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Bradley v. St. Clair County Jail

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

January 28, 2014

CORY BRADLEY, No. 430932, Plaintiff,


J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Cory Bradley has been held in the St. Clair County Jail in the Southern District of Illinois since July 17, 2013, when he was arrested for allegedly violating the terms of his federal supervised release in connection with his conviction in the Eastern District of Missouri. Even though his supervised release was revoked on October 16, 2013, and he was sentenced to an additional 12 months of imprisonment, Plaintiff has remained in the St. Clair County Jail. See United States v. Bradley, No. 04-cr-00662-HEA (E.D.Mo. Oct. 16, 2013). Plaintiff brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights while housed at the Jail as a detainee and convict.

Both the St. Clair County Jail and the United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri are named as defendants. Plaintiff's complaint-more in the style of a letter-does not cite a basis for federal jurisdiction, other than referencing the Constitution. In quick succession, Plaintiff has filed three motions for leave to amend the complaint (Docs. 6, 9, 12). Also before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction (Doc. 3).

Motions to Amend

Of the three motions filed by Plaintiff seeking leave to amend the complaint, only Plaintiff's First Motion to Amend (Doc. 6, proposed amended complaint) conforms with Local Rule 15.1. Local Rule 15.1 requires that a proposed amended complaint contains all claims the plaintiff desires to pursue. Plaintiff's Second and Third motion to amend (Docs. 9 and 12) seek to amend the original complaint by interlineation-merely adding additional allegations in a piecemeal fashion. Therefore, Plaintiff's First Motion to Amend (Doc. 6) is GRANTED, and his Second and Third motions to amend (Docs. 9 and 12) are DENIED. The newly amended complaint (Doc. 6, proposed pleading) will be filed and shall supersede the original complaint in all respects. Consequently, the amended complaint will now undergo preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

Section 1915A Review

Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A 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). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers to a claim that "no reasonable person could suppose to have any merit." Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). 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). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross "the line between possibility and plausibility. Id. at 557. 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).

The Complaint

According to the amended complaint, because the law library in the St. Clair County Jail is not adequately updated, Plaintiff could not adequately contest his alleged supervised release violation. Plaintiff characterizes this as a ...

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