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Shaun B. Lucas v. the Department of Corrections and

February 16, 2012

SHAUN B. LUCAS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND MICHAEL P. RANDLE, DIRECTOR; THE PRISONER REVIEW BOARD AND JORGE MONTES, CHAIRMAN; AND THE LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 10CH645 Honorable Leo J. Zappa, Jr., Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Appleton

JUSTICE APPLETON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Pope and Knecht concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 Plaintiff, Shaun B. Lucas, sued the Department of Corrections (DOC) and its director as well as the Prisoner Review Board and its chairman for keeping him in prison beyond the scheduled commencement of his mandatory supervised release (MSR). The trial court granted defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, and the court struck the case.

¶ 2 Plaintiff appeals, and we affirm the trial court's judgment because (1) electronic monitoring was a condition of MSR, (2) plaintiff had no residence suitable for electronic monitoring, and (3) DOC had no duty to find such a residence for plaintiff, although DOC tried to do so.

¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 4 Lucas alleges as follows in his complaint. On April 9, 1999, the Lake County circuit court sentenced him to imprisonment for 12 years and 6 months for the offense of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (720 ILCS 5/12-14.1(a)(1) (West 1998)). Statutory law required that he serve 85% of the sentence, but the court allowed him credit for 149 days in presentence confinement.

¶ 5 On March 11, 2009, when plaintiff was nearing the end of his prison sentence, the Prisoner Review Board served upon him a document stating that his MSR would be "Effective When Eligible" (meaning, evidently, that MSR would begin when he was eligible for it) and that the MSR would be subject to some special conditions, including electronic monitoring. Plaintiff signed the document, thereby acknowledging that he had received the list of conditions (they were listed in the document) and that he understood that his failure to follow the conditions could result in the revocation of "parole," i.e., MSR.

¶ 6 Plaintiff's MSR was scheduled to begin on July 2, 2009. On July 1, 2009, DOC tendered to him a "Parole or Mandatory Supervised Release Agreement." Under the terms of this agreement, electronic monitoring was a condition of MSR-as the Prisoner Review Board already had decided. At first, plaintiff balked at signing the agreement, but "[a]fter being threatened with punishment under DOC rules and regulations if he didn't sign," he gave in and signed it. (In his briefs, plaintiff does not specify what the threatened "punishment" was or which "DOC rules and regulations" purportedly authorized the punishment.)

¶ 7 On July 2, 2009, DOC refused to release plaintiff on MSR because he was indigent and had no residence in which to live, making it impossible for him to comply with electronic monitoring, which was a condition of MSR. A "Parole Violation Report," dated August 13, 2009, stated as follows:

"Offender is in violation of rule #16 in that he is mandated by the Prisoner Review Board to be supervised on electronic monitoring/GPS. This agency attempted to place the offender at (all) places with family and/or friends in the community and no suitable host site was found to supervise the offender on electronic monitoring/GPS. This agency attempted to place the offender at (all) places that the Illinois Department of Corrections would pay for and the paid placements for any number of reasons could not accept the offender. The offender is unable to fulfill the mandate by electronic monitoring/GPS place by the Prisoner Review Board."

An "approved electronic monitoring device" is, by statutory definition, "a device approved by the supervisory authority which is intended primarily to record or transmit information as to the defendant's presence or non-presence in the home." (Emphasis added.) 730 ILCS 5/5-8A-2(A) (West 2010). Because DOC had not succeeded in finding a home for plaintiff that could accommodate electronic monitoring, a condition of his MSR was unfulfilled. Consequently, DOC declined to release him (we note, however, that according to DOC 's website (http://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/Offender/Pages/InmateSearch.aspx (last visited March 23, 2012)), plaintiff currently is not an inmate).

¶ 8 On August 24, 2009, in the Sangamon County circuit court, plaintiff filed a complaint for damages and injunctive relief. In his complaint, he alleged that defendants had a duty to locate a residence for him that could accommodate electronic monitoring and that DOC had failed to approve a release plan for him by the end of his determinate sentence of imprisonment. He asserted that continuing to hold him in prison, instead of releasing him on MSR, was false imprisonment.

Therefore, he sought general, special, and punitive damages as well as an injunction ordering defendants to (1) provide him a suitable residence ...


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