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Chester O'quinn, #N22797 v. D. Rednour

August 7, 2012


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


Plaintiff Chester O'Quinn, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a seventy year sentence for murder. 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 and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to dismissal.

The Complaint

In June 2010, Plaintiff ordered The Pill Book. When it arrived, Menard's Publication Committee reviewed the book and informed Plaintiff the book was on the banned book list. Plaintiff appealed the decision. Plaintiff told Defendant E. Kaesburg, the publication review officer who signed the rejection form, that he would be filing a grievance. Plaintiff filed a grievance on July 23, 2010. Plaintiff gave the grievance and a copy of the publication review form to his counselor, Defendant Glenn Barton. A few weeks later, Plaintiff was reassigned to Defendant Counselor Lawrence. Plaintiff asked Defendant Lawrence to look into the status of Plaintiff's appeal. When Defendant Lawrence reported "he" did not have it, Plaintiff gave copies of both documents to Defendant Lawrence (it is unclear whether Plaintiff is referring to Kaesburg, Barton, or Lawrence when Plaintiff uses the words "he" in this section of the complaint).

After a few weeks without a response, Plaintiff wrote Defendant Betty Spiller, who is both Barton and Lawrence's supervisor, and inquired about the grievance. Several weeks later, after receiving no response, Plaintiff wrote a letter of inquiry to Defendant Warden Dave Rednour. Plaintiff again heard nothing, and finally wrote a letter to the Administrative Review Board of the Illinois Department of Corrections, which also did not respond. Plaintiff feels the aforementioned Defendants failure to respond to Plaintiff's inquiry is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

According to Plaintiff, he requested the book due to his multiple medical conditions, which require Plaintiff to take a variety of medications. Plaintiff discovered from reading a copy of the same book that two of his medications should not be taken together (Doc. 1, p. 5). Without this book, Plaintiff feels his health is compromised. Plaintiff asserts the book "is not a threat to security" and it was banned arbitrarily (Doc. 1, p. 5).

Plaintiff seeks two injunctions; one to grant Plaintiff possession of the book, and the other to remove the banned book list. Plaintiff also seeks nominal, pecuniary, ...

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