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Riley v. Shires

July 26, 2006

DAVID RILEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KENNY SHIRES AND BRENT STANLEY, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, formerly an inmate in the Saline County Detention Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff previously was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and the initial partial filing fee was waived.

PENDING MOTION

Currently pending before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for an order directing the Saline County Detention Center to provide a copy of Plaintiff's jail trust fund account statement (Doc. 6). Because Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis has been granted, this motion is DENIED as moot.

THRESHOLD REVIEW

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides, in pertinent part:

(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 governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal.-- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(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. 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 that none of the claims in the complaint may be dismissed at this point in the litigation.

Factual Allegations

Plaintiff states that on July 29, 2005, he was stopped by Harrisburg, Illinois Police Officer Brent Davis (not a defendant). After Plaintiff was found to have a suspended license, Officer Davis placed him in handcuffs and searched the interior of his car. Officer Davis found nothing suspicious inside the car and asked Plaintiff for consent to search the trunk. Plaintiff did not give his consent for such a search. After Defendant Shires, Harrisburg Police Officer, arrived at the scene, Plaintiff was placed in Officer Davis's patrol car and transported to the jail. Defendant Brent Stanley, Harrisburg Police Officer, joined Defendant Shires at Plaintiff's car and proceeded to search the trunk without Plaintiff's consent, probable cause, or a search warrant. Plaintiff claims that this illegal search of his trunk violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages. Legal Standards

Fourth Amendment claims for damages for illegal search and seizure may be brought during the pendency of an underlying criminal case. The Seventh Circuit has held that such claims are not barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), because adjudication of the civil rights claims does not necessarily imply the invalidity of an underlying conviction. See Copus v. City of Edgerton, 151 F.3d 646, 649 (7th Cir. 1998) Furthermore, Fourth Amendment claims for illegal search or arrest "may be brought immediately," and a defendant need not wait until criminal proceedings have concluded to bring ...


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