United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
ORDER & OPINION
BILLY McDADE United States Senior District Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Gregory Dabb's
Complaint (Doc. 1), Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma
pauperis (Doc. 4), and Motion to Request Counsel (Doc. 3).
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis
is granted. Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma
pauperis, his complaint must be screened pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915. Because Plaintiff has failed to state a
claim upon which relief could be granted, Plaintiff's
complaint (Doc. 1) is dismissed. Lastly, Plaintiff's
Motion to Request Counsel is denied because Plaintiff has not
attempted to find his own representation without court
Complaint arises from a denial of state veterans benefits.
Plaintiff alleges that under state law, veterans are entitled
to assistance for rent and utilities. (Doc. 1 at 6). In
October of 2015, Plaintiff alleges he gave the Peoria County
Veterans Assistance Office an Ameren bill for payment, which was
about $84. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
Brooks denied the bill, which resulted in Plaintiff being
without power for about five weeks. Id.
Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Brooks lied in
his letter explaining the denial of the bill. Id. In
December, Plaintiff then alleges that he met with Defendant
Sorrell, Defendant Brook's supervisor, and showed him the
paperwork. Id. Plaintiff alleges that a day and a
half after the meeting, Plaintiff was arrested by Peoria
County Police for disorderly conduct. Id. Plaintiff
alleges that the case was maintained until August 6, 2016,
when it was dropped. Id.
November 29, 2016, Plaintiff filed this suit against the
County of Peoria; Scott Sorrell, the Peoria County
Administrator; and Michael Brooks, an employee of the Peoria
County Veterans Assistance Commission. Id. at 2-3.
Although Plaintiff brings several claims; he does not
identify which claims he seeks to bring against which
defendants. Based on the facts given, the Court infers that
Plaintiff seeks to bring the following claims. First,
Plaintiff seeks to bring a § 1983 claim against all
defendants for the denial of his state veterans benefits.
Id. Second, Plaintiff seeks to bring a § 1983
claim against Defendant Sorrell for unlawful arrest.
Id. Third, Plaintiff seeks to bring a claim against
Defendant Peoria County for a violation of Plaintiff's
right to a speedy trial. Id.
Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis
Court grants Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed in forma
pauperis. A court may allow a civil suit to proceed without
the prepayment of fees when a plaintiff submits an affidavit
that includes a statement of all their assets, and shows that
they are unable to pay filing fees or provide security for
the payment of a filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The
affidavit must “state the nature of the action . . .
and affiant's belief that the person is entitled to
redress.” Id. However, the “privilege to
proceed without [paying] costs and fees is reserved to the
many truly impoverished litigants who, within a district
court's discretion, would remain without legal remedy if
such privileges were not afforded to them.”
Brewster v. North Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461 F.2d 649,
651 (7th Cir. 1972).
support of his Motion, Plaintiff states under penalty of
perjury that his housing and utilities are provided for by
the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, but that
aside from that he has no income. (Doc. 4). Plaintiff also
states that he has no current expenses, but that during the
time in question he was responsible for utilities.
Id. Based on Plaintiff's submission, the Court
concludes that he is entitled to proceed in forma pauperis.
28 U.S.C. § 1915 Screening
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court must screen complaints
proceeding in forma pauperis. The court must then dismiss a
complaint if it 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. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Because Plaintiff alleges several
different claims, the claims will be screened separately. All
of Plaintiff's claims are dismissed for failure to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted.
evaluating whether a pro se plaintiff has stated a claim
under § 1915(e)(2)(B) de novo, courts use the same
standards as that which apply to Rule 12(b)(6) dismissals.
Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014,
1027 (7th Cir. 2013). Therefore, the court will take
“all well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true
and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Id. (citing Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011). A plaintiff need only give
“‘fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” EEOC v.
Concentra Health Serv., Inc., 496 F.3d 733, 776-77 (7th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Furthermore, a pro se complaint is to
be construed liberally and held to “less stringent
standards than a formal pleadings by lawyers.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
42 U.S.C. § 1983 Claims
alleges that Defendants violated his rights under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 by denying him state veterans benefits,
unlawfully arresting him, and violating his right to a speedy
trial. Section 1983 states that:
“[E]very person who, under color of any statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . .
subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the
United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof
to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by ...