privileges were suspended during the 94-day lockdown. That argument too fails as a matter of both fact and law.
First, in support of his factual assertion that "prisoners are not given access to commissary during the lockdowns" (P. 12(m) P III.30, III.78), Stewart again cites to record evidence that does not support his contention. Instead those cited pages, which speak only of lockdown procedures in general, indicate that commissary is sometimes provided during lockdowns and that it is likely to have been provided at some point during an extended lockdown (Cobb Dep. 43, O'Leary Dep. 39).
In the record's only specific reference to the 1989 lockdown, O'Leary (at his Dep. 52, a page not cited by Stewart) testified that commissary was indeed provided during the latter part of that period.
Moreover, even if commissary privileges had been denied completely, Stewart would still have failed to make out a constitutional violation. As discussed in the next section of this opinion, Stewart has no constitutionally protected right to commissary access. Nor in a situation such as this, with Stateville providing all necessary personal hygiene items (Cobb Dep. 43), does denial of commissary privileges implicate Stewart's Eighth Amendment rights.
Disciplinary Procedures (Count IV)
Stewart argues (P. Mem. 68) that his procedural due process rights were violated on several occasions when he did not receive an adequate written explanation for various disciplinary actions taken against him. Those actions include five instances in which Stewart received a "reprimand" and three occasions on which his commissary privileges were revoked for a period of two to four weeks. Apparently Stewart's argument rests on the due process requirements for prison disciplinary proceedings set forth in Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 563-72 (1974), which include "a 'written statement by the factfinders as to the evidence relied on and reasons' for the disciplinary action" ( id. at 564, citation omitted).
But Stewart cannot invoke the Wolff requirements because he has not taken the first step in stating a procedural due process claim: the demonstration of interference with some protected liberty or property interest.
To expand a bit on the same point made earlier in this opinion, Kentucky Dept. of Corrections v. Thompson, 490 U.S. 454, 460 (1989) (citations omitted) has put the matter in these terms:
The types of interests that constitute "liberty" and "property" for Fourteenth Amendment purposes are not unlimited; the interest must rise to more than "an abstract need or desire," and must be based on more than "a unilateral hope." Rather, an individual claiming a protected interest must have a legitimate claim of entitlement to it. Protected liberty interests "may arise from two sources--the Due Process Clause itself and the laws of the States."
Here Stewart has failed to offer any proof at all that the challenged disciplinary actions interfered with any such protected interest. First, any actions that resulted merely in a reprimand and thus amounted to no deprivation at all obviously did not affect any protected interest. And Campbell v. Miller, 787 F.2d 217, 222 (7th Cir. 1986) has held that no constitutionally-based liberty interest is implicated by the denial of commissary privileges, so that Stewart might have a protectable interest in his commissary privileges only if one is afforded by state law. Stewart has pointed to no regulation that might establish such on entitlement to commissary privileges, nor has this Court's own brief search located any such regulation. Because no protected interest was therefore affected by the disciplinary actions, Stewart's due process rights were not infringed.
Grievance Procedures (Count V)
Stewart's Count V contends that the Stateville grievance procedures are inadequate and asks this Court to enter an injunction requiring their reform. Defendants' motion for summary judgment is also granted on Count V because, as stated early in this opinion, Stewart lacks standing to seek injunctive relief.
Because Stewart has no standing to pursue his proposed claims for injunctive and declaratory relief, defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted on those claims. Stewart has also failed to establish any constitutional violations that could entitle him to recover damages, for (1) any factual differences presented by the record are not material and (2) the law is against him. Defendants therefore are entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. This action is dismissed with prejudice.
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: August 4, 1992