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Snaman v. Thornburgh

filed*fn*: February 25, 1992.

JAMES SNAMAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
RICHARD THORNBURGH, ATTORNEY GENERAL, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE, AND MICHAEL QUINLAN, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS DIRECTOR OF BUREAU OF PRISONS, AND CALVIN R. EDWARDS, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS WESTERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS, DEFENDANTS.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. James A. Redden, Chief Judge, Presiding. DC No. CV-90-00718-JAR.

Before: Tang, O'scannlain, and Rymer, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM

James Snaman appeals the district court's dismissal of his suit against various Justice Department officials for alleged constitutional violations in connection with drug testing in the federal prison system. We affirm.

I

Pursuant to regulation, the Bureau of Prisons (the "Bureau") engages in a program of random drug testing of its inmates. See 28 C.F.R. § 550.30. Such testing is accomplished by randomly selecting prisoners, offering them eight ounces of water to drink, and then allowing them two hours to provide a urine sample. During the two-hour period the inmate may not drink any additional fluids, and is under the constant observation of a same-sex prison guard. If an inmate fails to produce a urine sample during the two-hour period, he is subject to disciplinary proceedings. A presumption arises that the inmate's failure to produce a urine sample was willful, but the inmate may rebut the presumption at the hearing.

Snaman was randomly selected for such drug-testing procedure on January 30, 1990. Snaman failed to produce a urine sample within the allotted two-hour period. He does not dispute the fact that he did not produce the sample, but claims he was simply unable, not unwilling, to urinate. The following day, Snaman produced a urine sample within a 40 minute period. Urinalysis of the sample did not reveal any drug use by Snaman. At a disciplinary hearing two weeks later, Snaman was ordered into a segregated disciplinary unit for 60 days, and 100 days of statutory good time were ordered forfeited.

Snaman, incarcerated at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution ("Sheridan") and proceeding pro se, filed suit in district court against then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Quinlan, Western Regional Director Calvin Edwards, and various officials at Sheridan. Snaman asserts several constitutional violations connected with this incident."*fn1 First, he alleges that by failing to provide alternatives to providing a urine sample, such as blood testing, and by refusing to extend the time or increase the fluids allowed as part of the urine sample procedure, the prison officials have acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Second, Snaman urges that the disciplinary hearing he was provided violated due process. Third, by disciplining Snaman for conduct that he claims was not willful, Snaman contends that the prison officials have inflicted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Snaman seeks injunctive relief and money damages.

On November 28, 1990, the district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss, declining to address certain procedural questions and reaching the merits because the court found the merits to be dispositive. The court held that Snaman had failed to establish in his complaint that his constitutional rights had been violated. Snaman timely filed notice of appeal on January 22, 1991. We review the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss de novo. Kruso v. International Tel. & Tel., 872 F.2d 1416, 1421 (9th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 110 S. Ct. 3217 (1990).

II

On appeal, the government contends that the district court's dismissal should be affirmed because Snaman failed to effect personal service of process on the prison officials named in his suit, as required under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d). As the government rightly points out, "defendants must be served in accordance with Rule 4(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or there is no personal jurisdiction." Jackson v. Hayakawa, 682 F.2d 1344, 1347 (9th Cir. 1982) (footnote omitted).

The district court dismissed on other grounds. Although we may affirm the district court on any basis supported by the record, see Marino v. Vasquez, 812 F.2d 499, 508 (9th Cir. 1987), we decline the government's invitation to affirm on the basis of lack of personal jurisdiction. The question of whether personal jurisdiction exists turns on factual determinations about the service Snaman made that would require a remand for resolution, since the district court did not rule on this basis and hence made no findings of fact in this area.

III

Snaman alleges that the Bureau's drug testing program under 28 C.F.R. § 550.30 violates due process. In evaluating claims that a government action violates substantive due process, we do not sit as a super-legislature. The mere fact that we might not adopt a regulation if we were the policymakers is insufficient to hold such regulation unconstitutional under the due process clause. Rather, "[a] rational relationship to a legitimate government interest will normally suffice to uphold the regulation." Beller v. Middendorf, 632 F.2d 788, 808 (9th Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 855 (1981).

Under this standard, the Bureau's drug testing scheme surely must pass muster. Reducing drug use in federal prisons manifestly serves to promote the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the inmates. Reduced drug use among federal inmates also serves to promote the safety and welfare of the general public, as fewer ...


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