FRANK VANDEVER v. COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION, SC 19036

Judicial District of Tolland

 

      Habeas; Due Process; Whether the Petitioner has a Liberty Interest in Avoiding Administrative Segregation.  The petitioner brought this habeas action claiming that his due process rights were violated when he was placed in administrative segregation, a type of restrictive housing that results in the segregation of an inmate whose behavior poses a threat to the security of the facility or a risk to the safety of the staff or other inmates.  Inmates are ineligible to earn good time credits and seven day work week good time credits while in administrative segregation.  The petitioner asserted that he was improperly placed in administrative segregation based on a disciplinary report that was later expunged and that he was therefore owed the statutory good time credit that he lost while in administrative segregation.  The habeas court denied the petition, and the petitioner appealed to the Appellate Court (135 Conn. App. 735), which dismissed his appeal.  The Appellate Court rejected the petitioner's claim that he had a liberty interest in avoiding administrative segregation.  It found that inmates do not have a constitutional right to a particular classification and that the decision to place the petitioner in administrative segregation was within the discretion of the respondent.  It also found that the petitioner had no protected liberty interest in unearned good time credits, which are awarded at the discretion of the respondent, who had the authority to determine that because of the petitioner's overall behavior, he was ineligible to earn statutory good time credits, including seven day work week good time credits, while in administrative segregation.  The Supreme Court granted the petitioner certification to appeal and will decide whether the Appellate Court improperly concluded, contrary to the rule of Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995), and Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209 (2005), that the petitioner had no liberty interest in avoiding administrative segregation.