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Hayes v. Grundy County

February 14, 2006

RAMON HAYES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GRUNDY COUNTY, ILLINOIS, JUDGE GEORGE M. MAROVICH TERRI MARKETTI -- SHERIFF OF GRUNDY COUNTY AND DWAYNE LAMCMOMAS -- DIRECTOR OF GRUNDY COUNTY JAIL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: George M. Marovich United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Ramon Hayes ("Hayes") filed a pro se complaint alleging that defendants denied him both access to the courts and movement, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants Grundy County, Sheriff Terri Marketti ("Marketti") and Grundy County Jail Director Dwayne LaMcMomas ("LaMcMomas") have moved to dismiss the complaint. Plaintiff has filed a motion in opposition to defendants' motion. For the following reasons, the Court denies plaintiff's motion and grants defendants' motion.

I. Background

The following facts are taken from Hayes's complaint. From November 15, 2004 until January 27, 2005, Hayes was housed at the Grundy County Jail. Hayes has two complaints about his stay.

First, Hayes complains about the quality of the law library at the Grundy County Jail. Although he requested access immediately, Hayes was not allowed to visit the law library for one week after his incarceration commenced. Once there, Hayes found the law library to be inadequate in that it lacked up-to-date case reporters and books on procedure. Hayes believed that a particular case was vital to his defense, but he was unable to locate it in the jail law library. He asked his public defender (whom Hayes alleges to be "overworked") to find the case, but the public defender, too, was unable to find the case. Hayes alleges that the result of his and his public defender's inability to locate the case was that Hayes "was forced to plead guilty" to a crime. Pleading guilty caused plaintiff "great distress, inconvenience and loss of money." Second, Hayes complains that he lacked freedom of movement while he was detained.

The allegations on this issue are sparse. They read:

For a prolonged period of time while being held as a pretrial detainee, at Grundy County Jail, I was allowed almost no movement which adversely affected my health. The defendants individually and collectively showed deliberate indifference to my health and violated my due process rights. (Plaintiff's Complaint at 7).

II. Standard on a Motion to Dismiss

When considering a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. McCullah v. Gadert, 344 F.3d 655, 657 (7th Cir. 2003). On a motion to dismiss, the "issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims." Cole v. U.S. Capital, Inc., 389 F.3d 719, 724 (7th Cir. 2004) (quoting Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)). This rule has particular force when considering the allegations of a pro se complaint, which are held "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Accordingly, pro se complaints are to be liberally construed. Wilson v. Civil Town of Clayton, Ind., 839 F.2d 375, 378 (7th Cir. 1988).

III. Discussion

A. Plaintiff's Motion

After defendants moved to dismiss plaintiff's complaint, plaintiff filed a motion in opposition. Effectively, plaintiff's motion is a response brief to defendants' motion. Accordingly, the Court denies plaintiff's motion. To be clear, the Court notes that it is considering the arguments plaintiff made in his motion as though it were a brief in opposition to defendants' motion.

B. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

1. First Amendment Right of Access to ...


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