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Aldin v. Brink

March 5, 2010

NAJAM ALDIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
K. BRINK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, formerly an inmate at the Graham Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At the time Plaintiff submitted this complaint, he was still confined at Graham Correctional Center and, therefore, the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A apply to his complaint. See Robbins v. Switzer, 104 F.3d 895, 897-98 (7th Cir. 1997). 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, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 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, 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

THE COMPLAINT

While confined at the Vandalia Correctional Center, Plaintiff, a practicing Muslim, had a run-in with prison officials in October 2007 concerning his Ramadan fast. This incident formed the basis for Plaintiff's federal civil rights action in Aldin v. Illinois Dept. of Corrections, Case No. 3:08-cv-343 (S.D. Ill.). It appears that Plaintiff was later transferred to Graham Correctional Center.

Since the dispute in October 2007, Plaintiff states that "the defendants listed in this complaint initiated hostile action and imposed disciplinary sanctions upon [him] simply because of [his] faith and because [his] name is Islamic." Specifically, Plaintiff contends that he (and other Muslims) were denied the opportunity to say their Friday prayers in the prison's chapel; that he was again denied the opportunity to participate in Ramadan; and that he was harassed by being given disciplinary sanctions.

Additionally, because he was unable to say his Friday prayers in the chapel, he attempted to say them in the laundry room in his housing unit. Plaintiff states that he chose the laundry room because other non-Muslim inmates at Graham were hostile and threatened the Muslim inmates. Plaintiff was informed, however, that he could not pray in the laundry room. Thereafter, Plaintiff attempted to pray by his bed (which, it appears, was permissible), but that this lead to him being beaten up by another inmate. Finally, Plaintiff alleges that he was denied prayer rugs and his Koran.

DISCUSSION

A. ...


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