United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
Frederick J. Kapala Judge
application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
(“FIP”)  is denied without prejudice.
Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed without prejudice. To
proceed with this case, by December 14, 2016, Plaintiff must:
(1) satisfy the filing fee requirement by submitting an
updated IFP application or by prepaying the $400 fee, (2)
submit an amended complaint in accordance with this order,
and (3) provide the Court with current address information.
Plaintiff's failure to comply will result in dismissal of
this case. The Clerk of Court shall forward a blank IFP
application and amended complaint form, along with a copy of
this order, to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office,
which should forward this order to Plaintiff if his current
address is known.
Daniel Keith McCoy, previously confined at the Winnebago
County Jail and proceeding pro se, brings this 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 civil rights action against four Winnebago County
Assistant State's Attorneys and three Rockford police
officers. Plaintiff alleges the following. On September 21
2015, his girlfriend called Rockford police while she was
heavily intoxicated and reported a domestic battery. Officer
Popielarczyk and two other Rockford officers (names unknown)
responded and arrested Plaintiff, even though there were no
signs of a physical altercation. Plaintiff bonded out of jail
twelve days later. In March of 2016, Plaintiff was again
arrested when he missed a court appearance. Plaintiff states
his and his girlfriend's children were taken from their
home due to a violation of a no-contact order. While
incarcerated between March 22 and July 19, 2016, his charge
was enhanced even though he had no prior domestic battery
conviction; he was housed in segregation; and he was not
allowed contact with family members. On July 19, 2016, the
charge against him was dropped due to insufficient evidence
(the basis of his incarceration in September of 2016 is
unknown). Shortly after the charge was dropped, a Winnebago
prosecutor allegedly called the Department of Children and
Family Services and falsely accused Plaintiff of coercing his
girlfriend not to testify.
before this Court are Plaintiff's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis and his complaint for initial
review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons stated
herein, his IFP application is denied without prejudice and
his complaint is dismissed without prejudice.
Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis:
initiated this suit while he was incarcerated. The Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), which requires
inmates to pay the full filing fee, thus applies. If a
litigant is unable to prepay the filing fee, he must submit a
completed IFP application so the Court can determine whether
he qualifies as a pauper and assess an initial partial
payment of the filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(1). If the litigant is released from incarceration
after he files suit, he must submit an updated application to
enable the Court to assess his ability to pay based upon his
financial situation outside of prison. See Robbins v.
Switzer, 104 F.3d 895, 898 (7th Cir. 1997). Winnebago
County Jail records show that Plaintiff is no longer
incarcerated. To proceed with this case, Plaintiff must
submit another IFP application showing his ability to pay the
filing fee as a non-prisoner. The Clerk of Court shall
forward an IFP application form to Plaintiff. His failure to
submit an updated, completed IFP application or prepay the
$400 filing fee by the date stated above will result in
dismissal of this case. See N.D. Ill. Local Rule
addition to satisfying the filing fee requirement, Plaintiff
must submit an amended complaint to proceed with this case.
Under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a), the
Court is required to screen complaints filed by prisoners and
litigants proceeding IFP and to dismiss the complaint, or any
claim therein, if the Court determines that the complaint or
claim is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. See Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 214 (2007); Turley v.
Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013).
screen prisoner complaints in the same manner they review
ordinary Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motions to
dismiss. See Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709, 718 (7th
Cir. 2011). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). The short and plain statement must “give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citation omitted).
Furthermore, a plaintiff's “[f]actual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Id. Put differently, a
“complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, courts
“accept the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as
true, ” Alam v. Miller Brewing Co., 709 F.3d
662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013), “draw all reasonable
inferences from those facts in favor of the plaintiff,
” Smith v. Dart, 803 F.3d 304, 309 (7th Cir.
2015), and construe complaints filed by pro se litigants
liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (per curiam). Although a pro se plaintiff's
complaint is liberally construed and all reasonable
inferences are viewed in his favor, if he pleads facts
demonstrating he has no valid claim for relief, a court may
dismiss the complaint. Atkins v. City of Chicago,
631 F.3d 823, 832 (7th Cir. 2011).
does not specifically identify the claims he seeks to bring,
but his allegations indicate he seeks to assert that he was
falsely arrested and then maliciously prosecuted despite a
lack of evidence to support the charge.
allegations that he Winnebago County Assistant State's
Attorneys prosecuted him even though there was insufficient
evidence seek to bring claims against parties immune from
suit. Prosecutors are absolutely immune from suits for
damages arising from prosecutorial actions that are
“intimately associated with the judicial phase of the
criminal process.” Imbler v. Pachtman, 424
U.S. 409, 431 (1976); see also Kalina v. Fletcher,
522 U.S. 118, 130 (1997); see also Smith v. Power,
346 F.3d 740, 742 (7th Cir. 2003) (collecting cases).
“[A]bsolute immunity shields prosecutors even if they
act maliciously, unreasonably, without probable cause, or
even on the basis of false testimony or evidence.”
Smith v. Power, 346 F.3d 740, 742 (7th Cir. 2003).
Plaintiff's allegations-that the defendant prosecutors
should not have filed and/or pursued a charge against him and
should not have enhanced the charge-seek to hold the
prosecutors liable for “initiating a prosecution and .
. . presenting the State's case.” Imbler,
424 U.S. at 431. Plaintiff's claims against the
prosecutors are barred by absolute immunity.
Court notes that Plaintiff also alleges that a prosecutor
contacted DCFS shortly after charges were dropped and stated
that Plaintiff coerced his girlfriend not to testify.
However, there are no allegations as to the effect of such
conduct, and the Court sees no ...