United States District Court, W.D. New York
July 22, 2004.
BREVARD GRIFFIN, Plaintiff,
DONALD SELSKY, Director of SHU, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID LARIMER, Chief Judge, District
DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Brevard Griffin, appearing pro se, commenced this
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff, an inmate in the
custody of the New York State Department of Correctional
Services, originally raised several claims relating to the
conduct of a disciplinary hearing that was held at Wende
Correctional Facility on September 26, 2000. Plaintiff was
convicted of certain charges at the hearing, and was sentenced,
inter alia, to two years' loss of good time.
In a Decision and Order dated March 4, 2002, District Judge
Charles J. Siragusa of this Court dismissed all of plaintiff's
claims except for his due process claim against two of the
defendants. In so doing, Judge Siragusa noted that "when a
litigant makes a constitutional challenge to a determination
which affects the overall length of his imprisonment, the `sole
federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus.'" Docket #3 at 7
(citing Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973); Heck
v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994); and Edwards v. Balisok,
520 U.S. 641 (1997)). The Court stated that although "a decision in plaintiff's favor concerning this
due process issue may well have the effect of calling into
question plaintiff's disciplinary hearing determination,
including the hearing officer's decision to recommend the loss of
good-time credits," id. at 8, there would be no effect on the
overall length of plaintiff's confinement if he "has no remaining
good time credits to lose because he has already lost all of his
credits. . . ." Id. at 9. The Court stated that because it
"d[id] not have enough information before it concerning
plaintiff's circumstances and the effect this disciplinary
sentence has on his overall length of confinement, the Court will
permit the due process claims . . . to go forward at this time."
Id. at 9.
Defendants have now moved for summary judgment. In support of
their motion, they have submitted evidence that as a result of
the September 26, 2000 disciplinary hearing, plaintiff did in
fact lose two years of good time. Specifically, prior to the
hearing, plaintiff had two years and twenty-one days of good time
available to him, and following the hearing, he had only
twenty-one days of good time left. See Declaration of Martin
Kearney (Docket #18) and Ex. A.
Plaintiff's response to the motion, while confusing and
difficult to understand, does not appear to dispute that he did
lose two years of good time as a result of the hearing. Even if
he does purport to dispute that, however, plaintiff has not
presented any evidence to rebut defendants' assertion that he
lost two years of good time. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (to overcome
well-founded motion for summary judgment, "the non-moving party
must come forward with `specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial'") (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). It
appears that plaintiff may contend that he did not actually lose
any good time because the hearing officer only "recommended" that
he lose two years, but his Time Allowance Committee Review report clearly states that "all
recommended LGT [loss of good time] is affirmed." Docket #18 Ex.
Accordingly, as explained in Judge Siragusa's prior Decision
and Order, plaintiff's due process claim under § 1983 is barred
under Edwards. See, e.g., Upfold v. O'Hara, No. 04-CV-6235,
2004 WL 1529233, at *2 (W.D.N.Y. June 24, 2004); Smith v.
Muccino, 223 F. Supp.2d 396, 403 (D.Conn. 2002); Mahotep v.
DeLuca, 3 F. Supp.2d 385, 390 (W.D.N.Y. 1998). Accordingly,
defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted.
Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Docket #14) is
granted, and the complaint is dismissed.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.