A few posts ago, NinjaLaw told you some details about federal prisoner Waseem Daker,. That post briefed the February 2007 opinion by Judge Story of the District Court in Georgia and also mentioned some updates on Mr. Daker’s current situation. The post today arises from the conclusion of proceedings about the books, already referenced in the previous posts. This opinion is August 2007 and, as mentioned previously, it was upheld on appeal. But also recall from the previous post, that despite this being the end of Mr. Daker’s RLUIPA claims about these books it is not the end of his story. Mr. Daker was rearrested five years after serving a ten year sentence and is now again in Federal prison on charges related to the same 1995 situation.
Waseem DAKER, Plaintiff,
Joe FERRERO, et al., Defendants.
Civil Action No. 1:03-CV-02481-RWS.
506 F.Supp.2d 1295 (2007)
United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division.
This August 2007 opinion includes the names of a variety of books banned from Mr. Daker’s prison reading requests and determines that some were properly denied, others were improperly denied but the defendant’s aren’t liable for the error and some were improperly denied and constitutional first amendment rights were violated.
Both parties move for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims arising out of the denial of approximately 55 publications and numerous mailings while Plaintiff was incarcerated in GDC facilities. Defendants admit that the following publications, listed in the chronological order of their denial, were denied to Plaintiff:
14) Ninja: History and Tradition
(15) Ninja: Power of the Mind
(16a) Ninja Mind Control
(16b) Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America
Noting in footnote: “In its Order of February 26, 2007, the Court mistakenly listed Ninja Mind Control and Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America as a single book denoted as Number 16 on the list,” – explaining why now 16a and 16b, also on this book list
The claims on these books was ruled summary judgment for the defendant, the prison, because of qualified immunity related to “Materials Containing Instructions on Fighting Techniques and Military Procedures and Materials Which Could Assist a Prisoner in Effecting an Escape”, citing Thornburgh:
the Supreme Court approved of a regulation restricting material which “depicts, encourages, or describes methods of escape from correctional facilities” or “depicts, describes or encourages activities which may lead to the use of physical violence or group disruption.” See Thornburgh, 490 U.S. at 413 (quoting 28 C.F.R. § 540.71(b)). The Court agrees with Defendants that the titles of these books could lead a reasonable prison official to conclude that they would assist in planning an escape from a prison institution or may lead to the use of physical violence or group disruption. Moreover, Plaintiff has failed to direct the Court to any precedent which clearly establishes the right to access books of a similar title or description. For both reasons, Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity.
One other “ninja” book on the censored list was:
(46) The Black Science: Ancient and Modern Techniques of Ninja
The claim on this book (#46) was also summary judgment for the defendant, because plaintiff conceded that it (amongst a few other books) “could be constitutionally denied on the basis of content” (see footnote #4).
There are other books on the list for which plaintiff won summary judgment (for example he was denied a book on Criminal Trial Practice for seemingly no good reason). The case also went on to trial on issues of procedural due process but this August 2007 opinion was determinative for the ninja issues. And as mentioned in previous post, he seems to be on trial again and also still filing civil rights actions – see this one filed two weeks ago, Aug 10, 2012.