United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court for merit review of the
Plaintiff's complaint. The Court is required by 28 U.S.C.
§1915A to “screen” the Plaintiff's
complaint, and through such process to identify and dismiss
any legally insufficient claim, or the entire action if
warranted. A claim is legally insufficient if it “(1)
is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
a pro se prisoner, claims Defendants Warden Cecil E. Polley,
Sergeant Clayton A. Keith, Officer Derek Gutierrez, and
Officer Wright violated his constitutional rights at Graham
Correctional Center. Plaintiff says on November 10, 2016, he
was called to an Adjustment Committee Hearing on a
disciplinary ticket. Plaintiff explained to the committee
members that he had not received a copy of the ticket, and
therefore he had no notice of the claims against him and
could not present a defense. The Adjustment Committee still
considered the ticket and found Plaintiff guilty.
says while Defendant Wright signed a notice indicating
Plaintiff had refused to accept a copy of his disciplinary
ticket before the hearing, Plaintiff says the document was
falsified. Instead, Plaintiff claims he first received the
disciplinary ticket two days after the hearing.
has provided a copy of the Adjustment Committee Final Summary
Report which notes the ticket was read to Plaintiff during
the hearing, he pled not guilty “and Plaintiff
“made the following statement: ‘I'll say not
guilty and play a little game saying I didn't get a copy
of my ticket.'” (Comp., Adj. Com. Rept.). Plaintiff
was found guilty of intimidate or threats, insolence and
disobeying a direct order. As a result, he received three
months of “grade status, segregation time, commissary
and visitation restrictions, and a disciplinary transfer.
(Comp., Adj. Com. Rept.). Plaintiff alleges he spent 61 days
in segregation. When he complained to the Warden about the
procedures, the Defendant made a derogatory comment and said
there was nothing more he could do.
prisoner challenging the process he was afforded in a prison
disciplinary proceeding must meet two requirements: (1) he
has a liberty or property interest that the state has
interfered with; and (2) the procedures he was afforded were
constitutionally deficient. Rowe v. DeBruyn, 17 F.3d
1047, 1053 (7th Cir.1994). In this case, Plaintiff has not
alleged the Defendants interfered with a liberty or property
interest. For instance, a prisoner has no protected liberty
interest in remaining in the general population of a prison,
except in rare cases where “segregation conditions ...
constitute an ‘atypical and significant hardship on the
inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison
life.'” Thomas v Ramos, 130 F.3d 754, 760
(7th Cir. 1997) quoting Sandin v Conner, 515 U.S.
472, 484 (1995); see also See Urias-Urias v Youell,
2006 WL 1120434 at 2 (C.D.Ill. April 26, 2006)(“The
Eighth Amendment to the constitution prohibits ‘cruel
and unusual punishment, ' but segregation alone is
generally not considered cruel and unusual
punishment.”). The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has
further noted “an inmate's liberty interest in
avoiding segregation [is] very limited or even nonexistent,
” and terms of segregated confinement of six months or
less generally do not violate due process. Marion v
Columbia Corr. Inst., 559 F.3d 693, 697 (7th Cir.
2009)(collecting cases); see also Lekas v Briley,
405 F.3d 602, 612 (7th Cir. 2005)(90 days in disciplinary
segregation did not violate due process); Hoskins v
Lenear, 395 F.3d 372, 374-75 (7th Cir. 2005)(60 days in
disciplinary segregation did not violate due process).
addition, none of the other disciplined imposed by the
Adjustment Committee involves a liberty or property interest.
See Moore v. Pemberton, 110 F.3d 22, 23 (7th
Cir.1997) (two weeks denial of commissary privileges does not
implicate liberty interest); Madison v. Parker, 104
F.3d 765, 768 (5th Cir.1997) (30 days denial of commissary
does not create a liberty interest); Whitford v
Boglino, 63 F.3d 527, 533 FN. 7 (demotion to C-grade for
six months does not implicate federal due process rights).
Therefore, Plaintiff cannot demonstrate the first prong of a
due process claim and cannot demonstrate a violation of his
Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed for failure to state a
claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
and 28 U.S.C. Section 1915A. This case is closed. All pending
motions are denied as moot. [4, 7, 8 ].
dismissal shall count as one of the Plaintiff's three
allotted strikes pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(g). The
clerk of the court is directed to record the Plaintiff's
strike in the three-strike log.
the Plaintiff wishes to appeal this dismissal, he may file a
notice of appeal with this court within 30 days of the entry
of judgment. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a). A motion for leave to
appeal in forma pauperis MUST set forth the issues
the Plaintiff plans to present on appeal. See Fed.
R. App. P. 24(a)(1)(C). If the Plaintiff does choose to