United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ESMOND L. SANFORD, Plaintiff,
MADISON COUNTY, ILLINOIS, GARY BOST, DONALD BUNT, ROBERT HERTZ, and MADISON COUNTY JAIL Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge.
Esmond L. Sanford, an inmate in Robinson Correctional Center,
brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that occurred at the
Madison County Jail. Plaintiff requests costs and declarative
relief. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary
review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
(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). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable
person would find meritless. 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.
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 subject to
was incarcerated in the Madison County Jail until
approximately August 2014. Plaintiff is a practicing Muslim,
with sincerely-held beliefs. (Doc. 1, p. 7-8). Islam requires
Jumu’ah services, traditionally held on Fridays with an
Iman presiding. No Muslim in the Madison County Jail was
allowed time on Fridays for Jumu’ah services. (Doc. 1,
p. 7). Inmates were allowed to attend non-denominational
services on Saturdays and Sundays, but Plaintiff alleges that
these services were Christian themed. (Doc. 1, p. 7-8). Other
non-Christian clergy were permitted to visit in the public
visiting room, “time permitting.” (Doc. 1, p. 7).
Additionally, if a Christian detainee requested chaplaincy
services, they were given an hour to meet with the Chaplain,
and the visit was not counted towards their personal visit
maximum. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Plaintiff would have had to use a
personal visit to meet with an Iman, and those visits were
limited to 30 minutes. (Doc. 1, p. 12). Plaintiff was
permitted to participate in Ramadan. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
informed Bost, Bunt, and Hertz that he was a practicing
Muslim and requested time for “Jumu’ah”
prayer and religious counseling, but his requests were
denied. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff also alleges that he made
verbal complaints to Bost and Bunt. (Doc. 1, p. 7). None of
the individual Defendants ever responded to Plaintiff’s
complaints. (Doc. 9).
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into one count. The
parties and the Court will use this designation in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial
officer of this Court. The following claim survives threshold
Count 1 -Defendants impermissibly burdened the free exercise
of Plaintiff’s religion in violation of ...