72 F.3d 132 (7th Cir. 1995), 94-2025, Pride v. Peters

Docket Nº:94-2025.
Citation:72 F.3d 132
Party Name:Curtis Lee PRIDE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Howard PETERS, III, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:December 15, 1995
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 132

72 F.3d 132 (7th Cir. 1995)

Curtis Lee PRIDE, Plaintiff-Appellant,


Howard PETERS, III, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 94-2025.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

December 15, 1995

Submitted November 17, 1995. [*]

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA7 Rule 53 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Appeal from the United States District Court, for the Southern District of Illinois, No. 92-C-488; William D. Stiehl, Judge.



Before FLAUM, MANION and DIANE P. WOOD, Circuit Judges.


A disciplinary committee at the Illinois River Correctional Center found Curtis Pride, an inmate at the facility, guilty of having a sexual relationship with a staff member. 1 Pride, who worked as a law clerk at the prison law library, allegedly engaged in sexual activities with a prison librarian. The disciplinary committee relied on confidential testimony that the librarian occasionally allowed Pride to hold hands with her, fondle her, and kiss her on the lips. For this offense, Pride received one year loss of good time credits, one year in segregation, demotion to C grade for one year, and a disciplinary transfer to a maximum security prison.

Pride brought suit against several prison officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, arguing that (1) the disciplinary committee violated his constitutional rights by refusing to call two witnesses and failing to reveal details of the confidential testimony used against him; (2) the committee ordered him transferred to a maximum security prison in retaliation for his previous lawsuits against prison officials; and (3) his equal protection rights were violated because a white inmate received a lesser sentence than he did. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and Pride appeals.

I. Personal Involvement of Howard Peters

First, Pride argues that the district court improperly dismissed defendant Howard Peters because Peters was not personally involved in the alleged violations of Pride's rights. A plaintiff may recover under § 1983 only if the defendant was personally involved in the deprivation his constitutional rights. Moore v. Indiana, 999 F.2d 1125, 1129 (7th Cir.1993); Rascon v. Hardiman, 803 F.2d 269, 273 (7th Cir.1986). Pride contends that Peters, who is the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, personally denied a grievance filed after his disciplinary conviction.

Illinois regulations allow an inmate convicted of a disciplinary violation to appeal through the prison grievance procedures. See Ill.Admin.Code §§ DOC 504.800-504.870. The procedures provide that a Grievance Officer will review the claim and make a recommendation to the Chief Administrative Officer (Warden), who then makes a decision. Id. at § 504.830. If the prisoner is still dissatisfied, he may appeal to the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Id. at § 504.850(a). The regulations specify that "[t]he Director shall review the grievance and the responses of the Grievance Officer and the Chief Administrative Officer and shall determine whether the grievance requires a hearing before the Administrative Review Board." Id. at § 504.850(b). If Peters denied an appeal submitted by Pride, this would be sufficient to establish personal involvement. However, there is no evidence in the record supporting the allegation that Peters denied a grievance submitted by Pride. 2 The record does contain a letter that Peters wrote to an attorney who was representing Pride. R. 64, Peters Letter. The letter apparently was a response to a request that Pride be transferred out of the maximum-security Menard Correctional Center. In the letter, Peters suggested that Pride may "address his concerns through the established inmate grievance procedures." Id. The record is silent concerning whether Pride ever took advantage of the grievance procedures, and Pride has not submitted a copy of the decision in which Peters allegedly denied his grievance. 3 Thus, there is insufficient evidence in the record to establish that Peters was personally involved in any deprivation of Pride's rights.

II. Disciplinary Hearing 4

  1. Re-written Adjustment Committee Summary

    After the adjustment committee found Pride guilty of sexual misconduct, he filed a grievance. The Administrative Review Board recommended granting Pride a new hearing, and Director Peters concurred. The conduct report was rewritten and a second hearing held, where Pride was convicted once again. 5 Pride then filed this...

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