Unpublished Disposition, 899 F.2d 1224 (9th Cir. 1990)

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US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - 899 F.2d 1224 (9th Cir. 1990)

Richard Kenneth ALLMON, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.Larry BARROWS, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 88-15264.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Submitted March 26, 1990.* Decided April 3, 1990.

Before FLETCHER, LEAVY and FERNANDEZ, Circuit Judges.


Richard Allmon appeals pro se the district court's order granting summary judgment in favor of defendant prison officials and dismissing his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. We review de novo, Kruso v. International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., 872 F.2d 1416, 1421 (9th Cir. 1989), and reverse and remand.

Allmon filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that prison officials denied him access to the law library. The district court construed the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint as a motion for summary judgment and ordered Allmon to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. Allmon filed a timely response but included no affidavits or other supporting exhibits to oppose the motion for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant finding that "plaintiff's response ... is not supported by affidavits showing that there is a genuine issue for trial."

Allmon contends that there are genuine issues of fact precluding the grant of summary judgment. This contention is meritorious.

The district court may grant a motion for summary judgment only if the evidence, read in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party, demonstrates that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Hutchinson v. United States, 838 F.2d 390, 392 (9th Cir. 1988).

The district court erred in granting the defendants' motion for summary judgment on Allmon's right of access claim. Because states must ensure indigent prisoners meaningful access to the courts, prison officials are required to provide either "adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law." Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 828 (1977). Where a prisoner alleges he is deprived of one of these core requirements, he need not allege "actual injury" to state a claim under Bounds. Sands v. Lewis, 886 F.2d 1166, 1171 (9th Cir. 1989).

The defendants concede that they denied Allmon access to an adequate law library for seven weeks. Although they contend that the problem has been corrected, voluntary cessation of allegedly illegal conduct does not make the case moot. County of Los Angeles v. Davis, 440 U.S. 625, 631 (1979). Moreover, contrary to the defendants' assertion, Allmon was not required to show actual injury resulting from the alleged denial of his access to the law library. See Sands, 886 F.2d at 1171. Based upon the facts before the district court the defendants were not entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Therefore, summary judgment should have been denied.



The panel unanimously finds this case suitable for disposition without oral argument. Fed. R. App. P. 34(a); 9th Cir.R. 34-4


This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Cir.R. 36-3