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Wallace v. Parrish

March 16, 2010

MAURICE WALLACE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DON PARRISH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Tamms Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Before conducting this preliminary review, however, the Court will consider Plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint (Doc. 5).

Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure expressly grants a plaintiff the right to amend his complaint once as a matter of course before a responsive pleading is served. No responsive pleading has been served by the defendants in this case and, therefore, Plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint (Doc. 5) is GRANTED. The amended complaint supersedes the original complaint. See Flannery v. Recording Indus. Assoc. Of Am., 354 F.3d 632, 638 n.1 (7th Cir. 2004). Therefore, it is the amended complaint which the Court will review for purposes of § 1915A.

Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A 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 AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff's amended complaint is for the most part incomprehensible. It consists of 91 separately numbered paragraphs and each paragraph refers to at least one exhibit.*fn1 These exhibits, however, are not attached to the amended complaint.*fn2 In so far as the Court can tell, no exhibits were even sent by Plaintiff with the proposed amended complaint.*fn3 The Court's records indicate that the proposed exhibits (Doc. 6) were not sent until a couple of weeks after the amended complaint was sent to the Court.

The exhibits consist of 160 original documents in a variety of sizes.*fn4 Some of the exhibits are single-sided, while some are double-sided. Because the exhibits were not attached to the amended complaint, they are located separately in the Court's file and have not been electronically filed due to their cumbersome nature. The last exhibit bears the number "exh. 324," but there are only 160 separate documents. The following exhibit numbers could not be located in either package Plaintiff submitted: 119, 120, 121, 131, 132, 133, 160, 161, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, and exhibits 170 through 323.

The amended complaint does not set forth "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that . [Plaintiff] is entitled to relief." FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2) and the allegations are not meaningful Instead, the exhibits (Doc. 6) stand in lieu of meaningful allegations: Each numbered paragraph says little more than "see ...


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