United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Deandre Bradley is currently in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) and
incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center. On May 2, 2019,
Bradley filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to challenge the loss of six months
and twenty-five days of good conduct credit as a result of
prison disciplinary proceedings that allegedly violated his
right to due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment
(Doc. 1, p. 1). He seeks restoration of his lost good conduct
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing §
2254 Cases in United States District Courts. Rule 4 provides
that upon preliminary consideration by the district judge,
“[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any
attached exhibits that the petition is not entitled to relief
in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition
and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner.”
is currently serving a six-year term of incarceration for
residential burglary and resisting a peace officer. On or
around July 14, 2018, Bradley was issued four disciplinary
tickets at Menard for: (1) Rule 102A violation - Assault and
Injury; (2) Rule 215 - Disobeying a direct order essential to
safety; (3) Rule 206 - Intimidation or threats; (2
incidents); (4) Rule 214 - Fighting; and (5) Rule 303 - False
information to an employee (Id. at pp. 3, 13-18).
Bradley allegedly received these tickets because he made
threats to officers on 2 separate occasions (Id. at
pp. 15-18), fought with another inmate (Id. at p.
16), and bit a correctional officer's wrist (Id.
at p. 13).
a disciplinary hearing, Bradley was found guilty of all the
rule violations (Id. at p. 6). He was punished with
segregation, a disciplinary transfer, commissary and contact
restrictions, and loss of good conduct credits (Id.
at pp. 13-18). Bradley lost a total of 6 months and 25
days of good conduct credits, which delayed his parole
release date (Id. at 6). Bradley's previous
release date would have been December 8, 2019 (Id.at
p. 22). IDOC's website now says his projected release
date is April 8, 2023 (Id. at p. 22).
challenges the decision of the disciplinary hearing committee
on the following due process grounds: (1) Ground 1 - prison
officials refused to allow Bradley to sign the original
disciplinary report and place a request for witnesses on the
report; and (2) Ground 2 - the adjustment committee refused
to review Bradley's witnesses or evidence and refused to
delay the hearing so that he could call witnesses
(Id. at pp. 8-9). Bradley asserts that he tried to
exhaust the prison's internal grievance procedures but
his grievance to the ARB was late through no fault of his own
(Id. at pp. 8-9). It is not clear from the Petition
whether Bradley exhausted his state court remedies prior to
bringing this habeas action in federal court (Id. at
pp. 8-9). Bradley asks this Court to enter an Order
reinstating his six months and twenty-five days of good
conduct credits (Id. at p. 9).
“[W]hen a state prisoner is challenging the very fact
or duration of his physical imprisonment, and the relief he
seeks is a determination that he is entitled to immediate
release or a speedier release from the imprisonment, his sole
federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus.” Preiser
v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973). Section 2254 may
be used to present a Fourteenth Amendment due process
challenge to a disciplinary hearing that results in the loss
of good conduct credits. See, Austin v. Pazera, 779
F.3d 437 (7th Cir. 2015). An Illinois prisoner who wants to
file a federal habeas petition challenging prison discipline
must first exhaust state judicial remedies by filing “a
complaint for an order of mandamus from an Illinois circuit
court.” McAtee v. Cowan, 250 F.3d 506, 508-509
(7th Cir. 2001). If he loses at the circuit court stage, he
“must invoke one complete round of the normal appellate
process, including seeking discretionary review before the
state supreme court, ” to fully exhaust his state
judicial remedies. Id. See also, Donelson v.
Pfister, 811 F.3d 911, 915 (7th Cir. 2016) (noting that
the filing of a mandamus action in state court is “a
prerequisite for Illinois prisoners challenging disciplinary
actions in federal court by bringing a § 2254 petition
in federal court.”); Thomas v. Lamb, No.
16-CV-809-DRH-CJP, 2017 WL 1132640, at *2 (S.D. Ill. Mar. 27,
due process challenges to the revocation of good conduct
credits may proceed. However, the Court notes that there may
be an issue as to whether Bradley exhausted his
administrative and state law remedies as the Petition is not
entirely clear on this issue.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that Bradley's due process
claims associated with the revocation of his good conduct
credits shall PROCEED.
IS SO ORDERED that Responded WARDEN FRANK
LAWRENCE shall answer the Petition or otherwise
plead within thirty (30) days of this date this order is
entered (on or before August 12,
2019). This preliminary order to respond does
not, of course, preclude the Government from raising any
objection or defense it may wish to present. Service upon the
Illinois Attorney General, Criminal Appeals Bureau, 100 West
Randolph, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601, shall
constitute sufficient service.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that this entire matter be
REFERRED to a United States Magistrate Judge
for disposition, as contemplated by Local Rule 72.2(B)(3) and
28 U.S.C. § ...