Williams-Bey, Joseph T. v. Buss, Ed

Filing 30

Opinion

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NONPRECEDENTIAL DISPOSITION To be cited only in accordance with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit Chicago, Illinois 60604 Submitted March 19, 2008* Decided March 19, 2008 Before FRANK H. EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge KENNETH F. RIPPLE, Circuit Judge ANN CLAIRE WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge No. 064204 JOSEPH WILLIAMSBEY, PetitionerAppellant, v. No. 3:06cv733 EDWIN G. BUSS, RespondentAppellee. Rudy Lozano, Judge. O R D E R Joseph WilliamsBey, an Indiana prison inmate, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, see 28 U.S.C. 2254, claiming that his constitutional rights were violated when prison officials effectively denied him access to the courts. WilliamsBey argued that between August 16, 2006, and September 11, 2006, he was refused access to the prison law Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. The appellee was not served with process in the district court and is not participating in this appeal. After examining the appellant's brief and the record, we have concluded that oral argument is unnecessary. Thus the appeal is submitted on the appellant's brief and the record. See FED. R. APP. P. 34(a)(2). * No. 064204 Page 2 library as a disciplinary sanction. He also asserted that this sanction was imposed without a hearing. According to WilliamsBey, he wrote to prison warden Lawson in response to the sanction, but Lawson "refused to respond." WilliamsBey did not then seek further review through the prison appeals process. The district court dismissed WilliamsBey's petition. The court noted that the Fourteenth Amendment does not provide prisoners due process protections from sanctions that do not affect the duration of their confinement. See Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 487 (1995). Therefore, the court continued, prisoners may not use 2254 as a vehicle for challenging disciplinary sanctions that do not lengthen their confinement. See Sylvester v. Hanks, 140 F.3d 713, 714 (7th Cir. 1998). The district court observed that WilliamsBey did not seek release from custody or claim that he had lost goodtime credits as a consequence of a rule violation. Instead, he only sought access to the law library. The court held that his claim was not actionable under 2254. After the district court dismissed his habeas corpus petition, WilliamsBey brought this appeal. But he does not address the basis of the district courts dismissal, i.e., that the allegations do not state a claim under 2254 because his punishment does not affect the fact or duration of his confinement. Instead, WilliamsBey argues the merits of his underlying claims. The district court properly dismissed WilliamsBey's petition. It is wellestablished that a prisoner who challenges neither the fact nor duration of his confinement but instead challenges the conditions of confinement--such as exclusion from programs and loss of privileges--must do so in an action under 42 U.S.C. 1983 or another federal statute, not a petition for habeas corpus. See Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004); Bunn v. Conley, 309 F.3d 1002, 1007 (7th Cir. 2002); Moran v. Sondalle, 218 F.3d 647, 65051 (7th Cir. 2000). WilliamsBey challenges only the restriction on his use of the prison library, which does not implicate the fact or duration of his sentence. See Bunn, 309 F.3d at 1007. Therefore, WilliamsBey may not use a 2254 petition to redress this grievance. AFFIRMED.

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