United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
ROY C. GINGER, Plaintiff,
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS; JOHN BALDWIN, Acting Director; CRAIG FOSTER, Warden, Graham Correctional Center, Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW OPINION
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
filed this case pro se from the Graham Correctional Center.
The case is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This statute requires the Court to
review a complaint filed by a prisoner to identify the
cognizable claims and to dismiss part or all of the complaint
if no claim is stated.
reviewing the Complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and
labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to
"'state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418,
422 (7th Cir. 2013)(quoted cite omitted).
March 20, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Complaint (d/e 1) pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Illinois Department of
Corrections (IDOC); John Baldwin, Acting Director; and Craig
Foster, Warden, Graham Correctional Center. The Court
construes the claims against Baldwin and Foster as being
brought against them in their official capacity.
IDOC website shows that Plaintiff was sentenced to 54
months' imprisonment for aggravated child pornography to
be followed with a term of mandatory supervised release of
three years to life. According to the website, Plaintiff is
still incarcerated, and his projected parole date is May 1,
(last visited March 27, 2018).
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that, “once [his]
discharge date came, ” he was contacted by persons
working in the Field Services Office at the Graham
Correctional Center. These officials asked for
Plaintiff's release address, which he provided. Plaintiff
was informed that his original site was denied, and he was
asked to provide alternative options. Plaintiff provided
alternative options, but those sites did not meet the
statutory requirements and were summarily denied as
unacceptable locations. Plaintiff asked the Clinical Services
Office and the Field Services Office on numerous occasions
for assistance in locating a suitable site for
Plaintiff's release, but to no avail. Plaintiff alleges
he is being held unconstitutionally after the completion of
his sentence because he does not have a suitable parole site
or the financial resources with which to obtain one.
(Plaintiff uses the term “parole” but
“parole” and “mandatory supervised
release” are distinct, even though courts tend to use
the terms interchangeably. See Crayton v. Duncan,
No. 15-cv-399-NJR, 2015 WL 2207191, at *5 n.3 (S.D. Ill. May
8, 2015)). Plaintiff requests that he be immediately released
from custody and/or receive immediate assistance to locate
suitable placement or housing so that he can be released.
state a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff
must allege (1) the deprivation of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) the
alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under
the color of state law. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 822 (7th Cir. 2009). IDOC is not a
proper Defendant because states and state agencies are not
“persons” that can be sued under § 1983.
Johnson v. Supreme Court of Ill., 165 F.3d 1140,
1141 (7th Cir. 1999) (noting that “states and their
agencies are not ‘persons' subject to suit under 41
U.S.C. § 1983”); Glispie v. Ill. Dep't of
Corrections, No. 12-2060, 2012 WL 6761522, at *1 (C.D.
Ill. Oct. 24, 2012) (“No matter what relief Plaintiff
seeks against Defendant IDOC, his claim against IDOC is
barred because IDOC, as a state agency, is not a
“person” that may be sued under §
1983.”) report and recommendation adopted by
2013 WL 42306 (C.D. Ill. Jan. 3, 2013). Therefore, IDOC is
dismissed from this lawsuit with prejudice.
addition, Plaintiff cannot bring his request for immediate
release in the context of a civil rights case under §
1983. Simpson v. Nickel, 450 F.3d 303, 307 (7th Cir.
2006). Instead, he must bring a petition for habeas corpus
relief under § 2254. Id. (stating that
“any challenge to the fact or duration of custody must
proceed under § 2254 or an equivalent statute”);
see also Crayton, 2015 WL 2207191, at *2.
Plaintiff's request that he receive immediate assistance
to locate a suitable placement or housing so that he can be
released, such a claim falls within the bounds of a §
1983 action. Id. That is, Plaintiff's claim can
be construed as a challenge to the state procedures used to
deny him his release. See Murphy v. Madigan, No. 16
C 11471, 2017 WL 3581175, at *6 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 18, 2017)
(finding that the plaintiffs' claim that IDOC officials
are using unconstitutional rules when deciding whether a
prisoner will be released on mandatory supervised release was
properly brought under § 1983); Crayton, 2015
WL 2207181, at *2; see also Murdock v. Walker, No.
08 C 1142, 2014 WL 916992, *5 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 10, 2014)
(finding that the plaintiffs' challenge was not to the
fact or duration of confinement but to the procedures used to
deny them release; that is, they “seek relief that will
render invalid the state procedures used to deny parole
eligibility . . . and parole suitability”).
Murphy v. Madigan, a class of indigent sex-offenders
remained imprisoned indefinitely because they could not find
approved housing. Murphy, 2017 WL 3581175, at *1.
The court held that the plaintiffs' challenge to the
constitutionality of the procedures the defendants applied to
determine whether the plaintiffs would be released on
mandatory supervised release stated a substantive due process
claim, an Eighth Amendment claim, an equal protection claim,
and a procedural due process claim.
light of Murphy, and liberally construing
Plaintiff's complaint, the Court will order service on
Defendants Baldwin and Foster but afford them the opportunity
to file a motion to dismiss.
Defendant IDOC is dismissed from this cause of action with
case is now in the process of service on Defendants Baldwin
and Foster. Plaintiff is advised to wait until counsel has
appeared for Defendants before filing any motions, in order
to give Defendants notice and an opportunity to respond to
those motions. Motions filed before Defendants' counsel
has filed an appearance will generally be denied as