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January 26, 1993


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:


In this civil rights action, Samuel Easton Slagel claims at the defendants — various private individuals as well as city, state and federal agencies — violated his constitutional rights by engaging in a conspiracy against him.

Before the court is plaintiff's petition for leave to proceed without prepayment of fees and costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

The petition is denied and the complaint is dismissed f r the reasons now discussed.

It is well established, of course, that pro se complaints are to be liberally construed. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed 2d 652 (1972), reh'g denied, 405 U.S. 948, 30 L.Ed.2d 819 (1972). "[A] district court judge should deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis if an action is frivolous or malicious." Wartman v. Branch 7 Cvil Division, County Court, Milwaukee County, State of Wisconsin, 510 F.2d 13, 134 (7th Cir. 1975), principle reaffirmed in Bryan v. Johnson, 821 F.2d 455, 458 (7th Cir. 1987). A frivolous complaint is on in which "the petitioner can make no rational argument in law or facts to support his or her claim for relief." Williams v. Faulkner, 837 F.2d 304, 306 (7th Cir. 1988 ), aff'd sub nom Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989).

Because the plaintiff has indicated that he is indigent (he is receiving public aid and social security disability payments), the court has reviewed the plaintiff's claims to determine whether they state a colorable cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The court must conclude that the complaint is without arguable merit.


Slagel is a resident of Urbana, Illinois. He sues Shell Oil Refinery, Dr. Michael Ralph, the Urbana Police Department, the Champaign County State's Attorney, Renee and Dr. Adolf Lo, the Champaign County Housing Authority, the United States Post Office, the Champaign County Circuit Court, and United States District Judge Harold A. Baker.

The court gleans the following allegations from the rambling, nebulous complaint: On October 11, 1985, the plaintiff sustained disabling injuries at the Shell Oil Refinery in Wood River, Illinois. During an unspecified subsequent period, the plaintiff was a tenant in an apartment belonging to the defendants Lo. The plaintiff's lease was partially subsidized by the Champaign County Housing Authority. He appears to allege that the landlord defendants called and wrote letters to the police complaining about the plaintiff in an effort to force him to move.

On November 28, 1991, Slagel called the police from a service station to report that someone had threatened to assault him. He alleges that the officer who arrived on the scene became hostile and told the plaintiff that he could do nothing. Then, after entering the service station and apparently conferring with someone inside, the officer arrested the plaintiff. The officer read Slagel his rights and advised him that he was being arrested for rape and harassment. The officer purportedly implicated Renee Lo, the Champaign County State's Attorney and the United States Post Office in the arrest. The plaintiff did not receive a copy of the charges, and no lawyer was assigned to him.

The plaintiff believes that the Urbana Police Department attempted to inculpate him in child endangerment and other crimes in an effort to cover up their unlawful arrest. He further asserts that police officers were aware that he was innocent.

Slagel evidently wrote a complaint letter to the Urbana Police Department, for on December 9, 1991, Police Chief Willard Schlieter wrote the plaintiff a letter. In the letter, Schlieter told Slagel he was unsure what the plaintiff wanted, and added that he could not investigate a complaint of police misconduct if criminal charges were pending. The Urbana Police Department and the State's Attorney's Office have refused to respond to the plaintiff's requests for information.

The plaintiff claims he lost property seized pursuant to the arrest because he feared that he would be arrested again if he returned to the police department to retrieve his possessions. He also suspects that the United States Post Office tampered with his mail during the week of February 22, 1992.

Slagel further believes that Judge Baker might be involved, since the Urbana police and the State's Attorney work closely with the courts. The plaintiff attributes all of the above events to a "scheme and conspiracy designed and intended to deny and deprive plaintiff" of his constitutional rights. He appears to maintain that Shell ...

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