United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
December 7, 2005.
EARLENE ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
SANGAMON COUNTY JAIL, SANGAMON COUNTY SHERIFF, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: HAROLD BAKER, District Judge
The plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Federal
Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Florida. Before her
transfer to Florida, she was incarcerated in the Sangamon County
Jail as a federal inmate.
In March, 2005, while incarcerated in the Sangamon County Jail
as a federal inmate, the plaintiff purchased $46.43 of goods from
the commissary. She was transferred before her purchases were
delivered to her. She never received her money back, nor the
goods she purchased. She asks for reimbursement.
The plaintiff initially filed an administrative tort claim
under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The claim was denied because,
though the plaintiff was a federal inmate, the United States
Marshals does not control the Jail's operations and is therefore
not responsible for the conduct of Jail officials. Logue v.
U.S., 412 U.S. 521 (1973) ("In view of fact that deputy
United States marshal had no authority to control activities of county
sheriff's employees, such employees were employees of a
`contractor with the United States', and not employees of a
federal agency, within meaning of Federal Tort Claims Act).
The denial of the plaintiff's FTCA administrative claim states,
"[I]f you are dissatisfied with our determination, you may file
suit within the appropriate U.S. District Court, . . ."
(Complaint, p. 19). However, that does not mean the plaintiff
states a claim that can proceed in a U.S. District Court. The
District Court is required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A to conduct a
merit review of the plaintiff's complaint, and to dismiss it if
it fails to state a claim under federal law.
The plaintiff does not state a claim for relief under federal
law for the loss of her money, and therefore her Complaint must
be dismissed. As stated above, the Jail staff are not federal
employees, so there is no claim under the FTCA. Constitutional
violations by state actors are redressable under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, but negligent acts are
not constitutional violations. The plaintiff appears to allege
the negligent deprivation of her property that does not state
a claim under the U.S. Constitution. Daniels v. Williams,
474 U.S. 327, 328 (1986) ("[T]he Due Process Clause is simply not
implicated by a negligent act of an official causing unintended
loss of or injury to life, liberty, or property.") (emphasis in
original) (injuries sustained from fall on pillow negligently
left on stairs by deputy sheriff not actionable under Section
Even if the plaintiff is saying that the defendants
intentionally took her money, or that their record-keeping
procedures are so inadequate as to amount to an intentional
taking, she does not state a claim under the U.S. Constitution.
An state actor's intentional deprivation of an inmate's property
does not violate the Constitution if the state provides its own
legal remedies. Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533,
104 S. Ct. 3194 (1984); see also Parratt v. Taylor, 451 US 527 (1981),
overruled on other grounds. In Illinois, local government
employees are not immune for "willful and wanton behavior," which
is defined as an "utter indifference to or conscious disregard
for the safety of others or their property." 745 ILCS 10/1-210
(emphasis added). Thus, the plaintiff has state remedies for the
intentional deprivation of her property and does not state a
claim under federal law.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the plaintiff's Complaint is
dismissed for failure to state a federal claim pursuant to
28 U.S.C. 1915A and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The merit review
conference scheduled for December 20, 2005, is cancelled as
unnecessary. All pending motions are denied as moot (d/e 1), and
this case is terminated.
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