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 Major Chad Brown, Kendra
Wolf, Grievance Officer Simpson and Intelligence Officer Guy
Pierce violated his constitutional rights at Pontiac
Correctional Center. Plaintiff says on November 2, 2016, he
received a disciplinary ticket and appeared before the
Adjustment Committee six days later on November 8, 2016.
Plaintiff submitted a written statement denying all claims.
November 18, 2016, Plaintiff received a second disciplinary
report regarding the same charges. Plaintiff appeared before
the Adjustment Committee again on December 7, 2016. This time
Plaintiff submitted two written statements to Defendants
Brown and Wolf.
December 20, 2016, Plaintiff received the Adjustment
Committee final report which noted there was a delay in the
hearing while committee members waited for finalization of
one of two disciplinary reports from internal affairs.
(Comp., Ex. D). Plaintiff was found guilty of Gang or
Unauthorized Organization Activity and Abuse of Privileges.
The committee based its decision on a month's long
internal affairs investigation of Plaintiff involving three
confidential informants and audio surveillance. Plaintiff was
found to be a high ranking member of the Gangster Disciples
gang who had ordered members to assault an inmate. (Comp.,
Ex. D). Plaintiff received one year in segregation and lost
one year of good time credits.
says the final report indicated Plaintiff had requested a lie
detector test, but the report made no mention of
Plaintiff's claim that the hearing was held in violation
of Sections 504.80 and 504.90 of the Illinois Administrative
Code. Plaintiff says if Defendants Brown and Wolf had
considered his claim, they “would have no other option
than to dismiss said disciplinary report.” (Comp, p.
5). Therefore, Defendants violated his due process rights.
relevant section of the Administrative Code states the
“Adjustment Committee hearing shall be convened, but
need not be concluded, within 14 days after the commission of
the offense by an offender or its discovery, whenever
possible, …..” 20 Il.Adm.Code 504.80. The
section clearly does not require a hearing within 14 days and
the Seventh Circuit has expressly held “there is no
protected liberty interest in having a hearing within eight
days. Without a liberty interest, there can be no procedural
due process violation.” Martin v. Peters, 1995
WL 10739, at *1 (7th Cir. 1995).
addition, Section 504.90 pertains to situations in which a
Warden remands the decision of the Adjustment Committee for
new hearing if the proceedings are found to be defective and
therefore the section is not applicable to Plaintiff. 20
Il.Adm.Code 504.90. Plaintiff has not articulated a due
process claim, nor any other constitutional violation based
on the disciplinary hearing.
next outlines repeated problems he had filing a grievance
pertaining to the disciplinary hearing. For instance,
Plaintiff submitted a grievance, but received no response
from Officer Simpson. Plaintiff then submitted his grievance
to the Warden, but received it back directing him to forward
his grievance with the grievance officer. Plaintiff
resubmitted his grievance, but again did not receive a
then details several steps he took to process his grievance
including sending several request slips to the grievance
officer. The grievance officer ultimately claimed she had
previously returned two grievances to Plaintiff because he
had not signed them. Plaintiff says he never received any of
his grievances back and no signature is required. Plaintiff
adds Defendant Pierce was responsible for monitoring his
ingoing and outgoing mail including his grievances.
Therefore, Plaintiff says Defendants Simpson and Pierce
“deliberately sabotaged the completion and the process
of plaintiff's grievance.” (Comp., p. 7).
has again failed to state a violation of his constitutional
rights. “Prison grievance procedures are not mandated
by the First Amendment and do not by their very existence
create interests protected by the Due Process Clause”
of the Fourteenth Amendment. Owens v. Hinsley, 635
F.3d 950, 953 (7th Cir.2011) (citations omitted). The
Constitution requires no procedure at all, and the failure of
state prison officials to follow their own procedures does
not, standing alone, violate the Constitution. Maust v.
Headley, 959 F.2d 644, 648 (7th Cir.1992); Shango v.
Jurich, 681 F.2d 1091, 1100-01 (7th Cir.1982). In
addition, Plaintiff was not denied meaningful access to the
Courts as he was able to file his complaint in this lawsuit.
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. [5, 6].
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 ...