Sanchez v. Miller, No. 84-2872

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore BAUER and ESCHBACH, Circuit Judges, and SWYGERT; ESCHBACH; SWYGERT
Citation792 F.2d 694
PartiesRuben Ramirez SANCHEZ, Petitioner-Appellant, v. H.G. MILLER, Warden, United States Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois, Respondent-Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 84-2872
Decision Date09 June 1986

Page 694

792 F.2d 694
Ruben Ramirez SANCHEZ, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
H.G. MILLER, Warden, United States Penitentiary, Marion,
Illinois, Respondent-Appellee.
No. 84-2872.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued May 21, 1985.
Decided June 9, 1986.

Page 695

Howard B. Eisenberg, SIUC School of Law, Carbondale, Ill., for petitioner-appellant.

Joel Merkel, Asst. U.S. Atty., Frederick J. Hess, U.S. Atty., Benton, Ill., for respondent-appellee.

Before BAUER and ESCHBACH, Circuit Judges, and SWYGERT, Senior Circuit Judge.

ESCHBACH, Circuit Judge.

The petitioner, an inmate in a federal penitentiary, filed this action for habeas-corpus relief in federal district court challenging the constitutionality of an institution disciplinary hearing conducted in 1980 that resulted in the loss of his good-time credits. The district court concluded that the petitioner's due-process rights had not been violated and granted summary judgment for the respondent. 1 For the reasons stated below, we will affirm.

I

On November 20, 1979, Charles Hughes, an inmate at the United States Penitentiary in Lompoc, California, was stabbed to death in the prison. On November 21, 1979, the petitioner, Ruben Ramirez Sanchez, was placed in administrative segregation pending an investigation into Hughes's death. On December 13, 1979, Sanchez received an incident report charging him with (1) "Killing" and (2) "Aiding Another and Making Plans to Commit" the killing. 2 The incident report stated that "[c]onfidential information has named you as being one of the assailants in the stabbing death of inmate HUGHES, Charles[,] Reg[.] No. 68858-012(C)" that occurred in "C-Unit, Cell A-12" at "10:30 a.m." on "November 20, 1979."

On December 19, 1979, the Unit Disciplinary Committee ("UDC") at Lompoc found Sanchez guilty of both offenses, and stated in its written decision that its findings were based on "[c]onfidential information obtained by institution staff, confidential memos and statement by reporting officers." The UDC referred the matter to the Institution Disciplinary Committee ("IDC") at Lompoc for a hearing. Sanchez was provided with notice that the IDC hearing was scheduled for December 27, 1979, and signed a form acknowledging that he had been informed of his rights.

On December 27, 1979, Sanchez's request for a two-week postponement was granted, and the IDC hearing was held on January 10, 1980. At the hearing, Sanchez denied that the incident report was "true as written" and maintained that he was in the C-Unit at the time of the murder, but on a different tier. Three inmates testified on behalf of Sanchez, and his remaining three witnesses were excused because Sanchez had indicated that their testimony would have been essentially the same as that of the first three. The IDC report includes a summary of the statements of the three inmates who testified. The IDC considered the testimony of the witnesses, as well as the "[c]onfidential memo from [Investigator Tom Lynch] identifying two inmate witnesses and their confidential information" in reaching its decision, and concluded that Sanchez's "plans resulted in the death of inmate Charles HUGHES." After finding

Page 696

Sanchez guilty, the IDC ordered (1) a forfeiture of his statutory good time, (2) continued custody in administrative segregation, and (3) a disciplinary transfer.

Sanchez then filed an initial administrative appeal with the warden at Lompoc seeking restoration of his good-time credits and expungement of the incident report; relief was denied on January 25, 1980. 3 He then appealed to the Regional Director of the Bureau of Prisons, who on March 12, 1980, found that the evidence before the IDC only supported the charge of aiding another and making plans to commit the murder, but not the murder charge. The Regional Director instructed the warden to correct any reports that indicated Sanchez had been found guilty of the actual killing. Further relief was denied. Sanchez attempted to file an appeal with the General Counsel, but it was untimely.

Sanchez was indicted by a grand jury and tried in 1982 in federal district court for the Central District of California for the murder of Hughes, conspiracy to commit murder, and aiding and abetting. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Sanchez then filed another series of administrative appeals relating to the 1980 IDC action. These appeals were rejected as untimely. 4

Sanchez was later incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois, and filed this action in the federal district court for the Southern District of Illinois on January 9, 1984. He sought federal habeas-corpus relief on the ground that he was denied due process at the 1980 IDC hearing at Lompoc. 5 By consent of the parties, the case was submitted to a magistrate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 636(c). The warden transmitted to the court under seal the documents relied upon by the IDC (including the investigator's memoranda). Each party moved for summary judgment. The magistrate granted the warden's motion and denied that of Sanchez, and the petition for a writ of habeas corpus was accordingly denied. This appeal followed.

II

A. Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

It is beyond dispute that Sanchez failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. The respondent brought this issue to the attention of the district court in its first motion for summary judgment, and filed two affidavits that documented the administrative appeals Sanchez had filed. Sanchez did not deny that he failed to meet the exhaustion requirement. After counsel was appointed to represent Sanchez, the original habeas petition was amended to include additional due-process claims. The respondent supplemented his motion for summary judgment to address these new allegations. The magistrate decided the case on the merits and did not discuss the exhaustion issue. The respondent now urges that the judgment below may be affirmed on the ground that Sanchez did not exhaust his administrative remedies. It is, of course, proper for the party in whose favor the judgment was entered to

Page 697

assert any ground appearing in the record in support of the judgment, whether or not that ground was relied upon by the trial court. Whitley v. Albers, --- U.S. ----, ----, 106 S.Ct. 1078, 1088, 89 L.Ed.2d 251 (1986); Farmer v. Prast, 721 F.2d 602, 606 n. 7 (7th Cir.1983). 6

Federal prisoners are ordinarily required to exhaust administrative remedies before petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus. Jackson v. Carlson, 707 F.2d 943, 949 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 861, 104 S.Ct. 189, 78 L.Ed.2d 167 (1983); see also Anderson v. Miller, 772 F.2d 375, 377 (7th Cir.1985), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 106 S.Ct. 1210, 89 L.Ed.2d 322 (1986); Brice v. Day, 604 F.2d 664 (10th Cir.1979), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 1086, 100 S.Ct. 1045, 62 L.Ed.2d 772 (1980); Guida v. Nelson, 603 F.2d 261 (2d Cir.1979); United States ex rel. Sanders v. Arnold, 535 F.2d 848 (3d Cir.1976); Hardwick v. Ault, 517 F.2d 295 (5th Cir.1975); Willis v. Ciccone, 506 F.2d 1011 (8th Cir.1974). Because the time limits for the administrative appeals have long since elapsed and because the Bureau of Prisons has in no way indicated that it will waive the applicable time limits for those appeals, cf. Anderson, 772 F.2d at 378, Sanchez cannot now complete the process. His failure to pursue his administrative remedies to their conclusion constitutes a procedural default. Cf. Engle v. Isaac, 456 U.S. 107, 124-25 & n. 28, 102 S.Ct. 1558, 1570 & n. 28, 71 L.Ed.2d 783 (1982); Nutall v. Greer, 764 F.2d 462, 464 (7th Cir.1985).

The question presented under these facts is what should be the effect of such a default. The respondent urges that the appeal should be dismissed. We disagree, and find instead that Sanchez should be required to make a showing of "cause and prejudice." This court adumbrated such a requirement in Anderson, 772 F.2d at 378. However, the issue was apparently not properly presented in that appeal, and we ruled that the prisoners had deliberately failed to comply with the established procedures for prosecuting appeals before the Bureau of Prisons, even though they had twice been warned of the inadequacies of their submissions. Id.

The cause-and-prejudice rule was originally articulated in Davis v. United States, 411 U.S. 233, 93 S.Ct. 1577, 36 L.Ed.2d 216 (1973). Davis involved a federal prisoner who, petitioning under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2255, sought to challenge for the first time the composition of the grand jury that had indicted him. The government argued that such a challenge was barred because the prisoner failed to comply with Fed.R.Crim.P. 12, which provides that objections to grand-jury composition be presented at trial, and that failure to do so constitutes a waiver of the objection, but that the court "for cause shown may grant relief from the waiver." The Supreme Court concluded that review of the claim on a petition for habeas should be barred in the absence of a showing by the prisoner of cause for the failure to comply with procedural requirements and of actual prejudice resulting from the alleged constitutional violation. 411 U.S. at 243-45, 93 S.Ct. at 1583-84.

In Francis v. Henderson, 425 U.S. 536, 96 S.Ct. 1708, 48 L.Ed.2d 149 (1976), the Court applied the rule of Davis to a case involving a state procedural requirement that a challenge to the composition of the grand jury be raised before trial. The Court noted that the federal judiciary had the power to entertain such a challenge, but rested its holding on "considerations of comity and concerns for the orderly administration of criminal justice." Id. at 538-39, 96 S.Ct. at 1710. Although the state rule at issue in Francis did not allow for an exception upon a showing of cause, the Court concluded that the cause-and-prejudice standard of Davis should nonetheless apply, because there was no reason to give greater preclusive effect to...

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244 practice notes
  • Gonzalez v. O'Connell, No. 03-1527.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • January 21, 2004
    ...administrative remedies before seeking relief from the federal courts." Id. at 144-45, 112 S.Ct. 1081; see also Sanchez v. Miller, 792 F.2d 694, 697 (7th Cir.1986) (accord). This rule, however, is not absolute. We have held that individual interests demand that exhaustion be excused (1......
  • Commonwealth Edison Co. v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Com'n, No. 85-2928
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • September 1, 1987
    ...because Edison did not raise it, and therefore waived it. American Can v. Mansukhani, 814 F.2d 421, 425 (7th Cir.1987); Sanchez v. Miller, 792 F.2d 694, 703 (7th Cir.1986); Hunter v. Allis-Chalmers Corp., 797 F.2d 1417, 1430 (7th Edison has also waived its argument that the NRC may not allo......
  • Chavez v. IL State Police, Nos. 99-3691 and 00-1462
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • May 23, 2001
    ...to research and construct the legal arguments open to parties, especially when they are represented by counsel." Sanchez v. Miller, 792 F.2d 694, 703 (7th Cir. 1986); see also Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(9). We thus find that Snyders can not be held liable based on any alleged supervision of......
  • Brennan v. U.S., No. 134
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 20, 1989
    ...unfortunate path" of "progressive emasculation of collateral review of criminal convictions"); see also Sanchez v. Miller, 792 F.2d 694, 698 (7th Cir.1986) ("underlying policy" of cause and prejudice test is to require prisoners to present claims first to "the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
244 cases
  • Gonzalez v. O'Connell, No. 03-1527.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • January 21, 2004
    ...administrative remedies before seeking relief from the federal courts." Id. at 144-45, 112 S.Ct. 1081; see also Sanchez v. Miller, 792 F.2d 694, 697 (7th Cir.1986) (accord). This rule, however, is not absolute. We have held that individual interests demand that exhaustion be excused (1) req......
  • Commonwealth Edison Co. v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Com'n, No. 85-2928
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • September 1, 1987
    ...because Edison did not raise it, and therefore waived it. American Can v. Mansukhani, 814 F.2d 421, 425 (7th Cir.1987); Sanchez v. Miller, 792 F.2d 694, 703 (7th Cir.1986); Hunter v. Allis-Chalmers Corp., 797 F.2d 1417, 1430 (7th Edison has also waived its argument that the NRC may not allo......
  • Chavez v. IL State Police, Nos. 99-3691 and 00-1462
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • May 23, 2001
    ...court to research and construct the legal arguments open to parties, especially when they are represented by counsel." Sanchez v. Miller, 792 F.2d 694, 703 (7th Cir. 1986); see also Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(9). We thus find that Snyders can not be held liable based on any alleged supervision o......
  • Brennan v. U.S., No. 134
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 20, 1989
    ...step down this unfortunate path" of "progressive emasculation of collateral review of criminal convictions"); see also Sanchez v. Miller, 792 F.2d 694, 698 (7th Cir.1986) ("underlying policy" of cause and prejudice test is to require prisoners to present claims first to "the forum initially......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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