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Mark H. Johnson v. Thomas Dart

December 8, 2010

MARK H. JOHNSON
v.
THOMAS DART



Name of Assigned Judge Gary Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Feinerman than Assigned Judge

(A-72077)

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [9] is granted. The case is dismissed on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A because the complaint [1] fails to state a claim. The trust fund officer at Plaintiff's place of incarceration is authorized and ordered to make deductions from Plaintiff's account and payments to the Clerk of Court as stated herein. The Clerk is directed to mail a copy of this order to the trust fund officer at Plaintiff's place of incarceration. This is one of Plaintiff's three allotted dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Status hearing scheduled for 12/14/2010 [8] is stricken. Civil case terminated.

O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

STATEMENT

Pro se plaintiff Mark H. Johnson has brought this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. No. 9) and complaint (Dkt. No. 1) for initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted, and this case is dismissed because the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), Plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee of $17.50. The trust fund officer at Plaintiff's place of incarceration is authorized and ordered to collect the partial filing fee from Plaintiff's trust fund account and to pay it directly to the Clerk of Court. After payment of the initial partial filing fee, Plaintiff's trust fund officer is directed to collect monthly payments from Plaintiff's trust fund account in an amount equal to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the account. Monthly payments shall be forwarded to the Clerk of Court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the full $350 filing fee is paid. All payments shall be sent to the Clerk, United States District Court, 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Illinois 60604, Attn: Cashier's Desk, 20th Floor, and shall clearly identify Plaintiff's name and this case number. This payment obligation will follow the plaintiff wherever he may be transferred.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt initial review of prisoner complaints against governmental entities or employees. The following facts, drawn from the complaint, are accepted as true and all reasonable inferences are made in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Parish v. City of Elkhart, 614 F.3d 677, 679 (7th Cir. 2010). This Court "construe[s] pro se complaints liberally and hold[s] them to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009).

STATEMENT

"To satisfy the notice-pleading standard, a complaint must provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, which is sufficient to provide the defendant with fair notice of the claim and its basis." Bridges, 557 F.3d at 545 (internal quotations omitted). "'[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Reger Dev., LLC v. Nat'l City Bank, 592 F.3d 759, 763 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "The complaint must actually suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, by providing allegations that raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bridges, 557 F.3d at 546 (internal quotations and citations omitted) (emphasis in original). "Any written instrument attached to the complaint is considered part of the complaint." Moranski v. Gen. Motors Corp., 433 F.3d 537, 539 (7th Cir. 2005).

Plaintiff alleges as follows. At the beginning of November 2009, he was a pretrial detainee at the Cook County Jail. (Dkt. No. 1 at 6). On November 10, 2009, he was transferred from the Cook County Jail to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). (Id.). This allegedly violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights and resulted in "a great deal of emotional distress." (Id.). Plaintiff states that he was placed in the medical psychiatric ward at the IDOC Stateville Correctional Center on November 14, 2009, and that this violated his Eighth Amendment rights. (Id.). Plaintiff then filed a complaint with the IDOC, resulting in his return to the Cook County Jail on November 19, 2009. (Id.)

Plaintiff suggests that the erroneous transfer from the Cook County Jail to the IDOC occurred because he had previously entered into a plea agreement on August 25, 2009, to a felony forgery charge and received a three year prison sentence. (Id.). However, on October 9, 2009, he filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, which was granted. (Id. at 6-7). Plaintiff explains that he was tried in January 2010 and convicted of felony forgery and sentenced to four years of incarceration. (Id. at 7).

Plaintiff names Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart as the sole defendant, alleging that he has failed to provide safety and security measures for the pretrial detainees. (Id.). He seeks financial compensation ...


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