United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB, DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Andre Dailey is incarcerated by the Wisconsin
Department of Corrections at the Wisconsin Secure Program
Facility. He has filed a proposed civil action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that funds are being deducted
from his inmate trust account in violation of his due process
rights. His amended complaint is before the court for
screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons
below, I conclude that plaintiff has failed to state a
federal claim upon which relief may be granted. Accordingly,
I am dismissing his complaint and closing this case.
alleges the following facts in his complaint.
September 27, 2011, plaintiff Andre Dailey plead guilty to
four counts of armed robbery, one count of first degree
recklessly endangering safety and one count of possession of
a firearm by a felon, in Milwaukee County Case Number
2011CF3547. As part of his sentence, the circuit court
ordered $134.00 restitution to be collected by the Department
of Corrections from “25% of funds in accordance with
Wis.Stat. § 973.05(4)(b).” The following
additional charges were included on the judgment of
conviction as “conditions of extended
supervision”: fine ($40.00); court costs ($978.00);
other ($91.40); mandatory victim/witness surcharge ($552.00);
and 5% restitution surcharge ($21.27). Dkt. #1-1 at 1.
Plaintiff understood the judgment to mean that the
restitution charges would be deducted while he was
incarcerated, with the remaining costs to be paid after
restitution was paid in full or while he was on extended
in 2016, plaintiff noticed that several deductions were being
made from his account for court costs and other fees.
Plaintiff did not believe the deductions should be occurring
all at once and asked for clarification from Wisconsin Secure
Program Facility's business office. In letters dated
December 2, 13 and 22, 2016, defendant Dickman, a financial
specialist at the prison, told plaintiff that the restitution
for case number 2011CF3547 has been paid in full. Dickman
explained that plaintiff has outstanding obligations for
other court costs and fines that are being deducted from his
account in accordance with Division of Adult Institutions
Policy 309.45.02 and state statute.
Dailey contends that Wisconsin Secure Program Facility's
business office is deducting funds from his account contrary
to the circuit court's judgment of conviction in his
criminal case, Milwaukee County case number 2011CF3547, and
state statutes governing payment of restitution and other
court-ordered obligations. In particular, he says that the
business office is taking too many deductions simultaneously,
and should instead be taking deductions in the order
specified by his judgment of conviction and state statute.
Plaintiff contends that the deductions violate his right to
due process under the United States Constitution. However,
plaintiff's allegations do not state a claim for
violation of due process.
process clause prohibits the government from taking a
person's property without notice and an opportunity to be
heard. Mann v. Calumet City, Illinois, 588 F.3d 949,
954 (7th Cir. 2009). Inmates have a property interest in
their prison trust account statement. Campbell v.
Miller, 787 F.2d 217, 222 (7th Cir. 1986).
contends that the business office is deducting money from his
account contrary to state law and thus, is unauthorized to do
so. However, “an unauthorized intentional deprivation
of property by a state employee does not constitute a
violation of the procedural requirements of the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment if a meaningful
postdeprivation remedy for the loss is available.”
Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984).
Wisconsin law has post deprivation procedures to address
unauthorized deprivations of property by state officers and
officials. In particular, inmates can file an offender
complaint in the prison, appeal an adverse decision to the
state corrections complaint examiner and receive a decision
from the secretary of the Department of Corrections. Wis.
Admin. Code DOC ch. 310. If an inmate disagrees with the
Secretary's decision, he can appeal to the Wisconsin
state circuit court through a writ of certiorari. Hamlin
v. Vaudenberg, 95 F.3d 580, 585 (7th Cir. 1996). Because
plaintiff has not alleged that these remedies are inadequate
to challenge the legality of the deductions from his trust
account, he has failed to state a due process claim.
I note that although plaintiff has framed his claim as one
under the due process clause, his claim is more appropriately
characterized as a challenge to the Wisconsin Secure Program
Facility business office's and the Division of Adult
Institution's interpretation of a Wisconsin state statute
and state court order. These are issues of state law that
should be raised in state court. Accordingly, I am dismissing
plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim under
the United State Constitution or federal law.
ORDERED that plaintiff Andre Dailey's complaint is
DISMISSED for failure to state a claim ...