United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
January 22, 2004.
CRAIG ARMSTRONG, Plaintiff,
KIM BIGLEY, Warden; and LISA MADIGAN, Attorney General, Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES KOCORAS, District Judge
This matter comes before the court on the petition of Craig Armstrong
("Armstrong") for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons set forth below, the petition is denied.
Armstrong is currently a prisoner at the Shawnee Correctional Center in
Vienna, Illinois. As such, he is in the custody of the facility's warden.
Respondent Kim Bigley. On June 8, 2001, Armstrong was sentenced, in the
Circuit Court of Cook County, to eight years in prison as a result of his
conviction for delivery of a controlled substance. On December 20, 2002,
the Illinois Appellate Court reduced Armstrong's sentence to
seven years. Because of this sentence reduction, combined with his
good conduct and the time he had already served (Armstrong had been in
custody since his August 1999 arrest), Armstrong was soon released from
prison on December 24, 2002, Armstrong was released subject to numerous
conditions of parole which would extend until the completion of his
sentence on December 24, 2004, On July 3, 2003, Armstrong returned to
custody for parole violations including failure to comply with electronic
detention (house arrest), failure to attend substance abuse counseling,
and testing positive for heroin. On August 20, 2003, Armstrong appeared
before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board which affirmed that he had
violated the terms of parole by testing positive for heroin.
On October 1, 2003, Armstrong filed the present petition for writ of
habeas corpus. Armstrong's petition contained the following claims; (1)
The Shawnee Correctional Center is using an incorrect release date based
on Armstrong's pre-appeal eight year sentence such that his parole should
have previously been terminated; (2) he has been denied due process
because court documents that he requested have been withheld from him;
and (3) he has been denied credit for time that he has already served in
custody. On October 30, 2003, Ann strong filed an amended petition
alleging the following claims: (1) A denial of due process because he was
held in custody beyond the proper release date and without compensation;
(2) being placed on
electronic detention (house arrest), which amounted to violations
of the Fifth, Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments; (3) a denial
of due process because his parole agent filed a false report and because
the Illinois Prisoner Review Board refused to entertain Armstrong's
claims that his parole reports had been falsified; and (4) a denial of
due process because the Illinois Department of Corrections and the
Prisoner Review Board refused to recalculate his parole time as a
"concession" for previously keeping him in custody past his revised
Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
("AEDPA"), a prisoner in state custody may petition a district court for
a writ of habeas corpus "only on the ground that he is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States."
28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). The AEDPA further dictates that a prisoner in
state custody cannot be granted habeas relief "unless the state court
decision `was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of,
clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of
the United States,' or `was based on an unreasonable determination of the
facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.'"
Schaff v. Snyder, 190 F.3d 513, 521 (7th Cir. 1999) (quoting
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) & (2)). For a state court decision to be
"contrary to" clearly established federal law, it must be "substantially
different" from relevant Supreme
Court precedent. Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405
(2000), This situation arises if the state court either applies a rule
that contradicts the governing law as set forth by the Supreme Court or
confronts a set of facts that are materially indistinguishable from a
decision of the Supreme Court and still arrives at a different result.
Id. at 405-06. A state court decision involves an "unreasonable
application" of clearly established Supreme Court law when it uses the
correct legal rule but applies it in an objectively unreasonable manner.
Id. at 409-10. An objectively unreasonable decision is one that
lies "well outside the boundaries of permissible differences of opinion."
Hardaway v. Young, 302 F.3d 757, 762 (7th Cir. 2002). With
these considerations in mind we now turn to Armstrong's petition for writ
of habeas corpus.
It is clear that 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) precludes granting Armstrong
habeas relief since the conduct he alleges does not involve the
adjudication of his underlying criminal case. Armstrong's petition and
amended petition allege numerous constitutional violations stemming from
the conduct of prison and parole officials, but contain no allegations of
impropriety on the part of the Illinois courts, neither trial nor
appellate, that determined his guilt and Fixed his sentence. Instead,
Armstrong only challenges the action of Illinois officials who oversaw
his parole and who supervise his subsequent incarceration. All of the
conduct alleged in his petitions occurred outside
of the judicial proceedings that culminated in his sentence to
prison. Because 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) limits habeas relief to those
situations where state courts decide cases unlawfully, Armstrong's
petition challenging administrative action and determinations must fail.
Based on the foregoing analysis, Armstrong's petition for writ of
habeas corpus is denied.
JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE
 Jury Verdict. This action came before the
Court for a trial by jury. The issues have
been tried and the jury rendered its
 Decision by Court. This action came to trial
or hearing before the Court. The issues have
been tried or heard and a decision has been
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Petitioner's petition for a
writ of habeas corpus is denied. Petitioner to take nothing. All matters
in controversy having been resolved, final judgment is entered in favor
of all Respondents and against Petitioner.
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