United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Stephen Dixson, a former inmate in the custody of the
Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”),
filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while
he was incarcerated at Vandalia Correctional Center
(“Vandalia”). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants failed to implement the state courts'
sentencing decision. Following threshold screening, Plaintiff
proceeds on a due process claim.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 27). Plaintiff filed a Response (Doc.
41). For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is
Stephen Dixson was serving time on two convictions from Cook
County Illinois Circuit Court for possession of a controlled
substance: No. 12-CR-1981901, for which he received a
three-year sentence; and No. 14-CR-1776701, which resulted in
a two-year sentence (Plaintiff's Complaint, Doc. 1 at 5,
9-10). The trial court's orders of commitment and
sentence, both issued on November 5, 2015, specified that
Dixson was to be given credit for time previously served in
custody of 547 days against the three-year sentence, and 415
days against the two-year sentence (Id. at 9-10).
The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively, not
concurrently (Id.). Dixson claims that Defendants
deliberately “ran [his] time concurrent, ”
contrary to the trial court's orders, and failed to
properly credit him for the county-jail time against the two
sentences (Id. at 5-6).
Dixson's sentences were entered by the Cook County
Circuit Court, the orders provided 415 days and 547 days for
time already served. However, the orders did not specify
whether these days were to be credited consecutively or
concurrently. On November 17, 2015, Defendants applied 547
days credit to Dixson's aggregate sentence. Defendant
Brosman reviewed Dixson's sentence calculation and
determined that his “Adjusted Projected Out Date”
was October 28, 2016.
disagreed with the calculation and filed a request slip with
the counselor. He received a response on December 11, 2015,
stating that in order for him to be credited the additional
415 days, IDOC would need official documentation directly
from the trial court. On April 25, 2016, Brosman received an
amended sentencing order from the Cook County Circuit Court.
The amended order clarified that Dixson was to receive credit
for 1012 days of time served. That same day, Brosman
recalculated Dixson's sentence to show an Adjusted
Projected Out Date of July 13, 2015. Dixson was released the
judgment is appropriate only if the moving party can
demonstrate “that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322(1986); see also
Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian Information Solutions,
Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 607 (7th Cir. 2005). The moving
party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the lack of
any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477
U.S. at 323. Once a properly supported motion for summary
judgment is made, the adverse party “must set forth
specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 250 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact exists
when “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Estate
of Simpson v. Gorbett, 863 F.3d 740, 745 (7th Cir. 2017)
(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). In determining
a summary judgment motion, the district Court views the facts
in the light most favorable to, and draws all reasonable
inferences in favor of, the nonmoving party. Apex
Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962,
965 (7th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).
assert that they are entitled to summary judgment because the
state court's original sentencing order was implemented,
and when an amended order was received, it was implemented
immediately, resulting in Dixson being released from IDOC
custody. They point out that in Illinois, the trial court is
responsible for crediting a defendant for “time spent
in custody as a result of the offense for which the sentence
was imposed.” People v. Williams, 239 Ill.2d
503, 508, 942 N.E.2d 1257, 1260-61 (2011), see 730
procedural due process claim arises where: (1) the plaintiff
is deprived of a protected liberty or property interest; and
(2) he did not receive the process that was due to justify
the deprivation of that interest. See McKinney v.
George, 726 F.2d 1183, 1189 (7th Cir. 1984). Here, the
first element is satisfied, but the second is not.
have a protected liberty interest in being released on time.
Toney-El v. Franzen, 777 F.2d 1224, 1226 (7th Cir.
1985). However, it appears from the record that Dixson
availed himself of the process in place and was released.
Dixson filed a written request slip with a counselor and had
a meeting with prison officials to discuss the calculation of
his sentence. The Counseling Response dated December 11,
2015, advised Dixson that in order for the 415 days to be
credited, IDOC would need official documentation from the
trial court. Once the documentation was received, Dixson was
released the following day.
argues that the procedures were ineffective because the
situation was not resolved sooner. But the process was
triggered as soon as the issue became apparent - Defendants
followed the process and did so expeditiously. While this
Court does not take the deprivation of Plaintiff's
freedom lightly, the problem lies with the ambiguity created
by the sentencing order.
Dixson cannot pursue a due process claim when other remedies
are available. The State of Illinois offers other adequate
post-deprivation remedies. See Parratt v. Taylor,
451 U.S. 527, 541-44 (1981); Hudson v. Palmer, 468
U.S. 517, 533 (1984). For example, in order to secure his
earlier release, Dixson could have filed a Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus in state court. He could have also filed a
Petition for Writ of Mandamus. Alternatively, he could seek
monetary damages from state officials under Illinois tort law
by filing a false imprisonment claim against the officials in
state court. See, e.g., Armato v. Grounds, 766 F.3d
713, 722 (7th Cir. 2014) (quoting Toney-El, 777 F.2d
at 1225) (state court remedies giving an inmate “the
right to seek a writ of mandamus from the state court to