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Carl David Russ v. Todd Bittle andillinois Department of Children and Family Services

March 23, 2011

CARL DAVID RUSS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
TODD BITTLE ANDILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES (DCFS), DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge

#B-86777,

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GILBERT, District Judge:

Plaintiff Carl David Russ, an inmate in Western Illinois Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a 12 year sentence for criminal sexual assault involving a family member. 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, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Conversely, 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. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

Upon careful review of the complaint, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under Section 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

Plaintiff's brief complaint sets out two claims. The first is against his former public defender, Defendant Todd Bittle, whom Plaintiff claims did not provide effective assistance of counsel in the case that resulted in Plaintiff's conviction, by not properly investigating the case and by discriminating against Plaintiff in some unspecified manner. Plaintiff's second claim is against the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). He states that DCFS has also discriminated against Plaintiff, has not allowed ...


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