The opinion of the court was delivered by: William T. Hart, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The plaintiff, Cleoria L. Watts, Jr. ("Watts") is an inmate at
Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville") in Joliet, Illinois
and the defendants are various prison officials employed by the
Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") at Stateville.*fn1 Watts
brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that his right
to due process was denied because he was removed from a job
assignment at Stateville without prior notice or a hearing,
allegedly in violation of state statute and regulation. As a
result, Watts asserts that he was unconstitutionally deprived of
work for 23 days, lost the opportunity to earn meritorious good
time during that period, eventually was permanently removed from
one job assignment and was denied prescribed eye medication.
Subject matter jurisdiction is asserted under 28 U.S.C. § 1331
Presently before the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss the
amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), or for summary judgment,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The motions are made based on three general
contentions: First, Watts has no liberty or property interest in
retaining a prison job assignment. Second, even if he had such an
interest, Watts cannot legally establish that his claim of
improper removal was inadequately considered by the prison
grievance committee. Finally, Watts fails to assert any denial of
medical care compensable under section 1983 because the only
defendant charged with the alleged mistreatment, the Assistant
Warden of Programs, is not alleged to have committed any direct
For the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss for failure
to state any claim is granted.
Beginning in August 1981, Watts was assigned as a stretcher
runner at Stateville's Screening Clinic ("Clinic"). The Clinic is
a medical dispensary. He remained in that position until January
4, 1982 when his assignment was temporarily cancelled due to a
rumor that he was fraternizing with a female, noninmate employee
of the Clinic. Watts was placed on "unassigned status pending
investigation." He claims that he neither received any
explanation at the time of his removal nor was he afforded a
hearing to contest the removal. Watts, however, says that on
January 11, 1982 he filed a grievance protesting the removal with
Stateville's Institutional Inquiry Grievance Board and received
no response until three months later.
Watts also claims that he suffers from an unidentified eye
disease which requires medical treatment twice daily. He says
that during the 23 day period in which he remained idle, he did
not receive or received irregularly his treatment at the Clinic.
Watts claims that as a result he suffered much pain.
Watts asserts a property interest in prison employment which
cannot be disturbed absent due process. He also argues, in
effect, that his alleged deprivation of good time impaired his
liberty interest in a speedy release from incarceration.
A. Liberty or Property Interest
The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state from depriving all
persons, including incarcerees, of life, liberty or property
without due process. Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 556, 94
S.Ct. 2963, 2974, 41 L.Ed.2d 336 (1974). But, every interference
by the state which results in some discomfort or deprivation is
not actionable. Only where a claimant can satisfy both parts of
a two part test may he recover for an unconstitutional
deprivation. Shango v. Jurich, 681 F.2d 1091 (7th Cir. 1982).
First, the Court must establish whether a protected interest
exists. If it does, then the Court looks to see if the interest
was disturbed without due process. The key inquiry is whether an
individual has a right or a legitimate expectation in a tangible
benefit, based on the Constitution, state law or practice the
revocation of which is conditioned upon the occurrence of
specified events. Vitek v. Jones, 445 U.S. 480, 490, 100 S.Ct.
1254, 1262, 63 L.Ed.2d 552 (1980); Durso v. Rowe, 579 F.2d 1365,
1369 (7th Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 1121, 99 S.Ct. 1033,
59 L.Ed.2d 82 (1979). Property interests generally are not
created by the Constitution. Their primary source is state law.
Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 577, 92 S.Ct. 2701, 2709,
33 L.Ed.2d 548 (1972). Liberty interests may stem from the
Constitution or state law.
If either a liberty or property interest is identified, the
minimum required procedural protections are defined by federal
constitutional law, not state law. Shango v. Jurich, supra at
1098. Not every change in the conditions of confinement having a
substantial adverse impact on a prisoner invokes due process
protection. Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224, 96 S.Ct. 2532,
2538, 49 L.Ed.2d 451 (1976).
There is no constitutional right to work in prison. Garza v.
Miller, 688 F.2d 480, 485 (7th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, ___ U.S.
___, 103 S.Ct. 796, 74 L.Ed.2d 1000 (1983); Alitzer v. Paderick,
569 F.2d 812-13 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1009, 98 S.Ct.
1882, 56 L.Ed.2d 391 (1978). Moreover, the expectation of keeping
a particular job is not a property or liberty interest entitled
to due process protection. Gibson v. McEvers, 631 F.2d 95 (7th
Cir. 1980); Bryan v. Werner, 516 F.2d 233 (3d Cir. 1975).
Instead, assignments of work to prisoners is a matter of prison
administration, within the discretion of prison administrators.
Alitzer v. Paderick, supra. See also Zemblidge v. Lane, No. 82 C
0200, at p. 4, (N.D.Ill. June 24, 1983). Thus, where discharge
from a job does not result in an increased period of confinement,
no constitutional interest is impaired. Wolff v. McDonnell,
Accordingly, any actionable right Watts may have in a prison
job must be found, if at all, in state statute or policy. Watts
concedes that he has no right to a particular job. However, he
cites Ill.Rev.Stat. 1979, ch. 38, §§ 1001-1-2(c), 1003-2-2(d),
1003-8-3 and 1003-12-1, along with IDOC administrative regulation
("A.R.") 802 as the sources of his right to a job.