United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JIMMY W. LEACH, JR., No. B-85974, Petitioner,
DONALD R. JONES, and CHET SHAFFER, Respondents.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, District Judge.
a pre-trial detainee who is currently incarcerated in the
Franklin County Jail (“the Jail”), brings this
habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to
challenge the constitutionality of his confinement.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in United States District Courts. Rule 4 provides
that upon preliminary consideration by the district court
judge, “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the
petition and direct the clerk to notify the
petitioner.” After carefully reviewing the Petition,
the Court concludes that this action is subject to dismissal.
notes that he is being held as a result of criminal charges
filed against him in Franklin County Case No. 16-CF-109. He
has not yet been tried, convicted or sentenced. (Doc. 1, pp.
1-2). He submitted the instant Petition on April 19, 2017.
(Doc. 1, p. 18).
raises several matters as potential grounds for his request
to be released from custody. He references a civil rights
action he filed in this Court, Case No. 16-cv-1298-SMY, and
notes that shortly after he was arrested on March 18, 2016,
he was denied medications and had seizures that led to his
hospitalization for 9 days after Shaffer refused to treat
(Doc. 1, p. 6). On March 25, 2016, while still in the
hospital, Petitioner was given an “OR Bond.”
Id. After he regained consciousness, Petitioner was
arrested again on March 29, 2016. The recognizance bond was
revoked and he was given a $100, 000 bond. He claims that the
State's Attorney took the OR Bond away without a hearing.
Petitioner's public defender took no action regarding the
recognizance bond revocation. Petitioner asserts that these
events violated his right to a bond. Id.
delineates 4 grounds in support of his request for release,
some of which have multiple parts. For the matter labeled as
“Ground One, ” Petitioner claims that he was not
allowed to appear in court in person for his arraignment, but
instead was required to participate by closed circuit
television/video conference without his consent, in violation
of the Illinois Constitution. (Doc. 1, p. 8). In Ground Two,
he says that the Jail has failed to post a “Notice of
Rights” to advise him of rights of the accused pursuant
to 725 ILCS 5/103-7, and Shaffer has refused to provide him
with religious materials or services. (Doc. 1, p. 10). Ground
Three includes claims that Petitioner has not been allowed to
send legal mail out of the Jail or obtain copies of legal
materials unless he has funds to cover the cost; he has been
denied the right to stay in contact with his public defender
by phone; and the trial judge refused to assign him a new
public defender despite his assertion of a conflict of
interest. (Doc. 1, p. 12). In Ground Four, Petitioner asserts
that his due process rights were violated because he was
denied a preliminary hearing within 30 days of his arrest,
and was indicted by a grand jury without first waiving his
rights to a preliminary examination, in violation of 725 ILCS
5/111-2. (Doc. 1, p. 14). In each case, Petitioner states
that he has raised his concerns either to jail officials, his
public defender or the trial court, but has not presented the
issues in a state court petition for habeas corpus. (Doc. 1,
pp. 8, 10, 12, 14).
before the Court is Petitioner's Motion to Submit Ground
#5 (Doc. 7), filed June 2, 2017. In this motion, Petitioner
seeks to add several more matters as grounds for habeas
relief: The Jail subjects him to video surveillance in his
cell around the clock, which includes monitoring by female
officers; he has been denied permission for time out of his
cell; the Jail's disciplinary/grievance process is faulty
and Shaffer took away his telephone privileges without a
hearing; he was not allowed to communicate with the attorney
who represents him in a civil suit; he was assaulted by Jail
officers, and he was told he could not send out legal mail
unless officers inspected it first. (Doc. 7, pp. 1-2).
motion shall be denied, because all of the matters Petitioner
seeks to add to this action relate to conditions of his
confinement at the Jail. None of these issues provide grounds
for release from custody in a habeas corpus action.
stated above, Petitioner brings this action under the
umbrella of habeas corpus law. 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Typically, the writ of habeas corpus is used to completely
free an inmate from unlawful custody. Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484-85 (1973). Release from
custody is indeed what Petitioner seeks herein. However, this
Court must look beyond that request for relief, to
independently evaluate the substance of Petitioner's
claims and determine whether the correct statute - in this
case 28 U.S.C. § 2254 - is being invoked.
Preiser, 411 U.S. at 500 (dismissing § 1983
civil rights claims that should have been brought as
petitions for writ of habeas corpus); Bunn v.
Conley, 309 F.3d 1002, 1006-07 (7th Cir. 2002) (district
court should not have recharacterized declaratory judgment
action as petition for habeas corpus); Godoski v. United
States, 304 F.3d 761, 763 (7th Cir. 2002) (court must
evaluate independently the substance of the claim being
brought, to see if correct statute is being invoked).
prisoner is challenging the conditions of his confinement,
rather than the fact of confinement, then his remedy is under
civil rights law - not habeas corpus. Graham v.
Broglin, 922 F.2d 379, 381 (7th Cir. 1991); see also
Pischke v. Litscher, 178 F.3d 497, 500 (7th Cir. 1999).
The federal habeas corpus statute cannot be used to challenge
conditions of confinement. Glaus v. Anderson, 408
F.3d 382, 386-87 (7th Cir. 2005); Williams v.
Wisconsin, 336 F.3d 576, 579 (7th Cir. 2003); DeWalt
v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 617 (7th Cir. 2000);
Pischke, 178 F.3d at 500; Graham, 922 F.2d
instant Petition presents a “hybrid” of some
claims that belong in a § 1983 civil rights action, and
other claims that address procedural irregularities in
Petitioner's criminal prosecution. Some of the alleged
violations connected to the prosecution could provide grounds
cognizable in a habeas corpus action ...