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James R. Henson v. Patricia Kelley

May 19, 2011


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

Inmate #1611,

IDOC No. N-70390,


Plaintiff James R. Henson, an inmate currently in the Stateville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on events that occurred while Plaintiff was housed in the Chester Mental Health Center. Plaintiff is serving 6-year and 5-year sentences for separate convictions of aiding and abetting the possession or sale of a stolen vehicle. Plainitiff is also awaiting trial on another charge and was confined in the Chester Mental Health Center after a finding that he was unfit to stand trial. 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 § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

Plaintiff makes several allegations that echo his complaints raised in Henson v. Kennon, No. 10-cv-795-JPG (S.D. Ill. filed Oct. 13, 2010) and Henson v. Fisher, No. 10-cv-796-MJR (S.D. Ill. filed Oct. 13, 2010), as well as several new claims. First, he states that on October 14, 2010, Defendants Bollmann, Shaw, Kennon and Lingle confiscated Plaintiff's personal property from his living area, including privileged attorney-client correspondence and other legal material. This material pertained to two cases filed with this Court (Henson v. Kennon, No. 10-cv-795-JPG (S.D. Ill. filed Oct. 13, 2010); Henson v. Fisher, No. 10-cv-796-MJR (filed Oct. 13, 2010, dismissed March 28, 2011)), as well as a case pending in the Northern District of Illinois (Henson v. Sedlock, No. 10-c-50111 (filed May 3, 2010)). Plaintiff asserts that Defendants confiscated the legal material in order to hinder his Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim he was pursuing against Defendants Kennon and Bollmann.*fn1 Plaintiff further claims Defendant Bollmann told him he had no right to "correspond with courts" while under her care (Doc. 1, p. 12).

Also on October 14, 2010, Defendant Kennon made a false disciplinary report so that Defendants Kennon and Bollmann could deprive Plaintiff of writing material and legal mail, thus hindering Plaintiff from communicating with his attorney and pursuing his administrative complaint(s) and court case(s) against them.

Defendant Bollmann withheld Plaintiff's personal medical-related mail, from October 16 to November 10, 2010.

Plaintiff further claims that he was denied appropriate medical treatment by Defendants Bollman, Shaw, and Doctor Tariq for pain in his neck and shoulder, tinnitus, a sleep disorder, and for side effects of his seizure medication. He makes several other rambling claims: that Defendant Bollmann incorporated one of Plaintiff's stolen legal documents into his medical file, "jeopardizing my standing in Court with my trial Judge" (Doc. 1, p. 12).; Defendant Bollmann coerced him to tell a psychiatrist that he "felt fit for trial with their medication treatment plan," which was a lie (Doc. 1, p. 12); and Defendants Fisher and Bollmann "coerced a psychiatrist into recommending me to a Circuit Court as restored to proper fitness" even though he had been denied medical care (Doc. 1, p. 12-13).

Finally, he states Defendant Kelley refused to act on his complaints over sleep deprivation and ...

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