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Oakley v. Evans

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

March 26, 2014

LAWRENCE OAKLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
LT. EVANS, LT CANDICE CAIN, LT. B, LT. LOFTUS, WILLIAM STRAYER, SERGEANT CLEMONS, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER MARKS, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER KIRBY, MELISSA CHILDRESS, CRAIG R. REISER, TERRY DURR, and NEIL WILLIAMSON, Defendants.

MERIT REVIEW OPINION

SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, District Judge.

This cause is before the Court for a merit review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, of Plaintiff Lawrence Oakley's claims and on his motion to proceed in forma pauperis.

I.

MERIT REVIEW UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(A)

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A, the Court is required to carefully screen a complaint filed by a plaintiff who seeks to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court must dismiss a complaint, or a portion thereof, if the plaintiff has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious, " that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.

The test for determining if an action is frivolous or without merit is whether the plaintiff can make a rational argument on the law or facts in support of the claim. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint fails to state a claim for relief if the complaint does not allege "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); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009).

In reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true and liberally construes them in plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8; Schatz v. Republican State Leadership Comm., 669 F.3d 50, 55 (1st Cir. 2012) (holding that, in order to determine if a complaint states a plausible claim, the court must take non-conclusory, non-speculative facts as true, draw all reasonable inferences in the pleader's favor, and isolate and ignore statements that simply rehash claim elements or offer only legal labels and conclusions). Instead, sufficient facts must be provided to "state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(internal quotation omitted).

II.

ANALYSIS

Plaintiff Lawrence Oakley was a pretrial detainee in the Sangamon County Illinois Detention Center ("the Detention Center") from November 12, 2007, until December 30, 2011. Oakley is now an inmate within the Illinois Department of Corrections and is housed at the Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois.

Oakley alleges that, during his detention in the Detention Center, Defendants violated his Constitutional rights in four ways. First, Oakley claims that Defendant Lt. Evans deprived him of his right to vote on or about January 28, 2008. Second, Oakley claims that Defendants Strayer and Clemons violated his religious freedoms by allowing preachers to use common areas in the Detention Center to conduct religious services and requiring those detainees who did not want to attend the service to return to their cells. Oakley asserts that these violations occurred on September 21, 2009, October 8, 2009, November 10, 2009, and April 7, 2011.

In addition, Oakley states that Defendants Marks and Kirby violated his religious freedoms and his equal protection rights by confiscating his religious items but allowing Christians in the facility to retain their religious items. Oakley alleges that these actions occurred on July 6, 2008, and October 3, 2008.

Third, Oakley contends that Defendant Childress threatened to have him killed on July 30, 2008. Oakley further contends that Craig Reiser, his court-appointed attorney, did nothing to assist him concerning Defendant Childress' threats.

Fourth, Oakley alleges that, although he wrote a grievance on December 23, 2011, regarding the fact that he had not been allowed to receive outside recreation time during his entire stay at the Detention Center, he never received a response to his grievance. Oakley states that Defendants Durr and Williamson are liable to him ...


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