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Brooks v. Jackson County

September 23, 2009

BRANDON L. BROOKS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JACKSON COUNTY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert U. S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

GILBERT, District Judge

Brandon Brooks, currently an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this suit in relation to an incident occurring in Jackson County. 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, 590 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A complaint is plausible on its face "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true, some factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, No. 08-4286, 2009 WL 2535731, at *5 (7th Cir. Aug. 20, 2009).

Additionally, Courts "should not accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of action or conclusory legal statements." Id. At the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Service, No. 06-4260, 2009 WL 2498580, at *2 (7th Cir. Aug. 18, 2009).

THE COMPLAINT

Brooks was at a nightclub in Carbondale, IL on May 13th, 2007, when a fight broke out among patrons. Brooks attempted to leave the club, but was stopped by Carbondale police officers. The officers grabbed Brooks, performed a search, then threw him to the ground, claiming Brooks was resisting. Brook's brother was present at the scene, and when he tried to intervene the officers threw him to the ground as well. Brooks was then taken to the Carbondale police station.

Once at the station, Brooks was informed that he was stopped because a patron of the club wearing a black multi colored shirt was rumored to be in possession of a firearm. The officers informed Brooks that he fit that description, which is why he was searched, and when he began resisting arrest he was brought in. Brooks told the officers that he did not have a gun, and had no where to hide one. The officers ...


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