United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
VICTOR R. CUNNINGHAM, Plaintiff,
ZACHERY ROECKMAN, J. GARNETT, GADDIS, M. SANDERS, CHILDERS, HYDE, SHRADER, MASSEY, D. KNAUER, JOHN R. BALDWIN, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, United States District Judge.
Victor Cunningham, an inmate in Big Muddy Correctional
Center, brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages for his pain and suffering.
This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(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; this action is subject to summary
alleges that on July 22, 2015, he transferred into Big Muddy
River Correctional Center from Lawrence Correctional Center.
(Doc. 1, p. 5). Some of his property was misdirected during
the transfer, and Plaintiff alleges that a portion of it was
never returned. (Doc. 1, p. 5). When Plaintiff complained, he
was compensated for some, but not all, of his property. (Doc.
1-1, p. 13). Specifically, he was never compensated for one
snack cake box, one kool-aide, one mackerel, one jar of
peanut butter, one turkey meat, one keefe coffee, one box of
tea, and one saltine cracker. (Doc. 1-1, p. 13).
September 24, 2015, Plaintiff was sent to segregation. (Doc.
1, p. 6). He was released ten days later on October 4, 2015.
(Doc. 1, p. 6). Once again, property was missing. (Doc. 1, p.
6). This time, Plaintiff was missing one sweat shirt, one
sweat pants, one pair tennis shoes, three Dial soaps, two
chips, two bowels, four write-outs, two cookies, two
deodorant, four noodles, one oraline toothpaste, one box
snack cracker, and one bag peppermint. (Doc. 1-1, p. 13).
Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages for the stress he
suffered due to the loss of his property.
only constitutional right that might be implicated by these
facts is Plaintiff's right, under the Fourteenth
Amendment, to be free from deprivations of his property by
state actors without due process of law.
state a claim under the due process clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment, Plaintiff must establish a deprivation of liberty
or property without due process of law; if the state
provides an adequate remedy, Plaintiff has no civil rights
claim. Hudson v. Palmer,468 U.S. 517, 530-36 (1984)
(availability of damages remedy in state claims court is an
adequate, post-deprivation remedy). The Seventh Circuit has
found that Illinois provides an adequate post-deprivation
remedy in an action for damages in the Illinois Court of
Claims. Murdock v. Washington,193 F.3d 510, 513
(7th Cir. 1999); Stewart v. McGinnis,5 F.3d 1031,
1036 (7th Cir. 1993); 705 Ill. Comp. Stat. 505/8 (1995).
Plaintiff thus cannot seek damages in federal court for the
loss of his property, and his Fourteenth Amendment civil
rights claim shall be dismissed with prejudice. He may,
however, seek redress for his economic loss in state ...