Joel Munt v. MN Department of Corrections, No. 18-1844 (8th Cir. 2018)

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Court Description: Per Curiam - Before Benton, Bowman and Erickson, Circuit Judges] Prisoner case. Plaintiff's claims under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act were moot as he had been transferred from the institution where the alleged violations occurred; the narrow "capable of repetition yet evading review" exception to mootness did not apply.
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United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 18-1844 ___________________________ Joel Marvin Munt lllllllllllllllllllllPlaintiff - Appellant v. Minnesota Department of Corrections; Tom Roy, Commissioner of Corrections; Gloria H. Andreachi, A East Lt.; Bruce Julson, CPD Operations; Steven Hammer, MCF-STW Warden; Bruce Reiser lllllllllllllllllllllDefendants - Appellees ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis ____________ Submitted: November 15, 2018 Filed: December 18, 2018 [Unpublished] ____________ Before BENTON, BOWMAN, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges. ____________ PER CURIAM. Minnesota inmate Joel Marvin Munt appeals the adverse entry of judgment by the District Court1 in his action claiming violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). We conclude that Munt’s RLUIPA officialcapacity claims for declaratory and injunctive relief are moot because he has been transferred from the correctional facility where the alleged violations occurred. See Zajrael v. Harmon, 677 F.3d 353, 355 (8th Cir.) (per curiam) (recognizing that because the plaintiff “is no longer subject to the policies that he challenges, there is no live case or controversy”); Smith v. Hundley, 190 F.3d 852, 855 (8th Cir. 1999) (noting a previous holding “that an inmate’s claims for declaratory and injunctive relief to improve prison conditions were moot when he was transferred to another facility and was no longer subject to those conditions”). We find no merit to Munt’s arguments in his original and amended reply briefs that the narrow exception to the mootness doctrine applies in this case, i.e., that the challenged conditions at issue here are capable of repetition yet evading review. See id. (discussing the application of the exception). We also see no basis for overturning the court’s judgment on Munt’s other claims. Accordingly, we affirm. _____________________________ 1 The Honorable Susan Richard Nelson, United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota, adopting the report and recommendations of the Honorable Steven E. Rau, United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Minnesota. -2-