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Fells v. Idoc, Logan Correctional Center

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

October 24, 2014

ALONZO FELLS, Plaintiff,
v.
IDOC, LOGAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER, and LINCOLN CORRECTIONAL CENTER, 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 Alonzo Fells' claims.

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

On December 6, 2012, Fells was an inmate within the Illinois Department of Corrections and was housed at the Logan Correctional Center ("Logan"). Fells was subsequently transferred to the Lincoln Correctional Center ("Lincoln").

Fells alleges that, while at Logan, he was diagnosed as suffering from a cataract in his left eye. Despite this diagnosis, Fells claims that he did not receive any treatment for his eye condition at either Logan or Lincoln. Fells further complains of inadequate access to the law library at both Logan and Lincoln. Fells states that he received no assistance in filing this Complaint from anyone at either Logan or Lincoln due to the inadequate library and that the inadequate law library and lack of assistance violated his Eighth Amendment rights.

As for Fells' claim of an inadequate library, Fells has failed to state a claim. Fell may have had difficulty filing his Complaint, but he managed to file it. Moreover, Fells is no longer incarcerated. Therefore, he is not entitled to injunctive relief based upon an alleged denial of access to the law library or to the courts.

On the other hand, Fells has stated a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition based upon his claim that he received no treatment for his eye condition while incarcerated at Logan and Lincoln. However, Fells' Complaint fails to name or identify a proper party defendant.

Fells has filed this suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section "1983 applies only to a person' who acts under color of state law." Dye v. Wargo, 253 F.3d 296, 299 (7th Cir. 2001). None of the named Defendants is a "person" who may be sued under § 1983. Wright v. Porter County, 2013 WL 1176199, * 2 (N.D. Ind. Mar. 19, 2013) ("Wright also sues the jail itself, but this is a building, not a person' or even a policy-making body that can be sued for ...


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