United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D
November 2, 1982
QAID RAFEEQ AZEEZ, PLAINTIFF,
RICHARD W. DEROBERTIS, WARDEN AND MELVIN ALLEN, INQUIRY BOARD CHAIRMAN, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nordberg, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Qaid Rafeeq Azeez brings this pro se action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting the jurisdiction of the
Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1343. Plaintiff alleges violations of
his state and federal constitutional rights, and seeks
compensatory and punitive damages along with the costs of this
action from Richard W. DeRobertis, Chief Administrative Officer
of the Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville") and Melvin
Allen, Chairman of the Institutional Inquiry Board ("Board") at
Stateville. In addition, plaintiff seeks disposition of five
grievances filed with the Board. Before the Court is
defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d), and
cross-motions for summary judgment under Rule 56(b) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow,
the defendants' motion to dismiss is granted, therefore
rendering moot the motions for summary judgment.
Plaintiff, a prisoner assigned to Stateville since August
31, 1982, maintains that the defendants' failure to comply
with the grievance procedure mandated by Illinois Department
of Corrections Administrative
Regulation No. 845 ("A.R. 845")*fn1 violates his due process
and equal protection rights as guaranteed by Articles I and V
of the Illinois State Constitution, and the First and
Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.
Plaintiff alleges that he filed grievances on September 7,
September 9, September 17, September 21, and October 8, 1981.
The Board held a hearing on the first two grievances on
September 25, 1981 and on the latter three on October 14,
1981. On October 21, 1981, plaintiff filed another grievance
concerning the defendants' alleged failure to issue rulings on
his grievances as provided for in A.R. 845. When, by November
23, 1981, defendants had failed to act on his grievances,
plaintiff commenced this action.
Plaintiff's first contention is that the defendants violated
his state constitutional rights. Section 1983, by its very
terms, applies only to deprivations of federally protected
rights. See Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535, 101 S.Ct.
1908, 1912, 68 L.Ed.2d 420 (1981). Thus, it does not provide a
remedy for deprivations of state protected rights. See Partee
v. Lane, 528 F. Supp. 1254, 1264 (N.D.Ill. 1981). For this
reason, plaintiff's state constitutional claims do not state a
claim for relief under § 1983. Likewise, his allegations of a
violation of the Illinois Revised Statutes in conjunction with
A.R. 845 do not give rise to a claim cognizable under § 1983.
Plaintiff's next contention is that defendants have violated
his first amendment right to petition the government for a
redress of grievances. The defendants' actions have not,
however, barred plaintiff from seeking a remedy for his
grievances. See Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 321, 92 S.Ct. 1079,
1081, 31 L.Ed.2d 263 (1972). His ability to seek redress is
underscored by his pro se invocation of the judicial process.
Plaintiff therefore alleges no facts to support his claim that
defendants have violated his first amendment right to petition
Plaintiff's third contention is that the defendants have
violated his fourteenth amendment due process rights. Under
this theory, plaintiff contends that a liberty interest giving
rise to due process protections springs from the Illinois
statutes which created the prison grievance procedure.
Shango v. Jurich, 681 F.2d 1091 (7th Cir. 1982), rejects this
theory. A liberty interest within the meaning of the fourteenth
amendment is a substantive interest of the individual. Id. at
1101-02. Although state created procedural protections may be
evidence of a parent substantive right, they do not in
themselves trigger a protected liberty interest. Id. at 1102.
Illinois, by statute, has created a prison grievance
procedure which entitles inmates to present their complaints
to the prison officials. But the grievance procedure is a
procedural right only, it does not confer any substantive
right upon the inmates. Hence, it does not give rise to a
protected liberty interest requiring the procedural
protections envisioned by the fourteenth amendment. Thus, the
Board's failure to process plaintiff's grievances as required
by A.R. 845 is not actionable under § 1983.
Plaintiff's final contention rests on equal protection
grounds. In order to establish an equal protection violation,
a plaintiff must show intentional or purposeful
discrimination. See Bloomenthal v. Lavelle, 614 F.2d 1139, 1141
(7th Cir. 1980). Purposeful discrimination implies that the
decision-maker singled out a particular group for disparate
treatment and "selected his course of action for the purpose of
causing its adverse effects on the identifiable group." Shango
v. Jurich, supra at 1104.
Even with the liberal construction accorded pro se pleadings
under Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d
652 (1972), plaintiff has failed to demonstrate any invidious
classification resulting from the Board's failure to act on his
grievances in accordance with A.R. 845. He has not alleged any
set of facts implying purposeful, intentional discrimination in
the Board's processing of grievances. An inconsistency
in prison management, without more, does not constitute a
cognizable equal protection claim. Snowden v. Hughes,
321 U.S. 1, 8, 64 S.Ct. 397, 401, 88 L.Ed. 497 (1944), because plaintiff
has failed to allege any facts to support a finding that the
prison officials had purposefully and intentionally
discriminated against him in the processing of his grievances,
his equal protection claim cannot stand.
Finding that the allegations of the complaint fail to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted, the Court grants
defendants' motion to dismiss and directs that judgment be
entered in their favor.