Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 09MR588 Honorable Patrick J. Londrigan, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Turner
PRESIDING JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justices Steigmann and McCullough concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 Plaintiff, Christopher Knox, an inmate with the Department of Corrections (DOC), appeals the Sangamon County circuit court's dismissal with prejudice of his pro se second-amended complaint, which sought mandamus, injunctive, and declaratory relief against defendant, S.A. Godinez, director of DOC. Plaintiff's second-amended complaint rested on the allegation his disciplinary reports from June 1, 1997, to the present were void and in violation of his due-process rights and state-created liberty and property interests because DOC conducted his disciplinary proceedings under the authority of section 3-8-7 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Unified Code) (730 ILCS 5/3-8-7 (West 1996) (text of section effective June 1, 1997)) as amended by Public Act 89-688 (Pub. Act 89-688, § 5 (eff. June 1, 1997) (1996 Ill. Laws 3738, 3758-59)), which this court found unconstitutional (People v. Foster, 316 Ill. App. 3d 855, 860, 737 N.E.2d 1125, 1130 (2000)). We affirm.
¶ 3 On April 2, 2009, plaintiff filed a pro se complaint under section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2006)), seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. To his complaint, plaintiff attached his DOC disciplinary record, which listed his numerous disciplinary actions from November 13, 1994, to February 8, 2007. The complaint was against then director of DOC, Roger E. Walker. Walker is no longer the director, and Godinez, the current DOC director (Director), has been substituted as defendant in this case.
¶ 4 On April 24, 2009, plaintiff sought leave to file an amended complaint, which the trial court granted. The amended complaint sought a writ of mandamus and injunctive and declaratory relief. The Director filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint under section 2-615 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Procedure Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2008)). Plaintiff filed a response, attaching a January 1998 DOC bulletin that listed changes to, inter alia, title 20, part 504, of the Illinois Administrative Code (20 Ill. Adm. Code 504, amended at 22 Ill. Reg. 1206 (eff. Jan. 1, 1998)) and referenced Public Act 89-688. In August 2010, the trial court granted the motion to dismiss and allowed plaintiff to file another complaint.
¶ 5 Later in August 2010, plaintiff filed his first-amended complaint, and the Director again filed a motion to dismiss under section 2-615 (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2010)). In November 2010, plaintiff sought leave to file a second-amended complaint, which requested mandamus, injunctive, and declaratory relief. Specifically, plaintiff sought to require DOC to (1) comply with the current version of section 3-8-7 of the Unified Code; (2) expunge all of his disciplinary actions adjudicated from June 1, 1997, to the present under the authority of Public Act 89-688; (3) "cure and correct the infirmities that were caused under the authority of Public 89-688"; (4) refrain from conducting disciplinary proceedings under Public Act 89-688; (5) release plaintiff from disciplinary- and indeterminate-segregation status, which were imposed under Public Act 89-688; (6) restore all of plaintiff's rights and privileges that were taken away under Public Act 89-688; and (7) refrain from violating his fourth- and eighth-amendment rights (U.S. Const., amends. IV, VIII). The Director filed a response opposing plaintiff's motion for leave to file a second-amended complaint. In his response, the Director argued plaintiff's second-amended complaint would still be subject to dismissal under section 2-615 for failure to state a cause of action. He further asserted the second-amended complaint would also be subject to dismissal under section 2-619(a)(9) of the Procedure Code (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(9) (West 2010)) because the action was barred by the doctrine of laches. Plaintiff filed a response, asserting his second-amended complaint would not be subject to dismissal under either section of the Procedure Code.
¶ 6 On April 8, 2011, the trial court filed a written order, dismissing plaintiff's second-amended complaint under (1) section 2-615 because plaintiff failed to establish the requirements for mandamus, injunctive, and declaratory relief and (2) section 2-619 because plaintiff's mandamus claim was barred by the doctrine of laches. On April 15, 2011, plaintiff filed his timely notice of appeal from the court's grant of the Director's motion to dismiss. While his notice of appeal does not comply with the notice-of-appeal form contained in Illinois Supreme Court Rule 303(b) (eff. May 30, 2008), the State has not alleged any prejudice from the form's deficiencies, and thus we find those deficiencies are not fatal. See General Motors Corp. v. Pappas, 242 Ill. 2d 163, 176, 950 N.E.2d 1136, 1144 (2011). Accordingly, this court has jurisdiction of plaintiff's appeal under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 301 (eff. Feb. 1, 1994).
¶ 8 A. Standard of Review
¶ 9 This court has stated the standard of review for a motion to dismiss as follows:
"When a trial court rules upon a motion to dismiss a complaint either for failure to state a cause of action (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2008)) or because the claims raised in the complaint are barred by other affirmative matter that avoids the legal effect of or defeats the claim (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(9) (West 2008)), it must interpret all of the pleadings and the supporting documents in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. [Citation.] Such motions to dismiss should be granted only if the plaintiff can prove no set of facts that would support a cause of action. [Citation.] A trial court's grant of a motion to dismiss pursuant to either section 2-615 or section 2-619 of the ...