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Muhammad v. Randle

July 2, 2010

RAHMAN MUHAMMAD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL P. RANDLE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: G. Patrick Murphy United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MURPHY, District Judge

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Big Muddy Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for violations of his rights under Titles I and II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and for violations of his rights under the Rehabilitation Act. 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

The complaint and attached exhibits indicate that Plaintiff is missing his right eye, that his right pinky finger was amputated, and that he has a partially reconstructed right knee cap. Due to his physical condition, Plaintiff asserts that he is a "qualified individual with a disability" and claims that Defendants terminated him from his prison job in violation of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and in violation of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794, et seq.

Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that on May 4, 2009, he was approved for a prison job working in the yard. Due to inclement weather, however, Plaintiff did not report to his job until May 15, 2010. When he reported for his job, he was told by "officer Black" and Defendant Hudson that he was "not the right guy for the job." Defendant Hudson then contacted Defendant McNeil to have Plaintiff removed from his prison job. Plaintiff filed grievances concerning the loss of his prison job due to his disability. The responses to Plaintiff's grievances state that he was terminated from his job not because of his disability, but because of some other "administrative decision." For relief, Plaintiff seeks "punitive and nominal damages." Defendants Randle, Peyton, Hudson, and McNeil are sued "in both their official individual capacities."

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide Plaintiff's pro se action into four counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future filings, 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 Randle, Evans, Hudson, Peyton, and McNeil for terminating him from his prison job based on his physical condition in violation of Plaintiff's right to Due ...


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