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Rhodes v. Robinson.

U.S. Appeals Court

RETALIATION FOR LEGAL ACTION

Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559 (9th Cir. 2005). A state prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action against prison officials, alleging that they retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment rights to file prison grievances. The district court dismissed the action for failure to state a claim and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the fact that the prisoner undertook exhaustive efforts to remedy a myriad of alleged violations of his First Amendment rights did not demonstrate that his rights were not violated at all. The court noted that adoption of such a theory would subject prisoners to a "Catch 22" by establishing a rule that, by virtue of an inmate having fulfilled the requirements necessary to pursue a cause of action in federal court, he would be precluded from prosecuting the very claim he was forced to exhaust. According to the court, the prisoner presented the "very archetype of a cognizable First Amendment retaliation claim" in alleging that prison officials: (1) arbitrarily confiscated, withheld and eventually destroyed his property, threatened to transfer him to another facility, and ultimately assaulted him; (2) because he; (3) exercised his First Amendment rights to file prison grievances and otherwise seek access to the legal process, and that; (4) beyond imposing those tangible harms, the officers' actions chilled the prisoner's First Amendment rights; and (5) were not undertaken in narrowly tailored furtherance of legitimate penological purposes. The court noted that the prisoner's conflict with the officers "has its genesis in the most unlikely of places: the servicing of his Canon typewriter." (California Correctional Institution, Tehachapi, California)
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Title Annotation:Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559
Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Aug 1, 2005
Words:279
Previous Article:Nwaokocha v. Sadowski.
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