United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Steve Dinwiddie is currently incarcerated at Big Muddy River
Correctional Center (“BMRCC”) as a sexually
dangerous person (“SDP”). He has been in the
custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) since 1998, when his civil commitment
trial was concluded in Jefferson County Circuit Court. He
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.
action represents Dinwiddie's seventh attempt to seek
habeas relief from this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254. Each of his previous habeas petitions has been
procedural history of Dinwiddie's April 30, 1998, civil
commitment as a sexually dangerous person (Doc. 1, p. 7), and
his subsequent challenges in state court to his continued
confinement, was discussed in detail in this Court's
order dismissing his first petition for habeas relief.
See Dinwiddie v. Evans, No. 05-cv-886-GPM-DGW. (Doc.
30, Memorandum and Order of April 21, 2008, adopting report
of Magistrate Judge). His attempts to challenge the SDP
commitment in this Court were thoroughly described in the
order dismissing Dinwiddie's fifth petition for habeas
relief, and shall not be repeated here in detail. See
Dinwiddie v. Roeckeman, No. 14-cv-01360-DRH (Doc. 7,
Memorandum and Order dismissing case).
briefly summarize, Dinwiddie has raised challenges several
times to his initial 1998 judgment ordering him to be held in
custody as an SDP. In his first habeas action, this Court
ruled that his claims were time-barred under 28 U.S.C.
2244(d)(1). Dinwiddie's challenges to 2 of the 3 recovery
proceedings brought in state court after 1998 were similarly
time-barred by § 2244(d)(1). His attack on the third
recovery proceeding was ruled to be procedurally barred.
See Dinwiddie v. Evans, No. 05-cv-886-GPM-DGW (Doc.
habeas Petitions filed by Dinwiddie in 2008 and 2009, as well
as his 2014 Petition, were all dismissed because he had
failed to obtain the required advance authorization to file a
second or successive § 2254 petition from the United
States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit. See Dinwiddie
v. Roeckeman, No. 14-cv-01360-DRH (Doc. 7).
Dinwiddie's sixth federal habeas case, filed in 2016, was
dismissed because he had failed to exhaust his remedies in
state court after filing a state habeas petition in 2015 in
Jefferson County, Illinois, which was still pending when he
sought federal relief. Dinwiddie v. Vaughan, et al.,
No. 16-cv-156-DRH (Doc. 5 in that case).
present action, Dinwiddie once again seeks to challenge the
original state court order committing him as a sexually
dangerous person. (Doc. 1). Notably, his Petition states that
it is brought pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/10-124, which is a
section of the Illinois statute governing a state court
habeas corpus action. (Doc. 1, p. 1). However, because this
Court has jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases under federal
statutes, not state statutes, the Petition is construed as
having been brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Petition begins by asserting that the Circuit Court in
Jefferson County lacked subject matter jurisdiction over
Dinwiddie's civil commitment action. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2).
However, Dinwiddie does not develop an argument to explain
why he believes subject matter jurisdiction was lacking in
that proceeding. He then complains that the Illinois
post-conviction hearing act is not available to a person
confined as an SDP. (Doc. 1, p. 2).
Dinwiddie goes on to argue that his trial counsel in the 1998
SDP proceeding was ineffective, because he failed to call a
Mt. Vernon police officer (Greenwood), as well as other
officers, as witnesses at the trial. (Doc. 1, pp. 3-4). The
attorney also failed to impeach Plaintiff's ex-wife (a
witness for the State) with an allegedly false or
inconsistent statement she had given to the police. (Doc. 1,
relief, Dinwiddie requests this Court to reverse the April
30, 1998, state court order committing him as a ...