOE, Defendants - Appellees: April H. Gatling, Esq., AGCA - OFFICE OF THE CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL (SAC), Sacramento, CA.

JUDGES: Before: REINHARDT, NOONAN, and M. SMITH, Circuit Judges.




* This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3.

Before: REINHARDT, NOONAN, and M. SMITH, Circuit Judges.

Eric K. Dannenberg, a California prisoner, was a transient inmate at Wasco State Prison's Reception Center ("Reception Center") from July 26, 2000 to November 21, 2000. He appeals the dismissal of his claim for the loss of personal property and [*202] the grant of summary judgment to the warden on his claim for the Reception Center's [**2] failure to deliver periodicals to which he subscribed.

The parties are familiar with the facts. We proceed to the law. As to the loss of his property, it cannot be redressed under the Fourteenth Amendment if an adequate post-deprivation remedy exists. Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 532-33, 104 S. Ct. 3194, 82 L. Ed. 2d 393 (1984). California provides such a remedy. See Barnett v. Centoni, 31 F.3d 813, 817 (9th Cir. 1994). Dannenberg's claim was properly dismissed for failure to state a cause of action.

As to his second claim, the right to receive subscription mail was established in this circuit in 2001. Prison Legal News v. Cook, 238 F.3d 1145, 1152-53 (9th Cir. 2001); Morrison v. Cook, 261 F.3d 896, 905 (9th Cir. 2001). Dannenberg's deprivation occurred before this date. It follows that the warden did not violate an established constitutional right and is therefore entitled to qualified immunity. Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201, 121 S. Ct. 2151, 150 L. Ed. 2d 272 (2001).

For the reasons stated, the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.