Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division. No. 3:08-cv-50077--Philip G. Reinhard, Judge.
Before RIPPLE, MANION and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Paul Eichwedel petitioned for habeas corpus relief challenging the Illinois Department of Corrections' ("IDOC") revocation of six months of his good-conduct credits. The credits were revoked under a provision of state law that permits such penalties for prisoners who file frivolous motions in litigation against the state. See 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(d).
On August 29, 2012, we concluded that Mr. Eichwedel's claim turns on an unresolved question of state law. We therefore certified that question to the Supreme Court of Illinois. The Justices of that court have accepted our certification.
Respondent Brad Curry now moves to dismiss the appeal as moot. In his opening brief, Mr. Eichwedel had informed us that three months of good-conduct credits had been restored. Mr. Curry now represents--and Mr. Eichwedel does not dispute--that, on July 12, 2012, IDOC restored the remaining three months of Mr. Eichwedel's previously revoked good-conduct credits. He began his mandatory supervised release on October 3, 2012.
Because Mr. Eichwedel now has received all of the relief that he seeks in this habeas action, Mr. Curry asks that we withdraw the certified question and dismiss the appeal.
We agree that the case is now moot and that none of the exceptions to the mootness doctrine are applicable. Accordingly, with our appreciation to the Supreme Court of Illinois for having accepted our certification, we now withdraw that certification and dismiss the appeal as moot.
We assume familiarity with our opinion of August 29, 2012, Eichwedel v. Chandler, No. 09-1031, 2012 WL 3711880 (7th Cir. Aug. 29, 2012), and set forth here only those facts necessary to an understanding of the matter now before us.
Paul Eichwedel began his incarceration in October 1987. In 2008, he petitioned for federal habeas corpus relief, challenging IDOC's revocation of six months of his good-conduct credits. The credits had been revoked under a provision of state law that provides penalties for prisoners who file frivolous motions, as defined in the statute, in litigation against the state. The district court denied relief, and Mr. Eichwedel appealed.
On August 29, 2012, we concluded that Mr. Eichwedel's habeas claim turns on an unresolved question of state law that is likely to recur. We therefore certified the following question to the Supreme Court of Illinois:
As of the date Mr. Eichwedel's state court challenge to the revocation of his good-conduct credits became final, was the State required to establish, in order to revoke a prisoner's good- conduct credit, either that the court making the finding of frivolousness had determined specifically that the filing satisfied one of the definitions of frivolousness in 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(d) or that the court had otherwise made its intent to invoke 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(d) known?
Eichwedel, 2012 WL 3711880, at *16.
At the time we certified this question to the Supreme Court of Illinois, we had not been informed by counsel that the last three months of Mr. Eichwedel's good-time credits had been restored.*fn2 Nevertheless, Mr. Curry now moves to dismiss the appeal as moot. She represents that, on July 12, 2012, IDOC restored the remaining three months of Mr. Eichwedel's previously ...