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Roman v. Godinez,

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 20, 2015

LUIS ROMAN, No. M12962, Plaintiff,
v.
S.A. GODINEZ, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Luis Roman, an inmate in Pontiac Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights, based on events that occurred while he was housed at Lawrence Correctional Center in 2014. Supplemental claims based on the Illinois constitution are also presented in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint (Doc. 1) 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.

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. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

Motion to Amend

As a preliminary matter, Plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint to add an additional 61 pages of exhibits (Doc. 7) will be granted. The newly added exhibits will be considered a part of the complaint.

The Complaint

Unintelligibility and disorganization justify rejecting a complaint. See Stanard v. Nygren, 658 F.3d 792, 797-98 (7th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff's complaint is both unintelligible and disorganized.

Exhibits are interspersed amongst the pages of narrative and confuse, rather than clarify, the issues. It is not the responsibility of the Court to comb through the 100 pages of exhibits to fashion more specific claims on Plaintiff's behalf. "Rule 8(a) requires parties to make their pleadings straightforward, so that judges and adverse parties need not try to fish a gold coin from a bucket of mud." United States ex rel. Garst v. Lockheed-Martin Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2003).

It is clear that Plaintiff wants to present claims regarding an assault, a failure to secure him medical care, a cell search, a retaliatory and false disciplinary report, and the denial of due process and the equal protection of the laws. However, who allegedly did what to whom is entirely unclear. For example, the narrative vaguely describes Jeffery J. Molenhour as having assaulted Plaintiff (Doc. 1, pp. 8, 10), yet a grievance describes Molenhour as writing a false disciplinary report in order to cover-up an assault by unidentified correctional officers (Doc. 1, p. 26). Also, without a clear description of the principal events, other claims-such as the allegation that Director Godinez failed to implement a policy to protect Plaintiff's rights to due ...


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