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Graham v. Walker

April 4, 2008

MARVIN GRAHAM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROGER E. WALKER, JR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Upon review of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide Plaintiff's pro se action into two counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings, filings, and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as to their merit.

COUNT 1: Against Defendants "Unknown Parties: 7-3 Segregation Shift Personal Property Staff" for allegedly confiscating his optometrist-prescribed tinted glasses in violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights.

COUNT 2: Against Defendants Williams, Hulick, and Walker for denying Plaintiff adequate medical care for an eye condition in violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights.

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 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). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

DISCUSSION

At this early stage, the Court cannot conclude that the claim asserted in Count 2 lacks merit. Although Plaintiff asserts that his eyes were eventually examined by Dr. Williams at Menard Correctional Center, Plaintiff contends that the examination was delayed for over two years. During the interim, Plaintiff states that he suffered from various ailments (e.g., headaches, blurred vision, burning eyes, etc.). Furthermore, it is unclear why Dr. Williams decided not to prescribe Plaintiff tinted glasses -- a decision that seems to conflict with the decision of the optometrist at Pontiac Correctional Center. Therefore, Plaintiff may proceed against Defendants Williams, Hulick, and Walker on Count 2 of the Complaint.

Plaintiff's claim in Count 1, however, should be dismissed. Claims brought in Illinois under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are subject to the two-year statute of limitations applicable to personal injury claims. 735 ILCS § 5/13-202; Wilson v. Giesen, 956 F.2d 738, 741 (7th Cir. 1992). According to the complaint, Plaintiff's glasses were confiscated from him when he arrived at Mendard Correctional Center -- an event that occurred sometime between January 17 and January 25, 2005. The instant complaint was filed with the Court on October 18, 2007. ...


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