reimburse the state for the cost of the sheet. Unlike the present case, there was no allegation in Hudson of a deficiency in the disciplinary proceedings. Rather the prisoner's due process claim was founded on the guard's alleged destruction of the prisoner's private property in his cell during the shakedown search. The guard's alleged destruction of the prisoner's property in his cell was the type of "random and unauthorized intentional conduct" that the state could not be expected to anticipate and prevent.
In the present case, the alleged deprivation was not by means of random and unauthorized intentional conduct. Instead, it occurred pursuant to an official prison disciplinary proceeding. Deprivations of property by means of unlawfully conducted state administrative proceedings do not fall under the rule of Parratt v. Taylor that an adequate postdeprivation remedy satisfies due process. The state court shirk responsibility for ensuring that its administrative proceedings satisfy due process.
In Logan v. Zimmerman Brush Co., 455 U.S. 422, 436, 71 L. Ed. 2d 265, 102 S. Ct. 1148 (1982), the Supreme Court held that the rule of Parratt v. Taylor does not apply when a person is deprived of a property interest pursuant to "established state procedure." In that case, Logan was deprived of a claim for handicap discrimination by a state commission's failure to schedule a hearing within the time limit prescribed by law. The Illinois Supreme Court had held that his claim was barred despite his lack of fault in the hearing not being conducted. Logan, 455 U.S. at 427-28. The United States Supreme Court held that Logan had been deprived of his claim without due process of law and directed the state to consider his claim on its merits. The Court rejected defendant's argument that Logan should be limited to tort remedies against the state under the rule of Parratt v. Taylor. It held that "absent 'the necessity of quick action by the State or the impracticability of providing any predeprivation process,' a postdeprivation hearing here would be constitutionally inadequate." Logan, 455 U.S. at 436 (quoting Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. at 539).
In the present case the alleged deprivation without due process took place at the predeprivation hearing itself. Under such circumstances, it cannot be said that a predeprivation hearing would be impractical.
Having concluded that Parratt v. Taylor and Hudson v. Palmer do not establish that due process was satisfied, the issue remains: what process was due? Before a person can be deprived of a protected life, liberty or property interest, the state must provide at least some form of notice and an opportunity for hearing. Logan v. Zimmerman Brush Co., 455 U.S. at 428. The timing and nature of the hearing depends "on appropriate accommodation of the competing interests involved." Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 579, 42 L. Ed. 2d 725, 95 S. Ct. 729 (1975). The competing interests include "the importance of the private interest and the length or finality of the deprivation, . . . the likelihood of governmental error, . . . and the magnitude of the governmental interests involved." Logan, 455 U.S. at 434 (citations omitted).
The government has a substantial interest in maintaining prison discipline and should be afforded a great degree of discretion in managing prisons. See Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 60 L. Ed. 2d 447, 99 S. Ct. 1861 (1979); Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S. Ct. 2963, 41 L. Ed. 2d 935 (1974). Despite this strong governmental interest, and despite the relatively insignificant property interest at stake, $ 6.40, it is clear that due process requires at least an opportunity to be heard. See Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S. Ct. 2963, 41 L. Ed. 2d 935 (1974).
In this case a crucial factual issue is in dispute precluding summary judgment: whether defendant's alleged threats deprived plaintiff of any opportunity whatsoever to be heard at his disciplinary hearing. A properly conducted prison disciplinary hearing generally satisfies due process, and it is therefore inappropriate for a federal court to review its action. Pollard v. Baskerville, 481 F. Supp. 1157 (E.D. Va. 1979), aff'd, 620 F.2d 294 (4th Cir. 1980); Jordan v. Robinson, 464 F. Supp. 223, 227 (W.D. Pa. 1979). When such a disciplinary committee violates due process, however, section 1983 provides the aggrieved prisoner with a remedy in federal court. Quick v. Jones, 754 F.2d 1521 (9th Cir. 1985); United States ex rel. Smith v. Robinson, 495 F. Supp. 696 (E.D. Pa. 1980). As the law stands, there is no requirement that a section 1983 plaintiff exhaust state remedies before bringing suit. Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 183, 5 L. Ed. 2d 492, 81 S. Ct. 473 (1961); see also Patsy v. Board of Regents, 457 U.S. 496, 73 L. Ed. 2d 172, 102 S. Ct. 2557 (1982).
Parratt v. Taylor and Hudson v. Palmer dictate a hands off approach to section 1983 prisoner complaints concerning deprivations of property, permitting postdeprivation remedies to satisfy due process as long as the state cannot be expected to anticipate and prevent random and unauthorized negligent and intentional deprivations of property. These decisions, however, must be reconciled with the Court's holdings that there is no requirement of exhaustion of state law claims before conduct can be characterized as "under color of state law" and thus serve as the basis for a section 1983 claim. Patsy v. Board of Regents, 457 U.S. 496, 102 S. Ct. 2557, 73 L. Ed. 2d 172 (1982); Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 5 L. Ed. 2d 492, 81 S. Ct. 473 (1961). Parratt and Hudson also must be reconciled with the Court's repeated holdings that prisoners retain some constitutional rights, including the right to due process, e.g., Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 103 S. Ct. 864, 74 L. Ed. 2d 675 (1983); Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S. Ct. 2963, 41 L. Ed. 2d 935 (1974).
An assessment of the issue presented in this case reveals that the reasoning of Logan v. Zimmerman Brush Co., 455 U.S. 422, 71 L. Ed. 2d 265, 102 S. Ct. 1148 (1982), and of Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 5 L. Ed. 2d 492, 81 S. Ct. 473 (1961), is more pertinent than that of Parratt and Hudson. If the state deprives a person of property unlawfully in the process of the very hearing purporting to grant due process, the due process clause is violated. To suggest that a postdeprivation remedy is adequate protection is to deny the effect of section 1983 as an independent federally created remedy for violations of constitutional rights. Cf. Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 5 L. Ed. 2d 492, 81 S. Ct. 473 (1961). To grant summary judgment for defendant would essentially be to hold that section 1983 does not provide a remedy for prisoners' rights not to be deprived of property without due process. Neither Parratt nor Hudson suggests any basis for such a holding.
Moreover, I am not satisfied that the plaintiff has an adequate state law postdeprivation remedy that could potentially satisfy due process. Plaintiff signed, albeit allegedly under duress, a release forfeiting his right to the $6.40 pursuant to a duly authorized proceeding before state officials. I am not at all certain that plaintiff could convince a state court under any circumstances to void the decision of the disciplinary committee. The defendant has cited no authority for a state court directly to review the action of the disciplinary committee. Cf. Cohen v. City of Philadelphia, 736 F.2d 81 (3d Cir. 1984). This is not a case in which the plaintiff simply seeks review of a decision with which he is unhappy. Cf. Jordan v. Robinson, 464 F. Supp. 223 (W.D. Pa. 1979). The plaintiff's allegations, if true, could establish that he was given no opportunity at all to present a defense.
Substantial issues of fact remain, precluding entry of summary judgment. Defendant's motion for summary judgment will be denied.
Upon consideration of defendant's renewed summary judgment motion and supporting and opposing memoranda of law,
It is ordered that defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment is denied.