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Hines v. United States Marshal Service

February 16, 2009

COREY LOUIS HINES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES MARSHAL SERVICE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, a federal inmate currently confined at the Marion County Law Enforcement Center, brings this action for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for alleged violations of 18 U.S.C. § 4013(d)(3). For relief, Plaintiff seeks damages. 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).

BACKGROUND

Before turning to the allegations of the instant complaint, the Court finds it useful to recount the following background information. Plaintiff is currently serving a federal sentence after being convicted , in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, of conspiracy to commit social security fraud, misuse of a social security number, aiding and abetting the misuse of a social security number, and aggravated identity theft. See United States v. Hines, 472 F.3d 1038, 1039 (8th Cir. 2007).

At the present time, Plaintiff is also charged with possessing contraband by an inmate; possession with intent to distribute marijuana; and conspiracy to distribute marijuana and heroin for acts that allegedly occurred while Plaintiff was confined at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois (USP-Marion) . See United States v. Hines, No. 3:08-cr-30040-MJR (S.D. Ill.). In his pending criminal case, Plaintiff has elected to proceed without benefit of counsel - although the Court has appointed Plaintiff stand-by counsel. Id. On May 2, 2008, based on Plaintiff's actions and statements in his pending criminal case, the Honorable Michael J. Reagan, United States District Judge, found reasonable cause to believe that Plaintiff suffered from a mental disease or defect which rendered him mentally incompetent to the extent that he was unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense. Id. (Order Continuing Trial & Ordering Psychiatric Evaluation, dated May 2, 2008). Accordingly, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241, Judge Reagan ordered that a psychiatric and/or psychological evaluation of Plaintiff be conducted. Id. As of the date of this Order, the mental evaluation appears to have been completed, but Judge Reagan has yet to hold a hearing concerning Plaintiff's mental fitness as it relates to his criminal case.

The instant pro se complaint was filed on June 4, 2008, approximately one month after Judge Reagan found reasonable cause to believe that Plaintiff suffered from a mental disease or defect.. It is against this background that the Court now turns to the allegations of the complaint.

THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff's complaint concerns events that occurred at Williamson County Jail and at Perry County Jail while Plaintiff was awaiting proceedings in his pending criminal case.

Plaintiff states that he was confined at Williamson County Jail from March 11, 208 to March 21, 2008. Plaintiff asserts that during this time he was housed "in a cell block void of [a] functional fire plan, law library, running water" and that he was denied "the minimum 5 [hours] of outside ...


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