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William v. Lee

June 22, 2009

RANDALL WILLIAM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RYDER LEE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

REAGAN, District Judge

Plaintiff Randall William, formerly an inmate in the Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening.-- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal.-- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A. An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007).

FACTS ALLEGED

There are discrepancies regarding the specific facts of this case, resulting in two versions of the facts. Under the first, supported by the Offender Disciplinary Report filed against William on May 6, 2008, William was sent to administrative segregation after refusing to lock up in his assigned cell after three direct orders. The second version of the facts is contained in William's assertion that he was unjustly subjected to disciplinary segregation.

William alleges that on May 6, 2008, he notified a guard that he was suffering from a mental health problem by hearing voices. The guard placed William in a shower and locked the door until a member of the crisis team arrived. Afterward, defendant Lieutenant Stuck handcuffed William and put him in segregation for a brief period of time until another crisis team counselor was made available. William was put on crisis watch for a 48-hour period and placed in a cell with no food or clothing for 24 hours. On May 8, 2008, William was released from crisis watch, again to be placed in a segregated cell. Finally, on May 26, 2008, William was returned to general population.

William argues that his due process rights were violated in this situation. He states that hearings are required before inmates are subjected to segregation, but that no disciplinary hearing took place preceding his placement in segregation. William seeks to hold Stuck liable for placing him in segregation, Defendant Schell liable for issuing the ticket, and Defendant Lee liable for allowing the segregation to occur.

DISCUSSION

Assuming William was sent to administrative segregation as stated on the ticket, he does not have a viable claim under § 1983. Illinois statutes and correctional regulations do not place limitations on the discretion of prison officials to place inmates in administrative segregation, including investigative or temporary lockdown or confinement and involuntary protective custody; accordingly, there is no liberty interest implicated by an inmate's placement in these forms of segregation. Williams v. Ramos, 71 F3d 1246, 1248 (7th Cir. 1995); Pardo v. Hosier, 946 F.2d 1278, 1281-1284 (7th Cir. ...


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