United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Kareen Hayes filed this action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, contending that prison staff at Waupun
Correctional Institution violated his procedural due process
rights by issuing him a false conduct report and extending
his stay in temporary lock up status without holding a
hearing as required by state regulations. Hayes's
complaint is before the court for screening under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, to determine whether the complaint should be
dismissed as frivolous, malicious, for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or because Hayes
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
allegations do not state a procedural due process claim
because he has not alleged that he was deprived of a liberty
interest protected by the constitution. Therefore, I will
dismiss this case.
alleges that in June 2019, defendant Sergeant Beahm told
Hayes that he was being moved from observation status into
general population. Hayes told Beahm that he did not want to
go to general population because he was feeling suicidal and
because inmates in general population had threatened him.
Beahm notified defendant Captain Tritt, who issued Hayes a
conduct report for disobeying orders and making threats.
Hayes was moved into temporary lock up status pending an
investigation and hearing regarding the conduct report. Hayes
remained in temporary lock up for 53 days until a due process
hearing was held. Captain Westra presided over the hearing
and found Hayes guilty of the charges based on false
testimony from Beahm and defendant John Adderson, a
correctional sergeant. Hayes appealed, and the warden
reversed the disciplinary decision on procedural grounds,
concluding that the hearing had been delayed too long and
that Hayes should not have remained in temporary lock up
status for more than 21 days without security staff receiving
approval from the warden.
contends that defendants violated his right to procedural due
process under the Fourteenth Amendment by falsely accusing
him of disobeying orders and making threats and then holding
him in temporary lock up status without holding a hearing
within the time required under state regulations. To state a
procedural due process claim under the Fourteenth Amendment,
a plaintiff must show that he was deprived of a liberty or
property interest without constitutionally sufficient
procedural protections. Wilkinson v. Austin, 545
U.S. 209, 221 (2005); Townsend v. Cooper, 759 F.3d
678, 685 (7th Cir. 2014). In this instance, Hayes's claim
fails because he has not shown that he was deprived of a
liberty or property interest or that he was denied process.
prison context, a punishment may implicate a liberty interest
protected by the due process clause if the punishment imposes
an atypical and significant hardship as compared to prison
life generally. Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 486
(1995). A prisoner's placement in segregation may
implicate a liberty interest, but only if the length of
segregated confinement is substantial and the conditions of
confinement are unusually harsh. Marion v. Columbia Corr.
Inst., 559 F.3d 693, 697-98 (7th Cir. 2009). In this
instance, Hayes's 53-day placement in temporary lock up
status was not long enough to implicate a liberty interest,
and he has not alleged that he faced harsh conditions.
See Townsend v. Fuchs, 522 F.3d 765, 771-72 (7th
Cir. 2008) (holding that prisoner had no liberty interest in
avoiding 59-day stay in temporary lock up status while prison
conducted investigation into alleged misbehavior); Lekas
v. Briley, 405 F.3d 602, 612 (7th Cir. 2005)
(three-month placement in segregation did not implicate
liberty interest); Hoskins v. Lenear, 395 F.3d 372,
375 (7th Cir. 2005) (two-month placement in segregation did
not implicate liberty interest); Obriecht v.
Raemisch, 565 Fed.Appx. 535, 539-40 (7th Cir. 2014)
(78-day confinement in segregation with mattress placed
directly on wet floor did not implicate liberty interest).
alleges that his 53-day stay in temporary lock up status
violated state regulations that limit temporary lock up
status to 21 days, unless the warden approves an extension in
writing. See Wis. Admin. DOC § 303.10(3). But
state prison regulations, by themselves, do not create
liberty interests. Wilkinson, 545 U.S. at 223
(“[T]he touchstone of the inquiry into the existence of
a protected, state-created liberty interest in avoiding
restrictive conditions of confinement is not the language of
regulations regarding those conditions but the nature of
those conditions themselves ‘in relation to the
ordinary incidents of prison life.'”) (citation
omitted); Marion, 559 F.3d at 699 (“Whether an
inmate has a protected liberty interest must be determined
from the actual conditions of confinement and not
simply from a review of state regulations.”) (emphasis
in original). And the failure to comply with state procedural
rules does not violate the federal constitution. Hickey
v. O'Bannon, 287 F.3d 656, 658 (7th Cir. 2002).
also contends that his due process rights were violated when
defendants Beahm and Tritt gave him a false conduct report
and Beahm and defendant Adderson lied at his due process
hearing. But these allegations also do not suggest that Hayes
was denied due process. Assuming it is true that prison staff
lied about Hayes's behavior, Hayes has not alleged facts
suggesting that the process he received was constitutionally
deficient. He says that he was given notice of the conduct
report, that he had a due process hearing, and that he was
able to successfully challenge the conduct report on appeal.
These allegations suggest that Hayes was given
constitutionally adequate process. See Lagerstrom v.
Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624-25 (7th Cir. 2006)
(“The fact (if it were true) that the evidence against
Lagerstrom had been made up would similarly not cast doubt on
the basic procedures that were followed. . . Here, Lagerstrom
received all the process he was due.”); Hanrahan v.
Lane, 747 F.2d 1137, 1141 (7th Cir. 1984) (“We
find that an allegation that a prison guard planted false
evidence which implicates an inmate in a disciplinary
infraction fails to state a claim for which relief can be
granted where the procedural due process protections”
have otherwise been provided.).
Hayes has not alleged facts to support a claim that
defendants violated his right to procedural due process under
the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, I will dismiss this
ORDERED that this case is DISMISSED for plaintiff Kareen
Hayes's failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. A strike shall be recorded in accordance with 28
U.S.C. Â§ 1915(g). The clerk of ...