Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

JACKSON v. LANE

June 26, 1985

JEROME JACKSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL P. LANE, DIRECTOR, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

FACTS

Plaintiff Jerome Jackson is a prisoner of the Illinois Department of Corrections, incarcerated at the Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), Joliet, Illinois. Defendant Tillis is a Correctional Sergeant at Stateville. On August 22, 1983, Jackson was presented with a copy of an Inmate Disciplinary Report, written by Tillis, alleging that Jackson had violated "Administrative Regulation 804, Rule # 102, Assaulting Any Person." Complaint, Exhibit A. Tillis charged in the report that:

  While escorting Unit E yard, said resident
  [Jackson] ran up and hit me on the head knocking
  me down. Said resident had on a black mask and a
  hooded sweat shirt pull [sic] down over his head.
  I got away from the resident and he followed and
  hit me again. I recognized resident from the
  shape of his body. Resident had on slick blue
  state issued pants.

Complaint, Exhibit A.

On September 2, 1983, after an agreed continuance from August 25, 1983, Jackson appeared before the prison Adjustment Committee, a review board composed of defendants Johnson, Adjustment Committee Chairman, and Correctional Counselors Schomberger, McCabe, Rivera and Forkas. The Adjustment Committee found Jackson guilty of the charges set forth in the Inmate Disciplinary Report and sentenced the plaintiff to 360 days segregation, 360 days loss of good time, and 360 days demotion to C-Grade. The Adjustment Committee based its decision on plaintiff's statement that he was present at the time of the incident; a positive photo identification by Tillis of Jackson in a picture line-up; and the Adjustment Committee's observation that Jackson did have an identifiable body, including a "very muscular upper torso, slim waist and always wears tight pants." Complaint, Exhibit B.

In response to the Adjustment Committee's findings, Jackson filed a complaint with the Administrative Review Board ("Review Board") on September 20, 1983. The Review Board was composed of defendants Hetman, the chairperson, Henry and Melendez. On October 25, 1983, the Review Board affirmed the decision of the Adjustment Committee. In addition to the facts established by the Adjustment Committee, the Review Board also considered Jackson's refusal to submit to a polygraph examination and his prior disciplinary record which indicated numerous reports of misconduct, including reports of intimidation or threats, possession of contraband weapons, insolence and threats towards correctional employees. Complaint, Exhibit D.

After exhausting his state administrative remedies, Jackson filed this suit alleging violations of the fifth, eighth, and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Jackson seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment. On September 10, 1984, the parties were informed by the Court that defendants' motion would be treated as a motion for summary judgment. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b). On January 7, 1985, Jackson filed a response to defendants' motion. Jackson alleges that Tillis' identification of Jackson as the assailant and the findings of both the Adjustment Committee and the Review Board were determined on the basis of insufficient evidence. Jackson contends that because Tillis' assailant was hooded and masked, a positive identification was virtually impossible. Jackson also contends that the Adjustment Committee failed to give an adequate statement of the reasons for the disciplinary action taken. Finally, Jackson asserts that because the decisions of both the Adjustment Committee and the Review Board were made pursuant to the disciplinary report, and that the decision of the Review Board was in part based on Jackson's past institutional record, the findings of these two boards were not based on sound evidence and were thus a violation of Jackson's constitutional rights.

For the reasons stated below, defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted.

DISCUSSION

Under Rule 56, summary judgment is appropriate only if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact." Fed.R. Civ.P. 56. To the extent that the record is unclear or the facts conflicting, the evidence in the record must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. U.S. v. One Heckler-Koch Rifle, 629 F.2d 1250, 1251 (7th Cir. 1980).

In Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S.Ct. 2963, 41 L.Ed.2d 935 (1974), the Supreme Court held that if a state creates a right for a prisoner to earn good-time credits — that is, a firm expectation that if the prisoner complies with specified conditions he will automatically earn the credits and be released earlier — the prisoner has a liberty interest protected under the fourteenth amendment. Wolff, supra, 418 U.S. at 557, 94 S.Ct. at 2975. Further, a state which provides a prisoner with the right to remain free of disciplinary segregation unless the prisoner violates specific conditions creates a liberty interest within the meaning of the due process clause. Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 103 S.Ct. 864, 871, 74 L.Ed.2d 675 (1983). By reason of Illinois law, the plaintiff in the instant case has a protectable liberty interest to remain in the general prison population and to earn good-time credits during his period of incarceration. See Woodall v. Partilla, 581 F. Supp. 1066, 1072 (D.C.Ill. 1984). Thus, Jackson's claims with respect to loss of good time and administrative segregation fall within the parameter of those liberty interests protected under the fourteenth amendment and the state's disciplinary proceedings are subject to procedural due process protections.

Due Process Standards

It is well settled that in determining what "process is due" in the prison context "one cannot automatically apply procedural rules designed for free citizens in an open society . . . to the very different situation presented by a disciplinary proceeding in a state prison." Hewitt, supra, 103 S.Ct. at 872. The Court in Hewitt examined the interests involved in the prison's regulation of administrative segregation and determined that the basis for confining a prisoner to administrative segregation, namely to reduce the threat of safety of other inmates and prison officials, was perhaps the most fundamental responsibility of the prison administration. Id. at 872. In balancing this interest against the prisoner's private interest of remaining in the general prison population, the Court ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.