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HARRIS v. MACDONALD

January 14, 1982

SANFORD NORMAN HARRIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEAL D. MACDONALD, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Sanford Norman Harris ("Harris") is a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville") who sues a number of state officials based on incidents surrounding Harris' February 1981 transfer from Sheridan Correctional Center ("Sheridan") to Stateville. Harris' claims sound in both 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") and habeas corpus (28 U.S.C. § 2254) and employ a three-step analysis:

    (1) Harris was disciplined at Sheridan and then
  transferred to Stateville in violation of numerous
  regulations of the Illinois Department of
  Corrections (the "Department").
    (2) Those regulations create justifiable
  expectations on the part of prison inmates,
  establishing a "liberty" interest under the Due
  Process Clause. See Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215,
  226 [96 S.Ct. 2532, 2539, 49 L.Ed.2d 451] (1976);
  Shango v. Jurich, 521 F. Supp. 1196, 1202 (N.D.Ill.
  1981).
    (3) Because the state-created procedures were
  not followed in Harris' case, the treatment
  afforded him by defendants amounts to a
  deprivation of that liberty interest.

Defendants move to dismiss chiefly on the ground that Harris has not stated a cause of action against them either individually or collectively. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part as to Count I of Harris' First Amended Complaint (the "Complaint"), granted as to Count II and denied as to Count III.

Facts*fn1

On October 17, 1980 defendant William Hiser ("Hiser") was the head of Sheridan's Internal Affairs unit. Hiser summoned Harris to Hiser's office for questioning by an Illinois Department of Law Enforcement ("IDLE") investigator as to Harris' alleged delivery of illegal drugs to another inmate. Harris denied the allegations and also declined the IDLE agent's request to submit to a polygraph test. Harris was not presented with a Miranda-rights waiver form at the investigation, nor was he otherwise informed of such rights.

On December 9, 1980 the prison officials served a disciplinary "ticket" upon Harris charging him with violations of several sections of Administrative Regulation ("A.R.") 804. Those charges related to the same alleged delivery of drugs.

Next day the Sheridan Adjustment Committee (the "Committee") called Harris to consider the charges against him. On his motion it granted a 20-day continuance to December 30. On the continued hearing date Harris attempted to make both oral and written presentations of his defense to the Committee but was prevented from doing so.*fn2 Committee member Partak told Harris the inmate to whom Harris had assertedly delivered the drugs had taken two polygraph tests. Two other inmates also testified at the hearing, one of whom (inmate Wembley) executed two affidavits that same day claiming he had offered testimony that Harris was not guilty.

After the hearing the Committee found Harris guilty of four sections of A.R. 804. Three of the violations involved drug use, possession or delivery, while the fourth was for "[d]isobeying . . . any prison rule." A.R. 804.II.A.1(1). Harris was penalized with 30 days' segregation, the loss of 30 days' good time, demotion to "C" grade (from which grade Harris could not earn good time) for 90 days and transfer from Sheridan (less than a maximum security prison) to Stateville (a maximum security prison).

Harris pursued internal grievances in accordance with A.R. 845, but no action was immediately forthcoming. Harris served 35 days in segregation rather than the scheduled 30 and was released from segregation February 3, 1981. On February 8 the prison officials transferred Harris to Stateville. Sheridan's Inquiry Board rejected Harris' grievance February 27.

On May 13, though, the Department's Director informed Harris that the December 9 disciplinary ticket was being "expunged" from his record because prison records showed Harris had not been given 24 hours to prepare his defense, as guaranteed by A.R. 804.II.G.2. Harris' good time and "A" grade status were therefore restored to him and he ...


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