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Winfred Oliver v. Guy Pierce

January 10, 2012

WINFRED OLIVER,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
GUY PIERCE, WARDEN, PONTIAC CORRECTIONAL
CENTER; DONALD J. GISH, CHAIRPERSON OF THE ADJUSTMENT COMMITTEE; SHERRY BENTON, ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BOARD; JEFFREY GABOR, INTERNAL AFFAIRS; P. HASTINGS, GRIEVANCE OFFICER; AND MICHAEL P. RANDLE, DIRECTOR, THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS,
DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 10MR380 Honorable John Schmidt, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook

JUSTICE COOK delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Presiding Justice Turner and Justice Knecht concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 In June 2010, plaintiff, Winfred Oliver, an inmate at Pontiac Correctional Center, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the circuit court, alleging defendants, prison officers and employees, deprived Oliver of due process in connection with prison disciplinary proceedings against him. In November 2010, the court dismissed Oliver's petition with prejudice. Oliver appeals, arguing dismissal was improper. We agree and reverse.

¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 3 According to Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) prison inmate search results, Oliver is currently in Pontiac, serving a 50-year sentence on his conviction for predatory criminal sexual assault. He is projected to be released from prison on January 2, 2050.

¶ 4 In December 2009, defendant Jeffrey Gabor, a DOC investigator, received a letter from Website Request, a company that provides Internet access to prison inmates, informing Gabor that Oliver had attempted to obtain photographs of preteen children from Website Request. Oliver had asked that Website Request send him four color prints of children as a test to see if they would evade Pontiac's mail-screening system. Oliver had included with his request a payment of $3.40. Following the allegations, Oliver was confined in segregation. When confronted with Gabor's information, Oliver admitted he had written the letter requesting the photographs.

¶ 5 In January 2010, Gabor prepared a disciplinary report alleging Oliver had violated disciplinary offense Nos. 501 (violating state or federal laws) and 601 (aiding and abetting, attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to violate any disciplinary rule). 20 Ill. Adm. Code 504 app. A (2011). The disciplinary report specified that the law Oliver was alleged to have violated was child photography by a sex offender (720 ILCS 5/11-24(c)(3) (West 2008)), which makes it unlawful for a child sex offender to knowingly "photograph *** a child, or instruct or direct another person to photograph *** a child without the consent of the parent or guardian."

¶ 6 In February 2010, following a disciplinary hearing, the Adjustment Committee, a committee in charge of conducting disciplinary hearings on allegations of major offenses (see 20 Ill. Adm. Code 504.50(d)(3) (2011)), found that Oliver committed the disciplinary offense as reported and recommended the following disciplinary measures against him: (1) revocation of one year of good-time credits, (2) one year of "C-grade," (3) one year of segregation, and (4) one year of restricted commissary and audiovisual privileges. After receiving this finding against him, Oliver exhausted his disciplinary and administrative remedies, maintaining there was no evidence to support a finding that he had committed or solicited or attempted to commit the child photography offense underlying the disciplinary action.

¶ 7 In June 2010, Oliver filed his petition for a common law writ of certiorari in the circuit court. In September 2010, defendants moved to dismiss pursuant to section 2-615 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2008)). In November 2010, the court granted defendants' motion, dismissing Oliver's petition with prejudice.

¶ 8 This appeal followed.

¶ 9 II. ANALYSIS

ΒΆ 10 On appeal, Oliver argues the trial court erred by dismissing his ...


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