Sorrentino v. Godinez, No. 13-3421 (Jan. 23, 2015) was a lawsuit by prisoners complaining that several items which they purchased from the prison commisary -- a fan and a typewriter -- were later declared by the warden to be prohibited contraband.
Under the new rules, their property was "removed," and the prisoners given options for what they wanted done with the items: destroy them, store them, or send them to someone on the outside at the prison's expense. They didn't like these options and instead sued, claiming a taking, among other things. The District Court dismissed with prejudice.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed the result, concluding that the plaintiffs' failure to avail themselves of the available remedy under Illinois law for obtaining compensation in the Illinois Court of Claims for a physical taking was fatal: "[t]he latter rule is what dooms Sorrentino's claims. Illinois provides such a procedure, but he has not tried to use it." Slip op. at 5. The court concluded that it would not be futile for Sorrentino to give this a try:
Even if he is correct that the Court of Claims is the proper court and that it cannot grant equitable relief, see Garimella v. Bd. of Trustees of Univ. of Ill., 50 Ill. Ct. Cl. 350, 353 (1996) (concluding that the Court of Claims cannot grant equitable relief but citing Illinois cases that imply the opposite), that limitation does not automatically mean that he may seek an injunction in a different court. He and Neal complain of a taking, and the normal remedy for a taking is monetary relief, which the Illinois Court of Claims can provide.
Slip op. at 6.
The only problem the Seventh Circuit had with the District Court's judgment was that the dismissal was with prejudice. The dismissal should have been without prejudice, "so that [the plaintiffs] may avail themselves of whatever procedures may still be available under Illinois law." Slip op. at 7.