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ROODING v. PETERS

August 15, 1994

RONALD ROODING, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
HOWARD PETERS, III, Director, Illinois Department of Corrections, in his individual capacity, and the ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.


MORAN


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES B. MORAN

Ronald Rooding brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Howard Peters, III, Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). *fn1" He alleges that Peters' policy requiring inmates to serve at least 60 days in an IDOC facility violated his rights under the United States Constitution and Illinois law, and continues to violate the rights of others now imprisoned. He asks the court to certify a class of complainants which he claims to represent, and for which he seeks monetary and injunctive relief. Peters now moves to dismiss, and for the reasons stated below, his motion is denied.

 FACTS

 On November 17, 1993, Ronald Rooding was convicted of criminal damage to property and sentenced to one year in jail (Cplt. P 12). He claims that under Illinois law his one-year sentence would have been reduced 183 days for good conduct credits awarded for each day served in prison, and 90 days for good conduct credits awarded for meritorious service (Cplt. PP 14-5). Therefore, he alleges, his actual incarceration should have totalled 92 days. Id.

 Rooding was incarcerated in non-IDOC facilities for 3 days when he was arrested and placed in custody, for 66 days when he was awaiting trial at the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDC), and for 2 days at CCDC after sentencing (Cplt. P 13). Adding these up, he claims he served 71 days in non-IDOC facilities out of the 92 days he was to be incarcerated, and that any further incarceration should have totalled 21 days (Cplt. P 18). He estimates that his release date should have been December 10, 1993. Id. However, when Rooding was transferred to an IDOC facility his release date was set at January 19, 1994 -- 60 days from his transfer, rather than the 21 days he says remained of his sentence (Cplt. P 19). His release date was consistent with a policy requiring inmates to serve at least 60 days of their sentences at an IDOC facility (Cplt. P 20).

 On December 17, 1993, a week after Rooding claims he should have been released, he filed a petition against Peters in the Circuit Court of Cook County seeking habeas corpus relief or a writ of mandamus. Rooding argued that his continued incarceration violated his due process and equal protection rights under the United States Constitution because, as a result of the time he served in non-IDOC facilities, his incarceration exceeded the time served by a person with the same sentence who was incarcerated exclusively in an IDOC facility (Cplt. PP 20-1). On December 22, 1993, the circuit court issued a writ of mandamus directing Rooding's release (Cplt. P 22). On December 29, 1993, the court denied a motion for reconsideration, again ordered Rooding's release, and denied a request to stay its decision pending appeal. Id. Rooding, however, was not released until January 6, 1994, the day after an appellate court denied an emergency motion for a stay of the circuit court's decision (Cplt. P 22). Rooding therefore claims he was released 27 days late (Cplt. P 23). He alleges that his due process and equal protection rights under the Constitution were violated, that he was falsely imprisoned, and that others suffered and still suffer the same injuries.

 DISCUSSION

 Rooding's suit to recover damages for unconstitutional imprisonment implicates issues recently addressed in Heck v. Humphrey, 129 L. Ed. 2d 383, 114 S. Ct. 2364 (1994). The Court held that

 
when a state prisoner seeks damages in a § 1983 suit, the district court must consider whether a judgment in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence; if it would, the complaint must be dismissed unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the conviction or sentence has already been invalidated. But if the district court determines that the plaintiff's action, even if successful, will not demonstrate the invalidity of any outstanding criminal judgment against the plaintiff, the action should be allowed to proceed, in the absence of some other bar to the suit.

 Id. at 2372. Rooding's action, if successful, will neither demonstrate nor necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence. He does not challenge his conviction for criminal damage to property or his one year sentence. Rather, he challenges the manner in which Peters administered his sentence. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, he is no longer a prisoner, and "individuals not 'in custody' cannot invoke federal habeas jurisdiction, the only statutory mechanism besides § 1983 by which individuals may sue state officials in federal court for violating federal rights. That would be an untoward result." Heck, 114 S. Ct. at 2379 (Souter, J., concurring). Heck does not preclude Rooding from bringing this action.

 a. Alleged Constitutional Violations

 Rooding contends the 60-day rule violated his equal protection rights because there is no rational basis related to a legitimate governmental interest for requiring a person who is not incarcerated entirely at an IDOC facility to spend more time incarcerated than someone who is (Cplt. P 24). Peters argues that Rooding's equal protection claim must be dismissed because he does not plead discriminatory intent.

 Rooding first responds that collateral estoppel precludes dismissal of his equal protection claim because it involves the same issues and parties under § 1983 that it involved in the state court proceedings in which Rooding prevailed. Collateral estoppel prevents the relitigation of an issue if the prior litigation involved the same issue and same party against whom estoppel is being asserted. Gray v. Lacke, 885 F.2d 399, 407 (7th Cir. 1989); Gilldorn Sav. Ass'n v. Commerce Sav. Ass'n, 804 F.2d 390, 395 (7th Cir. 1986); In re Nau, 153 Ill. 2d 406, 180 Ill. Dec. 240, 249, 607 N.E.2d 134 (1992). Courts require that in the prior litigation the issue was argued and decided on the merits and necessary to the result. Id.

 Peters, whom Rooding seeks to estop, was fully represented in the state circuit and appellate court decisions. Peters argues, however, that the issue presented in state court was different than the one here because there Rooding only sought his release, whereas ...


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