OPINION ISSUED DECEMBER 4, 2000
DIVISION OF CORRECTIONS
Claimant appeared pro se.
Joy M. Bolling, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
Claimant, an inmate at Mount Olive Correctional Complex,
brought this claim to recover the value of his personal bed sheets
that he alleges were lost when he placed the sheets in the prison
laundry. Mount Olive Correctional Complex is a facility of
respondent in Fayette County. The Court is of the opinion to deny
this claim for the reasons more fully set forth below.
Pursuant to Mount Olive Correctional Complex Operational
Procedure Number 3.49, the facility is not responsible for personal
property clothing items lost in the prison laundry. During
claimant's time of incarceration, this policy was in effect.
Claimant purchased personal bed sheets on the 16th day of December,
1998. During the week of the 12th of January, 2000, claimant had
sent his property to the prison laundry. When it was returned to
him, the bed sheets were missing. Claimant had made no effort to
document his personal property clothing items, including his
personal sheets, that were sent to the prison laundry on this
particular occasion. The bed sheets had a value of $26.75.On the
23rd day of October, 2000, claimant adduced a receipt from his
trustee account that established the date of purchase and value of
the sheets. Claimant immediately notified the on-duty supervisor
and filed a grievance. Since then, the personal bed sheets have not
The position of respondent is that it was not responsible for
personal items lost in the laundry. According to Supervisor I
Benton Petry, the facility's policy was in place at the time of the
incident and made known to the inmates. Any personal clothing may
be stamped if an inmate so desires in order that ownership may be
determined. Mr. Petry further stated that when a mix-up occurs in
the laundry, efforts are made to determine ownership and to return
the laundry items.
Respondent allows inmates to have personal property clothing
items, even though it provides such items. On prior occasions,
this Court has held that inmates assume the risk for personal
property items that are sent to the prison laundry. Skaggs vs.
Division of Corrections, 21 Ct. Cl. 181 (1997). In the present
claim, claimant chose to have personal bed sheets rather than those
provided by the facility. He assumed the risk of loss when the
sheets were sent to the prison laundry. Consequently, there is
insufficient evidence of negligence on the part of respondent upon which to base an award.
In accordance with the findings of fact and conclusions of law
stated herein above, the Court is of the opinion to deny this