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Knights v. Montes

August 30, 2010

GEORGE CLIFFORD KNIGHTS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JORGE MONTES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff George Clifford Knights, currently an inmate in the Pinckneyville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Knights seeks declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to his recent denial of parole by the Prisoner Review Board ("PRB").

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, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

THE COMPLAINT

Knights was convicted of the July 17, 1970, murders of two police officers in Chicago, for which he is serving two concurrent terms of 100-199 years. See People v. Veal, 374 N.E.2d 963 (Ill.App.1 Dist. 1978). On May 21, 2008, a parole hearing was conducted by Defendant Althoff. Prior to that hearing, Knights submitted a request for access to all protest letters and opposition materials submitted to the PRB, but that request was denied. At the hearing, Knights asked Althoff if anyone had appeared before the PRB objecting to his release on parole; Althoff answered in the affirmative. Following the hearing, a decision was issued May 29, 2008, denying parole to Knights. Knights filed a request for rehearing on September 26, 2008, which was denied on June 26, 2009. Knights now contends that his rights were violated in several ways during these proceedings:

! denial of access to his parole file

! denial of right to challenge evidence considered by the PRB

! reliance on non-judicial ...


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