Casteel v. McCaughtry, No. 91-0218

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtBABLITCH; SHIRLEY S. ABRAHAMSON
Citation176 Wis.2d 571,500 N.W.2d 277
PartiesJohn A. CASTEEL, a/k/a Tayr Kilaab Al Ghashiyah (Khan), Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Gary R. McCAUGHTRY, Thomas Borten, Thomas Gozinske, William Lackey, Frank Mesa, Dan Pashke, Timothy Morris, Ray Fromolz and Thomas Nickel, Defendants-Respondents-Petitioners. . Oral Argument
Docket NumberNo. 91-0218
Decision Date30 March 1993

Page 277

500 N.W.2d 277
176 Wis.2d 571
John A. CASTEEL, a/k/a Tayr Kilaab Al Ghashiyah (Khan),
Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Gary R. McCAUGHTRY, Thomas Borten, Thomas Gozinske, William
Lackey, Frank Mesa, Dan Pashke, Timothy Morris,
Ray Fromolz and Thomas Nickel,
Defendants-Respondents-Petitioners.
No. 91-0218.
Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
Oral Argument March 30, 1993.
Decided June 3, 1993.

For the plaintiff-appellant there was a brief and oral argument by Martha K. Askins, Asst. State Public Defender.

Amicus curiae brief was filed by Bruce Meredith, Staff Counsel and Mary E. Pitassi, Associate Counsel for the Wisconsin Educ. Ass'n Council.

BABLITCH, Justice.

John Casteel (Casteel), an inmate at the Waupun Correctional Institution (Waupun), brought an action in the circuit court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983 and the law of Wisconsin alleging that the defendants, the warden and the security director at Waupun and several Waupun employees (referred to collectively as [176 Wis.2d 574] McCaughtry), violated his rights in transferring him to temporary lockup (TLU) status in violation of Wisconsin Administrative Code regulations. The defendants seek review of the court of appeals' decision which held that Wisconsin Administrative Code sec. DOC 303.11 provides Wisconsin inmates, for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a liberty interest in remaining out of and getting out of TLU. 168 Wis.2d 758, 484 N.W.2d 579. The court of appeals also concluded that Casteel's failure to file with the state a notice of claim pursuant to sec. 893.82, Stats., does not bar his state law claim for declaratory relief and an injunction.

Because Wis.Adm.Code sec. DOC 303.11 does not impose a substantive limitation on official discretion by mandating the outcome of an official's decision upon a finding that relevant criteria have been met, it does not create a liberty interest protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. Thus, we reverse the decision of the court of appeals on that issue and hold that Casteel fails to state a sec. 1983 claim upon which relief can be granted. However, we agree with the court of appeals' conclusion that Casteel's failure to file a notice of claim with the state pursuant to sec. 893.82, Stats., does not bar his state law claim for declaratory relief and an injunction. Accordingly, the decision of the court of appeals is affirmed in part and reversed in part.

The relevant facts are undisputed. In June 1990, Casteel filed a complaint in Dane County Circuit Court seeking declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief for the alleged deprivation of his liberty without due process and assorted violations of federal and state law. Casteel alleged that on six occasions between March 1985 and January 1990, he was removed from the general prison population and placed in TLU. Wisconsin Adm.Code sec. DOC 303.11, set forth in full below, [176 Wis.2d 575] governs TLU. 1 On

Page 280

each occasion, Casteel alleges Wis.Adm.Code[176 Wis.2d 576] sec. 303.11 was violated, in that he was not served with a conduct report before being placed in TLU, was not given a hearing on whether TLU was appropriate (sub. (2)), was not given an opportunity to respond as to why TLU was unnecessary, was not given the reasons for the TLU placement or the facts for the decision (subs. (2) and (5)), the security director did not review his TLU placement on the following work day (sub. (2)), and the defendants failed to properly review his TLU status every seven days (sub. (3)). Specifically, Casteel's complaint sought a declaratory judgment that the practices complained of were illegal and unconstitutional, a permanent injunction preventing the defendants from continuing those practices and damages.

McCaughtry moved to dismiss the entire complaint. The circuit court granted the motion concluding that dismissal was appropriate because Casteel failed to allege that he had exhausted his available administrative remedies under the Inmate Complaint Review System, Wis.Adm.Code sec. DOC 310 (ICRS). In a published decision, the court of appeals reversed in [176 Wis.2d 577] part and affirmed in part, holding first that Casteel's failure to allege his compliance with the state notice of claim statute, sec. 893.82(3), Stats., bars his right to bring an action against McCaughtry for damages under state law. However, the court concluded that his failure to allege compliance with sec. 893.82(3) does not bar his state law claim for declaratory relief and an injunction. Notwithstanding, the court upheld the dismissal of his claims for declaratory and injunctive relief because Casteel failed to allege that he exhausted his administrative remedies under the ICRS. Lastly, the court of appeals concluded that Casteel's complaint states a claim under sec. 1983 because Wis.Adm.Code sec. DOC 303.11 creates a liberty interest in remaining out of and getting out of TLU, and recent Wisconsin Supreme Court case law indicates that exhaustion of administrative remedies is unnecessary to state a sec. 1983 claim. See Casteel v. Vaade, 167 Wis.2d 1, 5, 481 N.W.2d 476 (1992) ("plaintiff need not exhaust his administrative remedies before bringing ... sec. 1983 action in state court.") We granted McCaughtry's petition for review of the following issues:

1 Did the court of appeals correctly find that Wis.Admin.Code § DOC 303.11 creates a liberty interest protected by the fourteenth amendment ...?

2 Did the court of appeals properly find that the plaintiff's claims for declaratory and injunctive relief ... are not subject to the requirements of the notice of claims statute, sec. 893.82(3), Stats.?

We address each issue in turn below.

[176 Wis.2d 578] I.

This case arises from the circuit court's dismissal of Casteel's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For purposes of determining whether a complaint should be dismissed, " 'the facts pleaded and all reasonable

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inferences from the pleadings must be taken as true.' " State v. American TV, 146 Wis.2d 292, 300, 430 N.W.2d 709 (1988) (citation omitted). "The motion to dismiss tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint. The claim is dismissed only when 'it is quite clear that under no conditions can the plaintiff recover.' " Id. (citation omitted). Whether Casteel's complaint states a sec. 1983 claim upon which relief can be granted turns upon whether Casteel alleges the deprivation of any constitutionally protected liberty interest as required to state a Fourteenth Amendment claim under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides in part: "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...." Three kinds of sec. 1983 claims may be brought against the state under the Due Process Clause: (1) Plaintiffs may bring suit under sec. 1983 for state officials' violations of their rights under a specific protection in the Bill of Rights; (2) The Due Process Clause contains a substantive component that bars certain arbitrary, wrongful government actions, (these are commonly known as substantive due process rights); (3) An action may be brought under sec. 1983 for a violation of procedural due process. Zinermon v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 125, 110 S.Ct. 975, 983, 108 L.Ed.2d 100 (1990). The issue before this court concerns only an alleged violation of Casteel's procedural due process rights.

[176 Wis.2d 579] " 'In procedural due process claims, the deprivation by state action of a constitutionally protected interest in 'life, liberty, or property' is not in itself unconstitutional; what is unconstitutional is the deprivation of such an interest without due process of law.' " Id. (citation omitted). The United States Supreme Court in Kentucky Dept. of Corrections v. Thompson, 490 U.S. 454, 460, 109 S.Ct. 1904, 1908, 104 L.Ed.2d 506 (1989) (citations omitted), explained that procedural due process questions are examined in two steps: "the first asks whether there exists a liberty ... interest which has been interfered with by the State; the second examines whether the procedures attendant upon that deprivation were constitutionally sufficient." Thus, we must first determine whether Casteel has been deprived of a protected liberty interest. If such a deprivation occurred, we reach...

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35 practice notes
  • Black v. City of Milwaukee, No. 2014AP400.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • June 23, 2016
    ...due process rights); and (3) An action may be brought under sec.1983 for a violation of procedural due process.Casteel v. McCaughtry, 176 Wis.2d 571, 578, 500 N.W.2d 277 (1993) (citing Zinermon v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 125, 110 S.Ct. 975, 108 L.Ed.2d 100 (1990) ). In other words, a person br......
  • Adams v. Northland Equip. Co., No. 2012AP580.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 22, 2014
    ...unconstitutional; what is unconstitutional is the deprivation of such an interest without due process of law.” Casteel v. McCaughtry, 176 Wis.2d 571, 579, 500 N.W.2d 277 (1993) (quoting Zinermon v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 125, 110 S.Ct. 975, 108 L.Ed.2d 100 (1990)). [850 N.W.2d 286] ¶ 65 We em......
  • State v. Reitter, No. 98-0915
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • June 29, 1999
    ...due process violation, Reitter must show that the State deprived him of a constitutionally protected interest. See Casteel v. McCaughtry, 176 Wis.2d 571, 579, 500 N.W.2d 277 (1993). ¶47 Consistent with the rule of Neville, this court previously reconciled the due process clause with the imp......
  • Aicher v. WI Patients Compensation Fund, No. 98-2955.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 12, 2000
    ...unconstitutional; what is unconstitutional is the deprivation of such an interest without due process of law." Casteel v. McCaughtry, 176 Wis. 2d 571, 579, 500 N.W.2d 277 (1993). When examining whether there has been a violation of procedural due process, this court engages in a two-step an......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
35 cases
  • Black v. City of Milwaukee, No. 2014AP400.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • June 23, 2016
    ...due process rights); and (3) An action may be brought under sec.1983 for a violation of procedural due process.Casteel v. McCaughtry, 176 Wis.2d 571, 578, 500 N.W.2d 277 (1993) (citing Zinermon v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 125, 110 S.Ct. 975, 108 L.Ed.2d 100 (1990) ). In other words, a person br......
  • Adams v. Northland Equip. Co., No. 2012AP580.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 22, 2014
    ...unconstitutional; what is unconstitutional is the deprivation of such an interest without due process of law.” Casteel v. McCaughtry, 176 Wis.2d 571, 579, 500 N.W.2d 277 (1993) (quoting Zinermon v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 125, 110 S.Ct. 975, 108 L.Ed.2d 100 (1990)). [850 N.W.2d 286] ¶ 65 We em......
  • State v. Reitter, No. 98-0915
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • June 29, 1999
    ...due process violation, Reitter must show that the State deprived him of a constitutionally protected interest. See Casteel v. McCaughtry, 176 Wis.2d 571, 579, 500 N.W.2d 277 (1993). ¶47 Consistent with the rule of Neville, this court previously reconciled the due process clause with the imp......
  • Aicher v. WI Patients Compensation Fund, No. 98-2955.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 12, 2000
    ...unconstitutional; what is unconstitutional is the deprivation of such an interest without due process of law." Casteel v. McCaughtry, 176 Wis. 2d 571, 579, 500 N.W.2d 277 (1993). When examining whether there has been a violation of procedural due process, this court engages in a two-step an......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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