United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Frank Thomas brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
concerning events that allegedly occurred while he was a
pretrial detainee at the Madison County Jail. Plaintiff seeks
compensatory damages and injunctive relief. This case is now
before the Court for a preliminary review 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
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). 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). 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.
not Plaintiff’s first bite at the apple. Plaintiff
originally filed his complaint on September 4, 2015. The
Court dismissed that complaint on October 5, 2015, for
failure to state a claim and directed Plaintiff to file an
amended complaint no later than November 2, 2015. (Doc. 6).
Plaintiff filed his amended complaint on October 21, 2015,
along with a motion seeking leave to file it. (see
Docs. 9, 10). As the Court previously directed Plaintiff to
file an amended complaint, and the amended complaint
has been filed on the docket, Plaintiff’s motion
seeking leave to file is moot.
after reviewing records from the Illinois Department of
Corrections, it appears that Plaintiff has been transferred
to Robinson Correctional Center as of January 8, 2016.
Although previously directed to keep the Court informed of
his whereabouts, Plaintiff has not filed a notice of change
of address. Plaintiff is once again reminded of his
obligation to keep the Court informed of his current address.
Also, Plaintiff’s claims for injunctive relief
regarding certain Madison County Jail policies are now moot
because he is no longer subject to those policies, and those
claims will not be addressed further.
careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority
under § 1915A; portions of this action are severable.
initially Plaintiff attempted to bring claims on behalf of
both himself and his adult daughter, the amended complaint
lists only Frank Thomas in the case caption. (Doc. 10, p. 1).
The Court takes that to mean that Thomas is now bringing
claims only on his own behalf.
alleges that on July 27, 2015, detectives with the Alton
police department, including Splittorff, arrested Plaintiff
and his daughter, Rashonda Barnes without a proper warrant.
(Doc. 10, p. 1, 7). Plaintiff alleges that the Alton police
acted without warrants and improperly coerced Plaintiff and
Barnes into making statements without Miranda warnings, in
violation of their constitutional rights. (Doc. 10, p. 1).
Plaintiff alleges he told Splittorff twice that he did not
want to speak, but that Splittorff continued to ask him
questions anyway. (Doc. 10, p. 4). Splittorff also allegedly
coerced Plaintiff into confessing by threatening to put
charges on his daughter if he did not confess. (Doc. 10, p.
7). Plaintiff also alleges that his personal property was
searched and confiscated in violation of the Fourth
Amendment. (Doc. 10, p. 1).
was eventually transferred to the Madison County Jail. (Doc.
10, p. 1). While at the jail, Plaintiff alleges that Bost
denied him access to legal materials and the lack of access
interfered with his ability to prepare his defense along with
his appointed attorney. (Doc. 10, p. 1; Doc. 10-2, p.1).
Along with access, Bost also denied Plaintiff paper, stamps,
envelops, and free copies. (Doc. 10, p. 2, Doc. 10-2, p. 1).
Hollenbeck also refused to notarize Plaintiff’s ...