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Jackson v. Casey

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


September 25, 2007

DARRYL W. JACKSON, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MICHAEL J. CASEY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Darryl Jackson ("Jackson") has just filed a thick Complaint and attached exhibits*fn1 targeting three defendants: Michael Casey of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Dr. Eva Wyrwa of Glen Ellyn Clinic Pediatrics Group and Dr. Jayshree Vajaria of Central DuPage Hospital. As always, this Court's first obligation is to determine the existence or nonexistence of subject matter jurisdiction (see, e.g., Cook v. Winfrey, 141 F.3d 322, 325 (7th Cir. 1998)), an obligation that compels this Court to act sua sponte if that inquiry produces a negative answer (see, e.g., Wernsing v. Thompson, 423 F.3d 732, 743 (7th Cir. 2005)).

What Jackson complains about is the assertedly improper medical treatment of his infant daughter, a subject as to which this Court of course expresses no opinion (for purposes of evaluating Jackson's Complaint, his allegations must be accepted as true without this Court's making any actual findings in that respect). But the only basis on which Jackson seeks to enter the federal courthouse door is via several skeletal and purely conclusory characterizations: an unsupported reference to "Racial Targeting" and "Race Discrimination" in Complaint ¶2, a similarly unsupported reference to "Racial Bias" in Complaint ¶6 and two similarly unsupported uses of the terms "Maliciously & Racially" in Complaint ¶¶9 and 17.

Just this last Term the United States Supreme Court redefined the standard for testing federal complaints in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965, 1973 n.14 (2007) by imposing a requirement of "plausibility" on a plaintiff's allegations in place of the more generous standard announced a half century ago in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957). This Court's search of the thick Complaint exhibits reveals that Jackson's conclusory playing of the race card as described in the preceding paragraph is totally speculative, rather than plausible, so that he has clearly failed the Bell Atlantic test.

Too often non-lawyer litigants mistake the federal courts as a place where every wrong can be righted. Not so--instead, federal courts' subject matter jurisdiction is limited to the matters that Congress has specifically conferred upon them. It is possible that Jackson may have legitimate complaints about the treatment to which he and his daughter have been subjected (again matters on which this Court expresses no opinion), but if so he must advance those grievances in a state court of competent jurisdiction. Accordingly both the Complaint and this action are dismissed sua sponte, without prejudice to Jackson's possible pursuit of his claims elsewhere.


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