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Jessie Loggins, Madison County Jail #78024 v. Michael Hare

January 13, 2012

JESSIE LOGGINS, MADISON COUNTY JAIL #78024, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL HARE, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Jessie Loggins, who was a pretrial detainee in the Madison County Jail at the time this case was filed, brings this action for deprivation of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), 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 and shall dismiss this action.

The Complaint

While Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee in the Madison County Jail, another detainee was assaulted in Plaintiff's cell block (Doc. 1, p. 5). Based on the date of Plaintiff's subsequent grievance (Doc. 1, p. 4), it appears this incident occurred in April 2011. Defendant Hare accused Plaintiff of the attack; Plaintiff denies guilt. On the basis of this allegedly false report, a criminal charge of misdemeanor battery was filed against Plaintiff (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff states that the only reason he was accused is because he is black, and claims the victim was only able to identify his assailant by his race.

Defendant Hare used racial slurs on a number of occasions when dealing with Plaintiff, going out of his way to harass Plaintiff, and calling Plaintiff a "convict" when in fact he was a detainee (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff has suffered depression and emotional distress as a result of this verbal harassment, and seeks compensatory damages.

Discussion

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into two (2) counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The ...


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