United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se and detained in the Rushville Treatment and
Detention Center, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
“privilege to proceed without posting security for
costs and fees is reserved to the many truly impoverished
litigants who, within the District Court's sound
discretion, would remain without legal remedy if such
privilege were not afforded to them.” Brewster v.
North Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461 F.2d 649, 651 (7th Cir.
1972). Additionally, a court must dismiss cases proceeding in
forma pauperis “at any time” if the action is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim, even if part
of the filing fee is paid. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)(2).
Accordingly, the Court sends cases proceeding in forma
pauperis for service only if the allegations state a federal
claim for relief.
reviewing the Complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7th Cir. 2103). However, conclusory
statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be
provided to "'state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S.,
721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(citation
alleges that he is being denied access to the court because
the lack of legal resources at Rushville have prevented him
from filing a state petition for coram nobis to challenge the
constitutionality of his conviction.
Powers v. Clayton, 14-cv-3306, one of
Plaintiff's 20 cases he has pursued in this District, the
Court recently granted summary judgment to Defendants on a
substantially similar claim by Plaintiff. This Court
explained in that order that
The constitutional right to access the court is not “an
abstract freestanding right to a law library or legal
assistance.” Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351
(1996). The right to access the courts means the right to
pursue nonfrivolous claims, not the right to various legal
resources. See Ortloff v. United States, 335 F.3d
652, 656 (7th Cir. 2003)(“[A] right to access-to-courts
claim exists only if a prisoner is unreasonably prevented
from presenting legitimate grievances to a court; various
resources, documents, and supplies merely provide the
instruments for reasonable access and are not protected in
and of themselves.”)(abrogated on other grounds as
recognized in Parrott v. U.S., 536 F.3d 629, 635
(7th Cir. 2008)). Thus, an access claim is viable only if a
plaintiff suffered an “actual injury” from the
inability to pursue a nonfrivolous claim. Lewis, 518
U.S. at 351; In re Maxy, 674 F.3d 658, 660 (7th Cir.
2012); May v. Sheahan, 226 F.3d 876, 883 (7th Cir.
2000). There must be a “connection between the alleged
denial of access to legal materials and an inability to
pursue a legitimate challenge to a conviction, sentence, or
prison conditions.” Ortiz v. Downey, 561 F.3d
664, 671 (7th Cir.2009) (internal quotation and citation
omitted). “Without a tenable argument to pursue . . .,
[a plaintiff] cannot show actual prejudice resulting from
denial of access to the law library.” McCree v.
Grissom, 657 F.3d 623, 624 (7th Cir. 2011).
(14-cv-3306, 1/27/17 Order.)
14-cv-3306, Plaintiff has not identified any legitimate legal
challenge he has been unable to pursue because of
Rushville's alleged inadequate legal resources. Plaintiff
has already pursued his post-conviction challenges and a
federal habeas action. See, e.g., People v. Powers,
2011 IL App (2d) 090292, 961 N.E.2d 906 (recounting
procedural history of Plaintiff's challenges to his
conviction and rejecting ineffective assistance of counsel
argument)(Plaintiff represented by State Appellate Defender);
U.S. ex rel. Powers v. Anglin, 2012 WL 1161510 (N.D.
Ill)(denying Plaintiff's habeas corpus petition).
Plaintiff does not explain what further constitutional
challenge he might be able to pursue. In People v.
Moore, 2012 IL App (4th) 100746-U, 2012 WL
7008829, the Illinois Appellate Court explained:
The writ of error coram nobis has been abolished and
incorporated into section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil
Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2010)). “Section 2-
1401 is intended to correct errors of fact, unknown to the
petitioner and the court at the time of the judgment, which
would have prevented the rendition of the judgment had they
been known.” People v. Muniz, 386 Ill.App.3d
890, 893, 899 N.E.2d 428, 431 (2008). To obtain relief under
section 2-1401 a defendant must file a petition no later than
two years after the entry of judgment or order. 735 ILCS
5/2-1401(c) (West 2010).
does not explain why he might have a plausible claim under
this section to vacate his conviction or how that pursuit
would be timely at this point. No plausible inference arises
that Plaintiff has been denied access to the court.
Plaintiff's petition to proceed in forma pauperis is
granted on the grounds of indigency (3), but this case is
dismissed, without prejudice, because Plaintiff ...