from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable
Catherine R. Rogers, Judge
Representing Appellant: Chester Loyde Bird, pro se.
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General;
Michael J. McGrady, Deputy Attorney General.
DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.
Chester L. Bird is serving a sentence of life according to
law for crimes he committed in the 1990s. Mr. Bird filed a
pro se complaint under the Declaratory Judgment Act,
alleging that the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC)
violated various policies and procedures during disciplinary
proceedings brought against him. The district court dismissed
Mr. Bird's complaint, and we affirm.
Mr. Bird raises two issues that we reorder and rephrase:
1. Was it proper for the district court to base its dismissal
of Mr. Bird's complaint on standing, when the WDOC only
raised standing in its reply brief?
2. Do collateral estoppel and res judicata bar Mr. Bird's
claims that procedural violations occurred during his
Mr. Bird has been in the custody of the WDOC since 1994. In
September 2016, he was convicted of three major conduct
violations resulting from his participation in a pornographic
video distribution scheme. He was sentenced to 60 days in
disciplinary segregation, among other punishments. Mr. Bird
filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United
States District Court for the District of Wyoming, naming
WDOC warden Michael Pacheco and the Wyoming Attorney General
as respondents. He alleged the disciplinary proceedings used
to obtain his convictions violated his right to due process
of law because "he was arbitrarily denied staff
witnesses, the charging officer gave false testimony, there
was 'no evidence' to support the guilty finding and
 he received punishments other than a fine." The
federal district court granted the respondents' motion
for summary judgment, concluding that Mr. Bird had been
"provided all the due process to which he was
entitled." The Tenth Circuit denied him a certificate of
Mr. Bird then filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment in
state district court against the director of the WDOC, Robert
Lampert. He sought a declaration that the WDOC must
"adhere to its own rules and regulations which were
adopted for the protection of other parties." He argued
the WDOC did not follow its own procedures in conducting his
disciplinary hearing because: 1) his conduct violation report
did not provide sufficient description of physical evidence,
did not disclose the names of all staff members involved in
the investigation, and was not completed until more than 24
hours after the decision to charge him was made; 2) the
hearing officer reviewed a confidential investigation report
that Mr. Bird did not have the opportunity to review; and 3)
he was denied the opportunity to present witnesses.
Mr. Lampert moved to dismiss Mr. Bird's complaint,
arguing that collateral estoppel and res judicata precluded
the action because his habeas corpus petition had
"previously raised nearly identical allegations."
Mr. Bird responded that his complaint did not argue that
violations of WDOC policies violated his right to due
process, rather it sought a judgment that "the WDOC must
adhere to its own policies and procedures which were adopted
for the protection of other parties, nothing more, nothing
less." In reply Mr. Lampert argued, in addition to the
action being precluded, that Mr. Bird lacked ...