The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:
Thursday, 13 September, 2012 04:31:11 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
Plaintiff proceeds pro se on allegations that he was subjected to an "unsanitary and egregious" strip search in the Sangamon County Jail on July 21, 2011. The case is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
The Court is required by § 1915A to review a Complaint filed by a prisoner against a governmental entity or officer and, through such process, to identify cognizable claims, dismissing any claim that is "frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." A hearing is held if necessary to assist the Court in this review, but, in this case, the Court concludes that no hearing is necessary. The Complaint and its attachments are clear enough on their own for this Court to perform its merit review of Plaintiff's Complaint.
The review standard under § 1915A is the same as the notice pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Zimmerman v. Tribble, 226 F.3d 568, 571 (7th Cir. 2000). To state a claim, the allegations must set forth a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Factual allegations must give enough detail to give "'fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" EEOC v. Concentra Health Serv., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007)(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)(add'l citation omitted)). The factual "allegations must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a 'speculative level.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged . . . . Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)(citing Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555-56). However, pro se pleadings are liberally construed when applying this standard. Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009).
On July 21, 2011, Plaintiff was taken to the Sangamon County Jail as a pretrial detainee. He alleges that he was subjected to an "unsanitary and egregious" strip search procedure, performed in front of several other detainees. He contends that this group strip search violated his rights.
Group strip searches might be constitutional if justified by valid penological reasons and conducted in a discreet and professional manner, but the Court cannot determine at this early stage whether valid reasons justified the group search. Mays v. Springborn, 575 F.3d 643, 650 (7th Cir. 2009)(jury could find group strip search was conducted without legitimate reason); Streeter v. Sheriff of Cook County, 256 F.R.D. 609 (N.D. Ill. 2009)(certifying class action challenging alleged unreasonable group strip searches at the Cook County Jail).
Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff states an arguable constitutional claim. Some of the Defendants may not bear the requisite personal responsibility but that determination is also premature.
1) The merit review scheduled for September 17, 2012 is cancelled. The clerk is directed to notify Plaintiff's prison of the cancellation.
2) Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court finds that Plaintiff states a federal constitutional claim arising from the strip search of him at the Sangamon County Jail in July, 2011. Any additional claims shall not be included in the case, except at the Court's discretion on motion by a party for good cause shown or pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil ...