Royer v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

Topic(s): 
Protecting Constitutional Rights and Requirements
Case Description: 

We represented a federal prisoner classified by BOP as a terrorist inmate and subjected to harsh conditions of confinement based, at least in part, on false information. The case began as two separate actions filed pro se by our client, alleging violations of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, on the grounds that BOP maintained records that BOP knew to be false and that BOP refused to amend; claims under the Due Process Clause because he was not provided with notice of the factual basis for his classification as a terrorist inmate or a meaningful opportunity to challenge his classification or conditions of confinement; and claims under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 500 et seq., for BOP’s failure to follow notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures in connection with its promulgation of the policy that was used to designate him as a terrorist inmate, and a separate claim under the APA based on BOP’s failure to provide BOP inmates with notice of a proposed rulemaking regarding Communication Management Units (CMUs).

We entered our appearance and served discovery requests. After BOP failed to respond as required, we filed a motion to compel, which the court granted, ordering BOP to respond fully to plaintiff’s requests, ordering all objections other than those asserting privilege waived, and overruling defendant’s objections on the basis of law enforcement privilege. The court also ordered BOP to file a privilege log and to pay plaintiff’s attorney fees incurred in connection with the discovery dispute.

BOP then acceded to nearly all of our client’s demands. BOP released him from the CMU, transferred him to the general population at the federal prison closest to his home, reopened the comment period on the proposed CMU rule, corrected his records, and settled his claims for damages and attorney fees.