United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.
Airon Winston, an inmate in Vandalia Correctional Center,
brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for events that
allegedly took place at the Youth Center in Harrisburg,
Illinois. 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; this action is subject to summary
not Plaintiff's first Complaint filed in this Court. On
June 2, 2016, he filed a Complaint in Case No. 16-cv-597-MJR.
That case alleged that as a result of a guard sexually
harassing him, Plaintiff was unable to focus on his criminal
case, and therefore pleaded guilty to his underlying criminal
charge. (16-cv-597, Doc. 1). The Court dismissed that claim
on July 14, 2016 for failure to state a claim upon which
relief could be granted, but allowed Plaintiff leave to
amend. (16-cv-597, Doc. 10).
Amended Complaint contained a claim that while awaiting trial
on domestic battery charges at IYC-Harrisburg, Plaintiff was
allegedly sexually harassed by an unnamed officer.
(16-cv-597, Doc. 16). That officer was never named as a
defendant; instead, Plaintiff tried to bring claims against
the Warden of IYC-Harrisburg and C/O Craig, the investigating
officer. (16-cv-597, Doc. 16). Plaintiff was dissatisfied
because despite reporting the harassment, the officer was not
disciplined and Plaintiff was not separated from him.
(16-cv-597, Doc. 16). Plaintiff sought monetary relief
against the Warden and Craig. (16-cv-597, Doc. 16). The Court
ultimately determined that the Amended Complaint in Case No.
16-cv-597 was substantially the same as the original
Complaint, and dismissed it with prejudice. (16-cv-597. Doc.
case appears to be identical to Case No. 16-cv-597, and so
must meet a similar fate. Here Plaintiff's sole defendant
is the Warden at I.Y.C. Harrisburg. (Doc. 1, p. 1). Plaintiff
alleges that he was held at Harrisburg while awaiting court
proceedings because his new charge violated his parole. (Doc.
1, p. 5). While there, a male staff member sexually harassed
Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff reported the incident to
investigator Craig. (Doc. 1, p. 5). After reporting the
incident, Plaintiff was distressed when the officer who
harassed him approached him in the chow hall to ask
“why did you tell on me?” (Doc. 1, p. 5).
Plaintiff thereafter refused to leave his cell, and suffered
emotional distress as a result of the harassment and
investigation. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff alleges that he
should have been transferred to a different facility, and/or
allowed to lodge an external complaint. (Doc. 1, p. 5-6). He
also expected the officer to be relieved of his duties
pending the investigation. (Doc. 1, p. 6). This caused
Plaintiff to be unable to focus on trial preparation and
change his plea to guilty. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff seeks
monetary relief. (Doc. 1, p. 7). This Complaint describes the
same facts and requests the same relief as Plaintiff's
suit in No. 16-cv-597, although Plaintiff has omitted C/O
Craig from his list of defendants and limited his requested
relief to money.
administration permits a court to dismiss a suit that is
duplicative of another action already pending. Serlin v.
Arthur Anderson & Co., 3 F.3d 221, 224 (7th Cir.
1993). District courts have wide discretion in determining
whether a suit is duplicative, but generally where the
claims, parties, and relief requested are significantly the
same, a suit is duplicative of an earlier effort.
Id. Here, Plaintiff has listed the same party as his
earlier § 1983 action. He has also requested the same
relief and recited the same set of facts. Although the
earlier suit is broader and includes more ...