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Richard Allen v. United States of America

July 14, 2011

RICHARD ALLEN,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, W A R D E N O F M A R I O N PENITENTIARY, DEFENDANTS.



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

06272-030

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, brings this action for alleged violations of his constitutional rights by persons acting under the color of federal authority. See Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The 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). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

Facts:

The version of the facts in this case is provided by Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 15). On May 23, 2011, officials acting for the United States removed DNA from Plaintiff's person while he was at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.*fn1 This DNA was extracted without Plaintiff's consent. Plaintiff claims that this amounts to an unreasonable search and a violation of due process. He also claims that the United States consistently fails to maintain records.

Discussion:

Plaintiff contends that the extraction of his DNA without his consent violates his constitutional rights. However, the Seventh Circuit has held that the law requiring that DNA be extracted from prisoners has a legitimate purpose: to create a DNA database that aids law enforcement officials. Gilbert v. Peters, 55 F.3d 237, 239 (7th Cir. 1995). The Court has further examined federal DNA law and has held that DNA extraction from prisoners does not violate constitutional law. United States v. Hook, 471 F.3d 766, 772 (7th Cir. 2006). See also Green v. Berge, 354 F.3d 675, 677-78 (7th Cir. 2004)(holding that the Wisconsin statute requiring all incarcerated felons to provide DNA samples for the state DNA bank does not violate the constitution).

The forced extraction of Plaintiff's DNA does not violate his constitutional rights. Plaintiff does not allege that the extraction occurred in a way that caused him physical harm, only that the extraction itself was unreasonable. Simply because Plaintiff disagrees and does not want to submit to DNA extraction does not mean that any of his rights have been violated. No constitutional issues are present in a case such as this where DNA is extracted from a prisoner. Therefore, this claim is dismissed with prejudice.

Plaintiff also claims that the failure of the United States to maintain records violates his rights. Plaintiff does not specify what records he wishes the United States to maintain, but the Court assumes that he means DNA records. Plaintiff has no constitutional rights concerning the United States' practice of maintaining DNA records, or any other sort of records. This claim is not based on ...


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