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William Dale Carter v. Teresa Casteel

July 24, 2012

WILLIAM DALE CARTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TERESA CASTEEL, KAREN SEIP, SUPERVISOR WATSON, WARDEN MARTIN, AND CHRISTINE BOYD, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff William Carter, a former inmate at Shawnee Correctional Center ("Shawnee"), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action while incarcerated at Shawnee, and he is now on parole from a twenty year sentence for armed home invasion. 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.

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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (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 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

The following summary of facts is drawn from Plaintiff's pro se complaint (Doc. 1). He names Teresa Casteel (Shawnee Librarian), Karen Seip (Shawnee Grievance Officer), Brian Watson (Shawnee School Principal), Warden Martin, and Christine Boyd (Adult Education and Vocational Services), as parties who each violated his constitutional rights.

During his incarceration and since his release, Plaintiff has filed numerous lawsuits and habeas corpus petitions in both Illinois State courts and federal courts. During Plaintiff's time at Shawnee, Defendant Casteel made litigating these cases difficult for him. Defendant Casteel refused to copy or notarize documents that she disagreed with. Additionally, she refused to make copies of cases and statutes so that Plaintiff could not engage in research while in his cell. These obstacles adversely affected Plaintiff's ability to litigate his § 2254 habeas petition in this Court, amongst other actions. See Carter v. Shawnee Prison, 2011 WL 2037611 (S.D. Ill. 2011).

Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages, declaratory relief, and an injunction ...


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