Cooper v. Superintendent
OPINION AND ORDER: The court DISMISSES the petition without prejudice. Signed by Judge Jon E DeGuilio on 9/6/2017. (Copy mailed to pro se party) (tc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
CAUSE NO. 3:17-CV-419-JD-MGG
OPINION AND ORDER
Carl Cooper, a pro se prisoner, filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging an
unidentified prison disciplinary proceeding. ECF 1. Cooper alleges that, as the result of this
disciplinary proceeding, he was demoted to Credit Class 2. He claims the Indiana Department of
Correction (IDOC) improperly continued his classification in Credit Class 2 when he was entitled
to placement in Credit Class 1. ECF 1 at 1. According to Cooper, his demotion to Credit Class 2
should have ended May 17, 2017, and he should now be restored to Credit Class 1. Id. Since filing
his petition, Cooper has been released from prison on parole. ECF 3.
Cooper has not provided the court with sufficient information to proceed with his habeas
claim. While prisoners may challenge their disciplinary sanctions in a habeas corpus proceeding,
Cooper has not identified a challenge to any particular disciplinary hearing or disciplinary sanction.
Rather, he challenges IDOC’s failure to instantly restore his credit classification in the six days that
elapsed between the time he believed his classification should have changed and the date he mailed
this petition. Without additional information, it is impossible for this court to determine whether
Cooper may be entitled to habeas relief.
Furthermore, even if Cooper had identified a specific disciplinary sanction, he could not
proceed with this petition because he has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Cooper
admits that he has not presented his claim to the Final Reviewing Authority. ECF 1 at 1. He must
do so before he can pursue his claim in federal court. See Moffat v. Broyles, 288 F.3d 978, 981-82
(7th Cir. 2002). Because Cooper concedes that he did not present his claim to the Final Reviewing
Authority, it is unexhausted.
Since Cooper’s claim is unexhausted, the petition will be dismissed. Because the dismissal
is without prejudice, when (or if he has already) appealed to and been denied by the Final Reviewing
Authority, he may file a new habeas corpus petition challenging this disciplinary hearing. At that
time, he needs to also attach a copy of the denial letter from the Final Reviewing Authority and he
must identify the disciplinary case in which the sanction was imposed.
For these reasons, the court DISMISSES the petition without prejudice.
ENTERED: September 6, 2017
/s/ JON E. DEGUILIO
United States District Court
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