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Sandoval v. Godniez

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 21, 2014

JOEL SANDOVAL, JR., No. R30538, Plaintiff,
v.
S.A. GODNIEZ, WILLIAM G. LACY, and DENNIS DERNBACH, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MICHAEL J. REAGAN, Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff Joel Sandoval, Jr., an inmate in Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking monetary damages for days not properly credited in the calculation of his sentence and its execution. Upon preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the original complaint (Doc. 1) was dismissed without prejudice (Doc. 8). An amended complaint was parsed-Judge William G. Lacy and Judge Dennis Dernbach were dismissed with prejudice, and the amended complaint was otherwise dismissed without prejudice (Doc. 13).[1] Sandoval's second amended complaint (Doc. 19) is now before the Court for preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

Section 1915A provides:

(a) Screening.- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal.- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

The Second Amended Complaint

The Second Amended Complaint alleges that on April 3, 2007, Cook County Circuit Judge William G. Lacy sentenced Sandoval on an attempted murder charge, affording him some credit for days spent in pretrial custody, but mistakenly shorting him by 181 days.[2] Consequently, rather than completing that sentence in May 2011, he remained in custody on that charge until December 23, 2011. It is also alleged that Cook County Circuit Judge Dennis Derbach noted Sandoval's concern about being granted full credit for his days in pretrial custody, but refused to grant proper credit. Sandoval stresses that he is not attempting to shorten his sentence, which has been served-he is now serving time for new and distinct charges.[3]

It is also alleged that the director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, S.A. Godinez, [4] failed to correct the erroneous sentence(s), despite knowing that Sandoval was not given proper credit for time served in pretrial custody.

Sandoval contends that each defendant acted with deliberate indifference and subjected him to wrongful imprisonment, in violation of his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Compensatory and punitive damages are sought for each day Plaintiff served in pretrial custody that was not properly credited toward his sentence(s).

Discussion

Although the Second Amended Complaint does not indicate whether Sandoval has completed any prescribed term of supervision, or whether there are any remaining collateral consequences of his sentence, at this juncture the Court will assume that the sentence is wholly discharged and any habeas corpus or other form of collateral relief is moot.

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that, where a plaintiff cannot obtain collateral relief, his action may proceed under Section 1983. Burd v. Sessler, 702 F.3d 429, 435 (7th Cir. 2012) (citing Simpson v. Nickel, 450 F.3d 303, 307 (7th Cir. 2006); DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 613, 616-18 (7th Cir. 2000); Carr v. O'Leary, 167 F.3d 1124, 1127 (7th Cir.1999). However, in Burd, 702 F.3d 435 fn3, the Seventh Circuit also recognized that there is a split among the appellate courts. The Seventh Circuit was swayed, by the fact that in Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 19-21, 25 n. 8 (1998), five Justices indicated that Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), ...


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