United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Christopher Buehler, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville
Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of
his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, including a preliminary
injunction, and compensation. This case is now before the
Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:
(a) Screening - The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable
person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209
F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of
entitlement to relief must cross “the line between
possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At
this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se
complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority
under Section 1915A; this action is subject to summary
received a disciplinary report on May 6, 2018. (Doc. 1, p.
5). Prior to his hearing, Plaintiff submitted witness
requests to Heck and McBride. Id. The hearing was
held on May 17, 2018. Id. Heck and McBride refused
to interview Plaintiff's witnesses or grant him an
extension of time and falsely recorded that Plaintiff had not
requested any witnesses. Id. Plaintiff was punished
with 1 year segregation, 1 year commissary restriction, loss
of 1 year good time credit, 6 month contact visit
restrictions, a disciplinary transfer, and 1 year C-grade
status. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 13). Plaintiff sent a request to
Jaimet regarding the violations of his rights, but she did
not respond. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff requests an
injunction, release from segregation, declarative relief, and
compensation. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
well-settled that a court may invoke an affirmative defense
on behalf of an un-served defendant if it is clear from the
face of the complaint that the defense applies. Walker v.
Thompson, 288 F.3d 1005, 1009 (7th Cir. 2002);
Gleash v. Yuswak, 308 F.3d 758, 760 (7th Cir. 2002).
The defense must be both apparent and unmistakable.
Walker, 288 F.3d at 1010. Upon careful review of the
complaint in this case, it is clear that this action is
barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).
states that a prisoner cannot maintain a civil rights suit if
a judgment in his favor would necessarily imply that his
conviction was invalid. 512 U.S. at 487. A prison
disciplinary finding is a conviction for purposes of
Heck where a prisoner loses good time credit as a
result of the proceedings. Edwards v. Balisok, 520
U.S. 641 (1997); Moore v. Mahone, 652 F.3d 722, 723
(7th Cir. 2011). The principle is based on collateral
estoppel: an issue determined with finality cannot be
re-litigated in a subsequent case. Moore, 652 F.3d
at 723. A prisoner who challenges an essential finding of a
disciplinary proceeding must see his case dismissed.
Id.; Okoro v. Callaghan, 324 F.3d 488, 490
(7th Cir. 2003).
alleges that he lost good time credit, thus triggering the
application of Heck. Further, his allegations go to
an essential finding of the proceedings. Plaintiff's
allegation in this lawsuit is that he should have been
permitted to call witnesses or delay the hearing. A finding
that the defendants violated Plaintiff's rights by the
manner in which they conducted the disciplinary proceedings
would necessarily imply the invalidity of those proceedings.
See Edwards, 520 U.S. at 647 (Heck barred
prisoner's claim that prison disciplinary committee
refused to allow him to call witnesses); Elcock v.
Whitecotton, 434 Fed.Appx. 541, 543 (7th Cir. 2011)
(prisoner could not challenge prosecution of disciplinary
proceedings because such a claim was barred by
Heck). Plaintiff's challenges go to an ...