United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge
Danny Round, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
an unknown member (“Defendant John Doe”) of the
Illinois Prisoner Review Board. Plaintiff claims that
Defendant Doe violated his rights under federal and state law
by revoking his mandatory supervised release
(“MSR”) on November 9, 2015. Plaintiff now seeks
declaratory judgment and monetary damages.
matter is before the Court for preliminary review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
1915A, the Court is required to promptly screen prisoner
complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion of the
complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for
money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). The complaint does not
survive preliminary review under this standard and shall be
April 9, 2015, Plaintiff was approved for release from prison
on mandatory supervised release (“MSR”) (Doc. 1,
p. 5). His term of MSR was set to begin on September 23,
2015. Plaintiff was issued a MSR violation report, however,
when his parole agent concluded that no suitable host site
was available for an inmate who required electronic
monitoring. In the report, Parole Agent Antonio Brazzeleton
indicated that placement was unavailable at all sites covered
by the Illinois Department of Corrections.
attended a hearing before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board
(“PRB”) on November 9, 2015. At the hearing, he
asked an unknown member of the PRB (“Defendant John
Doe”) for documentation regarding Parole Agent
Brazzeleton’s efforts to place him at “all places
the Illinois Department of Corrections would pay for”
(id. at 5). Defendant Doe denied Plaintiff’s
request for this information, after informing Plaintiff that
he had no right to possess or review the parole
agency’s documents (id. at 6-8). Defendant Doe
further explained that the parole agent’s statement in
the MSR violation report constituted sufficient evidence of
his efforts to locate a suitable host site (id. at
claimed that he was unable to prepare or present his defense
without this information. When Plaintiff threatened to file a
lawsuit “to make [Defendant Doe] provide the documents,
” Defendant Doe allegedly became angry (id.).
He concluded that Plaintiff’s MSR should be revoked and
motioned a nearby prison guard to remove Plaintiff from the
room. Plaintiff’s MSR term was ultimately
“terminated until his maximum release date of September
23, 2017” (id. at 6-10, 17). Plaintiff claims
that this decision constituted retaliation against Plaintiff
for threatening to “seek legal redress in court for the
due process violation”(id.).
claims that Defendant Doe retaliated against him for
threatening to take legal action by terminating his MSR, in
violation of the First Amendment (id. at 5, 9-11).
He claims that Defendant Doe’s conduct violates the
Constitution’s proscription against cruel and unusual
punishment under the Eighth Amendment and constitutes a
denial of equal protection of the law under the Fourteenth
Amendment. Further, Plaintiff brings a state law claim
against Defendant Doe for false imprisonment. He seeks
declaratory judgment and monetary damages (id. at
threshold matter, the Court finds that Plaintiff cannot
challenge the propriety of his underlying conviction and
sentence, or the PRB ruling revoking his MSR, by bringing a
claim for money damages against Defendant Doe under §
1983. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994);
Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641 (1997). A claim for
damages arising from the wrongful revocation of
Plaintiff’s MSR is barred by Heck and
Edwards. Heck prohibits a § 1983 suit,
if the case would result in a ruling that “‘would
necessarily imply the invalidity of the conviction or
sentence’ unless the prisoner can demonstrate that the
conviction or sentence has previously been
invalidated.” Edwards, 520 U.S. at 643
(quoting Heck, 512 U.S. at 487). Edwards
extends the rule announced in Heck to prison
proceedings. Gilbert v. Cook, 512 F.3d 899, 900 (7th
Cir. 2008). The complaint contains no indication that the
original conviction, sentence, and/or PRB ruling has been
overturned. Under the circumstances, Heck and
Edwards bar Plaintiff’s claim for monetary
damages against Defendant Doe, at least to the extent he now
challenges the PRB’s revocation of his MSR. See,
e.g., Lacey v. Unknown Parole Agent, 2012 WL 6217529
(N.D. Ill. 2012) (district court could not provide prisoner
with relief that conflicts with undisturbed judgment of
conviction, sentence, and PRB ruling).
Heck / Edwards bar does not apply to claims
for monetary damages that do not call the PRB ruling into
question. Even so, any claims in the complaint that survive a
Heck / Edwards bar are meritless. The Court reaches
this conclusion for several reasons.
there is no indication that Defendant Doe was personally
involved in a violation of Plaintiff’s constitutional
rights. “[I]ndividual liability under § 1983
requires ‘personal involvement in the alleged
constitutional violation.’” Minix v.
Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting
Palmer v. Marion Cnty., 327 F.3d 588, 594 (7th Cir.
2003)). The basic structure of the PRB calls
Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant Doe into question.
Under Illinois law, the PRB is responsible for deciding
whether to revoke mandatory supervised release. See
Wofford v. Walker, 464 F. App’x 533, *2 (7th Cir.
2012) (citing 730 ILCS 5/3-3-1(a), 5/3-3-9(a)). The board is
independent of the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Id. The PRB consists of fifteen members and acts
through 3-member panels. See id. (citing 730 ILCS
5/3-3-1(b), 5/3-3-9(e)). It is unclear whether Defendant Doe
played a personal role in a constitutional violation because,
under Illinois law, Defendant Doe was one of several PRB
members involved in the decision-making process. Id.
(noting that personal involvement in a constitutional
violation is unclear in this context because the 15-member
Board acts through a 3-member panel).
and more to the point, Defendant Doe cannot be held liable
because he is entitled to absolute immunity under §
1983. The Seventh Circuit has long held that PRB members
should be accorded absolute immunity for their decisions
regarding the revocation of MSR. Id.; Wilson v.
Kelkhoff, 86 F.3d 1438, 1445 (7th Cir. 1996). The
Seventh Circuit has explained that “[t]he decision to
revoke . . . supervised release . . . is a prototypical
quasi-judicial act deserving of absolute immunity.”
Wilson, 86 F.3d at 1445 (citing Walrath v.
United States, 35 F.3d 277, 281 (7th Cir. 1994)).
“Absolute immunity protects board members not only for
the decision to revoke . . . supervised release, but the
board members’ actions that are ‘part and
parcel’ of the decision-making process.”
Id. This includes Defendant Doe’s alleged
denial of Plaintiff’s request for parole agency
documentation. Wilson, 86 F.3d at 1445 (decisions
regarding scheduling, notice, and the conduct of MSR
revocation hearings “strike at the heart of the
adjudicative function” that PRB members perform).
Plaintiff cannot maintain his claims for relief against
absence of a viable federal claim, the Court declines to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s
state law claim for false imprisonment. See 28
U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3); Harvey v. Town of
Merrillville, 649 F.3d 526, 533 (7th Cir. 2011).
Plaintiff’s federal constitutional claims against
Defendant Doe shall be dismissed with prejudice, and the
state law claim shall be dismissed without prejudice. The
Court declines to provide Plaintiff with an opportunity to
amend the complaint because it is clear that this ...