Unpublished Disposition, 877 F.2d 64 (9th Cir. 1987)Annotate this Case
Thomas E. SPYCHALA, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.Ruth L. RUSHEN, Director, & Department of Corrections; PaulJ. Morris, Warden, et. al.; James Rowland, NewDirector, et. al., Defendants-Appellees.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted June 5, 1989.* Decided June 13, 1989.
Before FARRIS, DAVID R. THOMPSON, and TROTT, Circuit Judges.
Thomas Spychala is a California state prisoner proceeding pro se. He appeals from an order dismissing his claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Spychala argues that California prison officials improperly denied him access to the law library at Folsom Prison. He also argues that his faith "prohibits men from exposing their naked bodies and private parts to members of the opposite sex," and that the presence of female guards on the gun rails or in the shower areas during shower periods violates his right to freedom of religion. The district court denied Spychala's motion to compel access to the prison library as moot, and granted defendants summary judgment on the freedom of religion claim. Both decisions are reviewed de novo. Sample v. Johnson, 771 F.2d 1335, 1338 (9th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1019 (1986); Darring v. Kincheloe, 783 F.2d 874, 876 (9th Cir. 1986).
Spychala brought his motion to compel access to the Folsom law library on January 5, 1987. He has since been transferred to another correctional institution. Since Spychala is no longer incarcerated at Folsom, he is no longer subject to the conditions addressed in his motion to compel access. The district court properly held that Spychala's claim has become moot. See Weinstein v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147 (1975).
Spychala's legitimate desire for privacy during shower periods does not provide sufficient justification for excluding female prison guards from access to shower areas. " [W]hen a prison regulation impinges on inmates' constitutional rights, the regulation is valid if it is reasonably related to legitimate penological interests." Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89 (1987). The defendants' practice of guarding shower areas is reasonably related to the legitimate interest of maintaining prison security. The presence of some female guards while male prisoners are naked is incidental to this legitimate function. See Grummett v. Rushen, 779 F.2d 491 (9th Cir. 1986). "To restrict the female guards from positions which involve occasional viewing of the inmates would necessitate a tremendous rearrangement of work schedules, and possibly produce a risk to ... equal employment opportunities for the female guards." Id. at 496. Because Spychala has raised no genuine issue of fact regarding whether the presence of female guards in shower areas is reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, the district court properly granted summary judgment.