Court Documents: Royer v. Federal Bureau of Prisons


The following are court documents from the case of Royer v. Federal Bureau of Prisons. This case began as two separate legal actions, but these were later consolidated.

In the first civil action, the plaintiff, a federal prisoner representing himself, alleged that the BOP violated his rights under the United States Constitution and the Privacy Act of 1974 in classifying him as a “terrorist” without due process and on the basis of knowingly false records. In a precedential memorandum opinion, the court denied the BOP’s motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. Read the court’s opinion here. This opinion was later relied upon by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to support its holding in Aref v. Lynch, a case critically important to the issue of prisoners’ constitutional due process rights; see Aref at pg. 22. Relatedly, see an earlier opinion issued in this case by Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia taking the BOP to task for making specious and false claims in its court filings.

In the second action, the plaintiff alleged that the BOP had violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by failing to abide by statutorily mandated notice-and-comment procedures before implementing its “terrorist inmate” policy. The court held in a precedential opinion that the plaintiff had stated a claim under the APA, and denied the BOP’s motion to dismiss. Read the court’s opinion here. (And read an earlier opinion denying the BOP’s first motion to dismiss this case here.)

After the two cases were consolidated and the plaintiff obtained pro bono counsel, a discovery dispute ensued, with the plaintiff alleging that the BOP had violated its obligation to turn over evidence and otherwise abide by court orders and federal court rules. In a severely worded opinion that garnered some attention in the legal community, Judge Lambert censured the BOP’s attorneys for their conduct. Read that opinion here.

The plaintiff and the BOP ultimately settled out of court. Public Citizen, which represented the plaintiff, wrote:

BOP then acceded to nearly all of our client’s demands. BOP released him from the CMU, transferred him to the general population at the federal prison closest to his home, reopened the comment period on the proposed CMU rule, corrected his records, and settled his claims for damages and attorney fees.


Read the BOP’s memorandum ordering the correction of Ismail Royer’s records here.

Read the settlement agreement signed by the parties and the judge here.


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