United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
June 13, 2005.
DAVID V. BARNARD, Plaintiff,
ILLINOIS STATE; DIVISION of MENTAL HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES; CAROL ADAMS and BRIAN THOMAS, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff, currently detained in the Chester Mental Health
facility, brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This case is
now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:
(a) Screening. The court shall review, before
docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil
action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a
(b) Grounds for Dismissal. On review, the court
shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. See also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). An action
or claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319
, 325 (1989).
Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is legally frivolous and
thus subject to summary dismissal.
The amended complaint (Doc. 9) begins with a rambling
chronology of events related to Plaintiff's current detention.
However, the fact of his detention does not seem to be the
subject of this case. Rather, as gleaned from his prayer for
relief, Plaintiff seeks unfettered access to his typewriter, as
well as the return of some other personal property, including two
boxes of Lipton® tea.
The only constitutional right that might be implicated by these
facts is Plaintiff's right, under the Fourteenth Amendment, to be
free from deprivations of his property by state actors without
due process of law. To state a claim under the due process clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment, plaintiff must establish a
deprivation of liberty or property without due process of law;
if the state provides an adequate remedy, plaintiff has no civil
rights claim. Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 530-36 (1984)
(availability of damages remedy in state claims court is an
adequate, post-deprivation remedy). The Seventh Circuit has found
that Illinois provides an adequate post-deprivation remedy in an
action for damages in the Illinois Court of Claims. Murdock v.
Washington, 193 F.3d 510, 513 (7th Cir. 1999); Stewart v.
McGinnis, 5 F.3d 1031, 1036 (7th Cir. 1993); 705 ILCS 505/8
(1995). Accordingly, Plaintiff has no claim under Section 1983.
In summary, Plaintiff's complaint does not survive review under
§ 1915A. Accordingly, this action is DISMISSED with prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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