Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cunningham v. Roeckman

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 28, 2016



          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff 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 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 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. 2009).

         Upon 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 dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff 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).

         On 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.


         The 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.

         To 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 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.