A federal judge has ordered Sheriff Randall Boyce to turn over documents related to a lawsuit dismissed in July, saying that the litigation could be reconsidered.
U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice signed the order this week in the case filed by Jimmy Ray Massey, 38, who filed two hand-written lawsuits -- one claiming at the end of February that jailers were preventing him from filing a suit, and another complaint in May that stated that he was briefly moved out of state without permission.
Mattice dismissed Massey's suit for failure to prosecute and comply with the orders of the federal court. The judge had ordered Massey to respond to the court by May 22 about the complaint, but he never did so. The first suit, where he claimed he was prevented from filing, was closed in May.
But now, the judge has said he is reversing his ruling on a motion to reconsider the case after Massey claimed that jail officials are confiscating his mail.
Massey asked the judge to reconsider the case in late August, claiming that in addition to taking his mail and denying treatment for his brain tumor, he maintains that he never received Mattice's order or service packet or any other information from him regarding his complaint.
Mattice wrote that Massey is suggesting that jail personnel are not delivering mail to him from the federal court and explains he only discovered his lawsuit was dismissed after reading about it in the Shelbyville Times-Gazette.
"If Plaintiff's contentions are true, and he did not receive the Court's May 22, 2012, Memorandum and Order directing him to return the service packets then he is entitled to have the dismissal of his case reconsidered," Mattice wrote.
Mattice ordered the federal court clerk to send a copy of Mattice's order to Boyce and the custodian of inmate trust accounts at the Bedford County Jail, also ordering both to submit affidavits, under penalty of perjury, and supporting documents regarding the receipt and delivery of Mattice's May 22 order, as well as the July 6 Memorandum and Final Judgment.
The affidavits must include the details of the receipt of the May 22 order and the July judgment, "who received it, who delivered it or failed to deliver it to Plaintiff, and all other available information so that the Court is able to properly address Plaintiff's motion to reconsider."
In addition, Boyce was ordered to submit a copy of the mailroom intake sheet reflecting the receipt of incoming mail from May 22 through Aug. 5 from Mattice and all incoming mail to Massey, the Sheriff, and the custodian of inmate accounts.
Massey's handwritten suit had named the jail, sheriff's office, Boyce, Southern Health Partners, nurse John Jett, a "Dr. Mathews," and Lt. David Plumley as defendants.
He also claimed that he was denied a phenobarbital prescription for a seizure disorder, due to a "no narcotic policy" at the jail, and wished to sue for $250,000 for pain and suffering. He said was "held incommunicado," and that his mail to the federal courts was confiscated and his phone and mail privileges were restricted.
Massey was indicted in February on two counts of domestic assault, kidnapping, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless endangerment, DUI (first offense) evading arrest and failure to appear.
The indictment stems from an incident in July 2010,. Court officials explained earlier this year that he had been in jail in Florida on other charges, but had made a motion for a speedy trial on the charges here.
Massey was arrested locally following a foot chase after a 911 caller reported an incident in the parking lot of Magnolia Village Apartments on Landers Street. A woman who was in Massey's truck told police that he struck her head, threatened to kill her, forced her into the vehicle and struck another vehicle while leaving.