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McGinnis v. Officers of the State of Illinois

October 6, 2010

KELLY LEE MCGINNIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICERS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Menard 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 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 AMENDED COMPLAINT*fn1

Plaintiff purports to bring the instant § 1983 action oh behalf of himself, "All Non-Lawyer, Non-State Officer Persons of Illinois," Katelin Grace McGinnis (Plaintiff's daughter), and Phillip Lee McGinnis (Plaintiff's son). He brings this action against "Officers of the State of Illinois," Bond County officials involved in case number 95D9 (Plaintiff's divorce case), Fayette County Officials involved in case number 97CF12 (Plaintiff's criminal case), and Larry Lefevre (the attorney who represented Plaintiff's ex-wife in the divorce proceeding).

Briefly, the complaint alleges a broad swath of "crooked conduct" by the above-named Defendants in the conduct of Plaintiff's state court divorce proceeding and one of his state court criminal cases. Plaintiff alleges that the allegedly "crooked conduct" caused him "loss of custody, loss of parental supervision . . . loss of significant moneys and properties . . . and prison time."

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff's complaint is patently frivolous. First, Plaintiff 's claim for damages based on his allegedly illegal imprisonment is not cognizable under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 unless and until his conviction has been reversed, expunged, invalidated, or impugned by the grant of ...


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