United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DEMETRIUS D. MOORE, #S09786 Plaintiff,
VENICE POLICE DEPT., NGOMA, and SHELLENBERG Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert, U.S. District Judge
Demetirus D. Moore, an inmate in Pickneyville Correctional
Center, brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. This case
is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint 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). 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
alleges that on July 5, 2013, he noticed a police officer
monitoring his activity on some property he owns in Venice,
Illinois. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff called the Madison County
Courthouse and confirmed that there were no outstanding
warrants on him. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Sometime afterwards, Officer
Ngoma knocked on his door and asked Plaintiff to step
outside. (Doc. 1, p. 6). He asked Plaintiff to come with him
down to the Venice Police Department. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Plaintiff asked Ngoma if he had a warrant for his arrest or
to search the property. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Ngoma told Plaintiff
he did not have a warrant of any type. (Doc. 1, p. 6). He
also told Plaintiff he did not know why Plaintiff was wanted
at the station. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff then asked Ngoma to
leave. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Shellenberg then appeared and told Ngoma to arrest Plaintiff
and that they did not need a warrant. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
Plaintiff told the officers he would not go with them without
one. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff attempted to re-enter his
house, but the officers stopped him. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
Plaintiff then fled. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Shellenberg and Ngoma
chased him for two blocks, at which time Shellenberg filed a
warning shot at Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff stopped
and put his hands up. (Doc. 1, p.7). Ngoma then tackled him
to the ground, and put his knee into Plaintiff's back.
(Doc. 1, p. 7). Shellenberg then came over and put his
steel-toed boot in Plaintiff's face, breaking two of his
back teeth. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Shellenberg told Plaintiff,
“Next time you run from me, I'ma shoot you.”
(Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff began experiencing difficulty
breathing. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff requested medical
attention, but both officers refused, and put him in the back
of a cruiser. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Shellenberg then entered
Plaintiff's house without a search warrant to retrieve
Plaintiff's keys and cell phone. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
Plaintiff did not receive medical attention until July 6,
2013. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into four counts. The
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. The following claims survive
Count 1 - Ngoma and Shellenberg violated Plaintiff's
Fourth Amendment rights when they arrested him ...