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Bobby Ford v. Warden Davis

July 7, 2011


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



Plaintiff Bobby Ford, an inmate currently housed in the Hill Correctional Center, brings this action claiming deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The incidents relevant to this action took place while Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Plaintiff is serving a three year sentence for retail theft. 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. "To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that a government official, acting under color of state law, deprived him of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States." Heyde v. Pittenger, 633 F.3d 512, 516 (7th Cir. 2011). 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 and supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

Plaintiff was briefly housed in the Pinckneyville Correctional Center between July 13 and July 21, 2010. He states that Defendants Davis (the warden) and Butler transferred him to Lawrence Correctional Center on July 21 on the pretense of being concerned that prison staff in Pinckneyville were trying to kill Plaintiff on account of the many past lawsuits Plaintiff had filed against them. However, Plaintiff alleges that the true reason for his transfer was to retaliate against Plaintiff for those same past lawsuits. In addition, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Davis and Butler further retaliated by providing false information regarding Plaintiff to officials at Lawrence Correctional Center, which caused the Lawrence officials to later deny Plaintiff's request for work release. According to Plaintiff, he was improperly classified as an "escape risk" based on this false information.

Plaintiff's other claim is against Defendants Althoff, Cardine, Chaney, and Daniels, all employed by the Prisoner Review Board or "Parole Board" in Springfield, Illinois, for improperly causing his arrest and incarceration from August 14, 2009, to November 10, 2009, on a false parole hold. Plaintiff asserts he had not violated his parole conditions. The false parole hold originated with Defendant Englemann, Plaintiff's parole officer at the time.

Plaintiff seeks compensatory and ...

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