United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS AND DIRECTING ENTRY
OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss for lack of
jurisdiction (Dkt. 20), filed by Defendant U.S. Parole
Commission (the “Commission”). Plaintiff Calvin
James (“Mr. James”), a federal inmate, brought
this civil rights action against the Commission asserting
that the Commission violated his due process rights. The
Court screened the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b) and dismissed all of his claims except a claim for
injunctive relief. Dkt. 8. The Commission seeks dismissal of
the remaining claim asserting that Mr. James lacks standing
to bring it. For the following reasons, the motion to dismiss
Standard of Review
is a question of subject matter jurisdiction, and therefore
properly raised in a motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1). Laurens v. Volvo Cars of North
America, LLC, 868 F.3d 622, 624 (7th Cir. 2017); Am.
Fed'n of Gov't Employees, Local 2119 v. Cohen,
171 F.3d 460, 465 (7th Cir. 1999) (“Obviously, if a
plaintiff cannot establish standing to sue, relief from this
court is not possible, and dismissal under 12(b)(1) is the
appropriate disposition.”). When ruling on a Rule
12(b)(1) motion, the Court “‘must accept as true
all material allegations of the complaint, drawing all
reasonable inferences therefrom in the plaintiff's favor,
unless standing is challenged as a factual
matter.'” Laurens v. Volvo Cars of N. Am.,
LLC, 868 F.3d 622, 624-25 (7th Cir. 2017) (quoting
Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Grp., LLC, 794 F.3d 688,
691 (7th Cir. 2015)). If the defendant raises a factual
challenge to standing, the plaintiff must show standing by a
preponderance of the evidence. Id. (citing
Kathrein v. City of Evanston, Ill., 636 F.3d 906,
914 (7th Cir. 2011)).
Factual and Procedural Background
31, 1980, Mr. James was sentenced “in the Southern
District of Illinois to a term of 14 years for the offense of
Bank Robbery Using a Dangerous Weapon.” Dkt. 20-2, pg.
4. This case arises out of Mr. James's most recent
parole, which was granted on April 24, 2017. Id. at
5. On May 2, 2017, Mr. James violated a condition of his
parole by refusing to participate in a drug aftercare
program. Id. at 4. On June 12, 2017, he violated
another parole condition by moving to a different residence
without reporting his whereabouts to his parole officer
within 48 hours. Id. And on June 14, 2017, he
violated a third parole condition by refusing to submit to a
drug test. Id. On June 19, 2017, Mr. James's
parole officer reported the violations to the Commission, and
the following day, it issued a warrant for Mr. James's
arrest. Id. at 3-4. He was arrested on September 25,
2017. Id. at 1.
Commission held a revocation hearing on December 14, 2017.
Dkt. 20-3. Based upon the evidence presented at that hearing,
the Commission found that Mr. James had violated three of his
parole conditions and revoked his parole. Id. On
February 1, 2018, the National Appeals Board (the
“Board”) received Mr. James's appeal of its
revocation decision. Id. at 4. On February 21, 2018,
it issued a “Notice of Action on Appeal”
affirming the Commission's decision. Id. at 1.
14, 2018, Mr. James filed a Complaint in this Court alleging
that the Commission had violated his constitutional rights
when it revoked his parole. Dkt. 1. He asked “to be
reinstated back on parole” as well as for money damages
and other relief. Id. The Court screened his
complaint and determined it should be dismissed because the
relief Mr. James was seeking-a change in his parole
status-could not be granted through a civil rights action,
but that Mr. James “may be able to file a petition for
a writ of habeas corpus to seek this relief.” Dkt. 6.
Mr. James was provided with the opportunity to show cause why
his complaint should not be dismissed. Id. He
responded by alleging that the Commission had taken too long
after the revocation hearing to issue its decision, and that
the Board had never taken any action on his appeal. Dkt. 7.
In light of this response, the Court permitted Mr.
James's “claim for injunctive relief” for
“the Commission to justify why it has failed to answer
[Mr. James's] appeal” to proceed. Dkt. 8.
Commission seeks dismissal of Mr. James's claims arguing
that the Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over
it because it cannot redress his alleged injury.
jurisdiction of the federal courts is limited to
“cases” and “controversies.” U.S.
Parole Comm'n v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388, 395 (1980).
Standing is “an essential and unchanging part of the
case-or-controversy requirement of Article III.”
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560
(1992). Constitutional standing requires three elements: (1)
an “injury in fact” (2) that is “fairly
traceable” to the defendant's conduct and (3)
redressable by way of judicial decision. Id. at
560-61 (1992) (internal quotations and citations omitted).
The burden rests on “[t]he party invoking federal
jurisdiction” to show he has met this requirement.
Id. at 561. A plaintiff cannot show the third
requirement, that his injury is redressable, even if he has
suffered a procedural irregularity, “unless a concrete
loss has been caused by that irregularity and could be
rectified by a judicial decision.” Cornucopia Inst.
v. United States Dep't of Agric., 884 F.3d 795, 797
(7th Cir. 2018).
Commission argues that Mr. James lacks standing because his
claim is not redressable. Mr. James's challenge is, at
its core, a challenge to the revocation of his parole. He has
identified no irregularity in the process for the parole
revocation other than the alleged delay of the Commission in
reaching the revocation decision and the Board's delay in
ruling on the appeal. Since the appeal has been decided,
however, there is nothing left that this Court can address in
this civil rights case. In response to the motion to dismiss,
Mr. James argues that he must be released back on parole, but
as the Court previously explained, the Court cannot make a
ruling in this case that would impact the fact or duration of
his confinement. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
475, 499 (1973); Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641,
648 (1997). In other words, the Court cannot order that Mr.
James be released back on parole in a civil action of this
nature. Any direct challenge to his confinement must be
brought through a properly-filed petition for a writ of
foregoing reasons, Mr. James does not have standing to bring
this case and the Court does not have subject matter
jurisdiction over it. Accordingly, the defendant's motion
to dismiss, dkt. , is granted. Judgment