United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Jason Lee Wright is incarcerated at Fox Lake
Correctional Institution. He filed this proposed civil action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against several of his former
probation agents and their supervisors. Because plaintiff is
incarcerated, his complaint must be screened under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. After reviewing plaintiff's complaint, I
conclude that his claims must be dismissed without prejudice
because they are either barred by Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994), or they are state law claims over
which this court has no jurisdiction.
alleges in his complaint that defendants were probation
officers who supervised him and on several occasions between
2013 and 2017, extended the duration of his supervised
release for his failure to pay supervision fees even though
he was indigent. Plaintiff also alleges that on more than one
occasion, defendant Jennifer Sukow told him to pay his
supervision fees to her directly, but when he did, she kept
the money for herself. Plaintiff's supervised release was
later revoked and he is now incarcerated at Fox Lake
Correctional Institution. Plaintiff does not provide any
information about the reason for the revocation.
contends that his allegations are sufficient to state claims
for damages against defendants for violation of his rights
under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. He is mistaken,
for two reasons.
any claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the
extension of plaintiff's supervised release is barred by
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994). Heck
prohibits a plaintiff from bringing claims for damages if
judgment in favor of the plaintiff would “necessarily
imply the invalidity of his conviction or sentence.”
Id. Under Heck, a plaintiff cannot bring any claim
for damages under § 1983 challenging a criminal
conviction, revocation of probation or the duration of his
confinement or supervised release unless the plaintiff has
prevailed in a habeas corpus proceeding challenging the
conviction or duration of his confinement or supervised
release. Id.; Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1,
17 (1998) (application of Heck to parole revocation hearing);
Williams v. Wisconsin, 336 F.3d 576, 579 (7th Cir.
2003) (application of Heck to “fact or duration”
of parole). The rule in Heck applies even if it is too late
for plaintiff to seek collateral relief through a state
habeas petition challenging the extensions of his supervised
release, so long as plaintiff could have sought collateral
relief earlier but failed to do so in a timely manner.
Burd v. Sessler, 702 F.3d 429, 436 (7th Cir. 2012).
instance, plaintiff has neither established the invalidity of
the extensions to his supervised release by showing that he
prevailed in a habeas corpus proceeding nor shown that he was
unable to challenge the extensions in state court after they
occurred, between 2013 and 2017. Accordingly, plaintiff
cannot bring a challenge to the extensions of his supervised
release under § 1983.
court cannot convert plaintiff's action into one for
habeas corpus on its own motion. The Court of Appeals for the
Seventh Circuit has held that “[w]hen a plaintiff files
a § 1983 action that cannot be resolved without
inquiring into the validity of confinement, the court should
dismiss the suit without prejudice” rather than convert
it into a petition for habeas corpus. Copus v. City of
Edgerton, 96 F.3d 1038, 1039 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing
Heck, 512 U.S. 477). Therefore, plaintiff's
claims will be dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff may
raise his claims in a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
but he should be aware that such a petition would have to be
dismissed immediately unless he can show that he has
presented his claims to the Wisconsin courts and has been
denied relief at the trial and appellate levels, 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(b)(1)(A), or that there is no state corrective
process available to him, § 2254(b)(1)(B).
claims against defendant Sukow in particular must be
dismissed for another reason. Plaintiff alleges that Sukow
violated plaintiff's due process rights by taking his
money for herself, rather than using it to pay his supervised
release fees. However, plaintiff's allegations do not
suggest that Sukow acted pursuant to an unconstitutional
policy or procedure. Instead, his allegations suggest that
Sukow stole his money through a “random and
unauthorized” act. When an official's conduct is
random and unauthorized, due process requires only that an
adequate post-deprivation remedy exists. Zinermon v.
Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 128-30 (1990); Hudson v.
Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984); Leavell v.
Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, 600 F.3d 798, 805
(7th Cir. 2010).
statute, Wisconsin affords procedures that can address
random, unauthorized deprivations of property by government
officers and officials. It provides tort remedies for those
whose property has been converted or damaged by another.
Wis.Stat. §§ 893.35 (action to recover personal
property after wrongful taking, conversion, or wrongful
detention), 893.51 (action for damages resulting from
wrongful taking, conversion, or wrongful detention of
personal property), 893.52 (action for damages from injury to
property). Because plaintiff does not suggest that
Sukow's theft of his money resulted from an established
procedure or that Wisconsin's post-deprivation remedies
are inadequate to redress his loss, he has failed to state a
due process claim.
ORDERED that plaintiff Jason Lee Wright's claims
challenging the duration of his supervised release are
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE under Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994), and his remaining claims are