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GRIFFIN v. FAIRMAN

July 23, 1991

HORACE GRIFFIN, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES FAIRMAN, et al., Defendants


Milton I. Shadur, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHADUR

MILTON I. SHADUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Horace Griffin ("Griffin") has sued--among others--former Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections Michael Lane ("Lane"), Joliet Correctional Center ("Joliet") Warden James Fairman ("Fairman"), Menard Correctional Center ("Menard") Warden Mary Flannigan ("Flannigan"), Joliet correctional officer Lieutenant James Kelly ("Kelly") and Administrative Review Board members Chris Bowles ("Bowles") and L.V. Lipe ("Lipe") under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983"). *fn1" Griffin's Amended Complaint (the "Complaint") *fn2" seeks damages and an injunction based on alleged violations of his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process in connection with a disciplinary action that resulted in a loss of good time credits, a demotion in grade level and a period of disciplinary segregation.

 Defendants have now moved for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 56. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, this action is dismissed in its entirety.

 On May 16, 1987 *fn4" inmate Dennis Morris ("Morris") was stabbed on a West Cellhouse gallery in Joliet. On May 20 Kelly interviewed Griffin in the Joliet Internal Affairs Office, telling Griffin that he was under investigation for the assault. During the interview Griffin gave Kelly a written statement denying involvement in the attack, refusing however to take a polygraph examination. That same day Griffin was taken to investigative segregation and served with an inmate disciplinary report that charged him with "assaulting any person" and "dangerous disturbances" (20 Ill. Admin. Code § 504 Table A, Offenses 102 and 105). *fn5" What the report set out was simply that "based on information from confidential sources you are charged with the above name [sic] offenses" (D. Ex. 3).

 On May 22 Griffin appeared before an Adjustment Committee ("Committee I"), which continued the hearing pending investigation. During his deposition in this action Griffin testified that on his May 22 appearance he presented a written list of questions that he had previously sent to Lane and Fairman and that he wanted to have the Committee ask of the confidential sources (Griffin Dep. 34). Additionally he asked for certain documents as well as a counselor to process his questions to the sources (id.). Griffin also said that he had talked to Fairman on May 21 (telling Fairman that his right to have questions asked of the witnesses was being denied) and that he again spoke to Fairman on May 29 (telling Fairman that he had not yet seen a counselor and asking to see Counselor Theodore) (id. at 44-50). Griffin said that Fairman did not respond to his requests during those conversations. However, Griffin said that Theodore did come and speak with him on May 29, when Griffin requested that Theodore ask certain questions of the confidential witnesses (id. at 54-55). Griffin said that Theodore reviewed the list of questions but did not take it with him and that Theodore generally disregarded Griffin's request (id. at 55-56).

 In the meantime Kelly prepared an investigation report on May 28 (D. Ex. 4). Kelly's report contained summaries and signed statements from the five interviews he had conducted with Griffin, Morris and three other inmates who identified Griffin as Morris' assailant.

 On June 10 Griffin appeared before Committee I *fn6" for a hearing. In Committee I's written summary of the proceedings, it noted that Griffin had requested that all confidential witnesses be questioned by Committee I. However, Griffin's request was denied because (D. Ex. 5):

 
Request for witnesses not timely, because on 6-10-87 Inmate Griffin came in with a list. He has had 22 days to submit all of the questions.
 
* * * *
 
Calling witnesses would undermine authority or jeopardize security.

 Griffin denied the assault, and the Committee stated that he said (id.) "he was trying to help other inmates from getting extorted and commisary [sic] stolen." After consideration Committee I found Griffin guilty of both charges, based on the confidential information from Morris and the three other inmates who were eyewitnesses to the assault and stabbing of Morris (id.). As disciplinary action, Committee I revoked 360 days of Griffin's good time credits, demoted him to "C" grade for 360 days *fn7" and sentenced him to segregation for 360 days (minus 22 days already served). Fairman's designee approved Committee I's decision. Griffin was immediately served with a copy of the Adjustment Committee Summary containing the information described in this and the preceding paragraph, with the names of all confidential sources except Morris redacted.

 Griffin went on a hunger strike shortly thereafter and was transferred to Menard Psychiatric Center on June 18. Although the reasons for that transfer are not entirely clear, the transfer itself is not material -- and Griffin testified that he agreed to the transfer (Griffin Dep. 66).

 On June 23 and 24 a polygraph examiner issued a set of reports (part of D. Ex. 4) reflecting the results of a number of examinations that he had conducted. Those reports found that Morris and two of the confidential sources were truthful as to their identification of Griffin as Morris' assailant, while the polygraph results from the other source were inconclusive.

 On July 9 Lane concurred in an order by the Administrative Review Board (the "Board") to remand Griffin's case for a rehearing (D. Ex. 7) "for the disciplinary report to be rewritten, reserved and reheard to include more specific information in order for the inmate to be able to defend himself." Thereafter Kelly prepared a new disciplinary report stating (D. Ex. 8):

 
As the result of an investigation, you are being charged with an assault on Inmate Dennis Morris, N52362, which took place on the 3 & 4 gallery flag in the West Cellhouse at approximately 5:00 P.M. on May 16, 1987. Inmate Morris and three other inmates have identified you as being the assailant. This assault was initiated due to a dispute over gang leadership.

 Although that report is dated July 23, it was not served on Griffin until 6:50 p.m. August 2 (id.).

 At or before 1:03 p.m. on August 3 (see D. Ex. 9), Griffin appeared before another Adjustment Committee ("Committee II") at Menard for a hearing. At that time Griffin did not request that witnesses be called or questioned, nor did he attempt to introduce any documentary evidence. Committee II's written summary paraphrased Griffin's testimony (id.):

 
The inmates who did the assault are trying to make it look like I did it. The man who was assaulted did not accuse me, the other inmates did.

 Griffin was found guilty for these stated reasons (id.):

 
Inmate Griffin indicated "other" inmates did the assault and were trying to frame him but did not identify those inmates. A review of the investigation reports reveals that victim Morris N52362 and three (3) other inmates gave statements that Griffin, N11861, did assault Morris with a weapon (knife). ...

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