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Nathaniel Sims v. Roger Walker

July 12, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Matthew F. Kennelly, District Judge:


Nathaniel Sims, acting pro se, has sued Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Director Roger E. Walker, Jr. and Deputy Director Jesse Montgomery, Jr.; Stateville Correctional Center Warden Terry McCann and the Assistant Warden, identified only as John Doe; and nine parole officers, IDOC corrections officers, and IDOC staff members for claims arising from the revocation of his mandatory supervised release. Sims alleges violations of his rights under the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Walker, later joined by other defendants, has moved to dismiss Sims's amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the motion.


In assessing a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts the facts stated in the plaintiff's complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor. E.g., Parish v. City of Elkhart, 614 F.3d 677, 679 (7th Cir. 2010). Additionally, the court construes liberally the allegations in a pro se litigant's complaint. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). The following facts are taken from the plaintiff's second amended complaint, with some elaboration based on the parties' submissions in connection with the motion to dismiss.

During the relevant period, Sims was on mandatory supervised release (MSR) after his release from a prison term. MSR is the rough equivalent of parole.

Parole Officer Julion met with Sims for the first time in August 2008. Sims alleges that he was never notified that his previous parole officer, Vivian Thomas, had retired in December 2007 and that he had no in-person contact with a parole officer until his August meeting with Julion.

On August 20, 2008, Chicago police officers arrested Sims for violating a protective order issued on November 1, 2007. IDOC placed a "parole hold" on Sims following his arrest. On August 21, 2008, Sims appeared before a Cook County judge, who allegedly found probable cause to be lacking and ordered Sims to be released on an "I bond," i.e., on his own recognizance, in connection with the protective order charge.*fn1

After Sims's appearance before the Cook County judge, an IDOC parole officer transferred Sims to Stateville Correctional Center based on the parole hold. Upon arrival, Sims alleges, correctional officer Fuslon received Sims's court return papers. The following morning, an intake officer, identified only as Jane Doe, completed Sims's processing. Sims alleges that during this process, he informed Jane Doe that his court case was still pending.

A few days later, Sims received his parole violation report, which indicated that he was claimed to have violated conditions five and fifteen of his mandatory supervised release (MSR). Id. at 9. Sims alleges, however, that condition fifteen (anger management and drug counseling) had been removed from his MSR by parole officer Carol Farrior on September 23, 2007.

On September 2, 2008, Sims appeared before a preliminary hearing board, where parole officers Jolie and Harris presided over the proceedings. Jolie read the list of parole allegations, and Harris and Julion confirmed the accuracy of their reports. Jolie found probable cause that Sims violated his parole and added an allegation that he had violated condition one of his MSR terms.

Sims alleges that on the morning of September 4, 2008, the day he was supposed to appear in court, his name was not listed on the prison's court call list. Sims asked correctional officer Williams why his name was not on the list and showed Williams a copy of his I-bond slip and his court papers. Williams took Sims' papers and responded that she would show them to the records office. Sims alleges that he was not taken to court and never received a further response from Williams.

Sims was transferred to Western Illinois Correctional Center on September 5, 2008 to appear before the Prisoner Review Board ("PRB"). On September 24, 2008, Sims appeared before the PRB. The PRB continued his case, and his parole was reinstated on October 29, 2008 following a finding that he had violated condition fifteen (the condition Sims contends had been removed). Sims alleges that he was held until November 7, 2008 when he was transferred back to Cook County custody for further court proceedings because he had missed a court date scheduled for October 27, 2008.

In his amended complaint, Sims alleges that his MSR was improperly revoked and that certain of the defendants violated his rights by failing to send him back to court on the date or dates his court case was scheduled. He alleges that the defendants violated his rights under the Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments as well as his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court previously dismissed certain claims and defendants ...

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