Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


When he was in prison, Brett Kimberlin was transferring money from his commissary account to someone outside the prison. A prison case manager tipped off Mrs. Delong (who Kimberlin then owed and still owes over 1.6 million bucks plus interest) who obtained a writ of attachment on the commissary account. And so the guy who now brags about having filed over a hundred lawsuits sued lots of folks for violating his privacy rights. Here’s what the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals had to say [Kimberlin v. U. S. Department of Justice, et al., 788 F.2d 434 (1986)].

Brett Kimberlin, a prisoner, initially filed a one-count complaint claiming that a disclosure by his prison case manager Leddy to his probation officer Gahl that plaintiff was sending money outside the prison from his commissary account violated the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a. The original defendants [The defendants named in the original complaint are the Department of Justice, Office of U.S. Attorney (S.D.Ind.), Bureau of Prisons, Sandra DeLong, Paula Kight, Patrick Leddy and three Assistant U.S. Attorneys (S.D.Ind.), namely, Richard Darst, Jack Thar and Kennard Foster. The defendants named in the amended complaint are: the Bureau of Prisons; the Department of Justice; the Parole Commission; Patrick Leddy, former case manager of plaintiff at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago; Thomas Gahl, a U.S. probation officer in the Southern District of Indiana assigned to the criminal case against plaintiff; Sandra DeLong, widow of Carl DeLong who was allegedly injured by plaintiff’s explosive device, and Paula Kight, lawyer for Mrs. DeLong.] moved to dismiss, contending that the Privacy Act had not been violated because the disclosure was permitted as a routine use under the Act. Kimberlin then asked to file an amended complaint. The motion was continued while the parties briefed whether or not the amended complaint would cure the defects in the original complaint. The district court’s order dismissing the action refers only to the proposed amended complaint. Kimberlin v. United States Department of Justice, 605 F.Supp. 79, 81 (N.D.Ill.1985).

The amended complaint continued to assert the Privacy Act violation, naming the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) as additional defendants. An additional two counts alleged that disclosure of the information to private citizens violated plaintiff’s constitutional rights to privacy and due process and that a conspiracy existed among the individual defendants to violate his constitutional rights. Kimberlin seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as costs and attorneys’ fees.

The district court dismissed all three counts of the proposed amended complaint, holding, inter alia, (1) there was no violation of the Privacy Act because the routine use exception of 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(3) applied; (2) the Bivens due process action failed because no property interest had been lost; (3) the Bivens privacy claim failed because Kimberlin did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his commissary account; and (4) the conspiracy count failed because no constitutional violation occurred.

For the reasons discussed above, the order of the district court dismissing plaintiff’s action is affirmed.

Kimberlin’s unwillingness to pay what he owes Mrs. Delong has been quite expensive. Indeed, it was a cause of the revocation of his parole in 1997.

2 thoughts on “Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s