United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
April 30, 2012
COREY GEARLDS (#2012-0218142)
COOK COUNTY DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Name of Assigned Judge ROBERT M. DOW, JR. Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge
DOCKET ENTRY TEXT:
Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [#3] is granted. However, the complaint is summarily dismissed on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A for failure to state a federal claim. The case is terminated. Dismissal is without prejudice to pursuing relief in the state court system. The trust fund officer at Plaintiff's place of incarceration is authorized and ordered to make deductions from Plaintiff's account and payments to the Clerk of Court as stated herein. The Clerk is directed to mail a copy of this order to the Supervisor of Inmate Trust Fund Accounts, Cook County Dept. of Corrections Administrative Office, Division V, 2700 S. California, Chicago, Illinois 60608. This is one of Plaintiff's three allotted dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
O [For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.
Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections, has brought this pro se civil rights action purportedly pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that the clothing he was wearing when he was admitted at the jail, and for which he can produce an inventory receipt, is now missing.
The Court finds that Plaintiff is unable to prepay the filing fee. The Court accordingly grants Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assesses an initial partial filing fee of $6.33 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(b)(1). The trust officer at Plaintiff's place of incarceration is directed to collect, when funds exist, the partial filing fee from Plaintiff's trust fund account and pay it directly to the clerk of Court. Thereafter, the trust fund officer at the correctional facility where Plaintiff is confined is directed to collect monthly payments from Plaintiff's trust fund account in the amount of 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the account. Monthly payments collected from Plaintiff's trust fund account shall be forwarded to the clerk of Court each time the account balance exceeds $10 until the full $350 filing fee is paid. All payments shall be sent to the Clerk, United States District Court, 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Illinois 60604, attn: Cashier's Desk, 20th Floor, and shall clearly identify Plaintiff's name and the case number assigned to this action. This payment obligation will follow Plaintiff in the event of his transfer to another correctional facility.
However, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to dismiss a suit brought in forma pauperis at any time if the Court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. Here, even accepting Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, the Court finds that the complaint fails to state a federal claim as a matter of law.
Although it is most regrettable that Plaintiff's property, including a leather coat that held sentimental value, has been lost or stolen, he has no cause of action in federal court. A random and unauthorized deprivation of property by a state employee does not constitute a due process violation if the State provides a meaningful post-deprivation remedy. Belcher v. Norton, 497 F.3d 742, 750 (7th Cir. 2007); Snyder v. Nolen, 380 F.3d 279, 298 (7th Cir. 2004). The Illinois Court of Claims provides Plaintiff with an adequate remedy to redress his property loss. Plaintiff may also file an action in the state circuit court. See Cirrincione v. Johnson, 703 N.E.2d 67, 70 (Ill. 1998). Because the State provides an adequate post-deprivation remedy, the loss of Plaintiff's property is not actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Gable v. City of Chicago, 296 F.3d 531, 540 (7th Cir. 2002).
For the foregoing reasons, this suit is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted in federal court. Dismissal is without prejudice to pursuing any type of relief that may be available in the state court system. Plaintiff is warned that if a prisoner has had a total of three federal cases or appeals dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or failing to state a claim, he may not file suit in federal court without prepaying the filing fee unless he is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
If Plaintiff wishes to appeal this dismissal, he may file a notice of appeal with this Court within 30 days of the entry of judgment. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4). A motion for leave to appeal in forma pauperis should set forth the issues Plaintiff plans to present on appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(1)(C). If Plaintiff does choose to appeal, he will be liable for the $455 appellate filing fee irrespective of the outcome of the appeal. Lucien v. Jockisch, 133 F.3d 464, 467 (7th Cir. 1998). Furthermore, if the appeal is found to be non-meritorious, Plaintiff may also accumulate another "strike."
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