United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
BILLY R. WOODARD, SR., Plaintiff,
JUDGE CAVANAGH, SANGAMON COUNTY, SEVENTH JDISTRICT JUDICIAL HEAD, STATE'S ATTORNEY, SHERIFF DEPUTY, and JOHN DOE, et al. Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW OPINION
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
filed this case pro se from Menard Correctional Center. The
case is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. This statute requires the Court to review
a complaint filed by a prisoner to identify the cognizable
claims and to dismiss part or all of the complaint if no
claim is stated.
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. 2013). 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)(quoted cite
alleges that he was scheduled for release from Pontiac
Correctional Center on November 22, 2013, but he was arrested
on a warrant that day in regards to a criminal charge filed
against him in 2011 in Sangamon County, 11-CF-796 (aggravated
battery). Plaintiff's attorney moved to dismiss case
11-CF-796 based on speedy trial violations, but Judge
Cavanagh denied the motion on December 13, 2013, and
Plaintiff remained detained. Judge Cavanagh also allegedly
wrongfully held Plaintiff in contempt. On March 25, 2015,
Judge Cavanagh granted the defense counsel's motion for
reconsideration and dismissed the case. A little over one
month later, Plaintiff was arrested on another criminal
charge (armed habitual criminal), and is now serving a
sentence on that charge.
seeks damages for the time he spent incarcerated before Judge
Cavanagh reconsidered his decision and dismissed the 2011
case. Judge Cavanagh and the State's Attorney are immune
from damages for claims arising from their actions taken in
court. Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 431
(1976)("[I]n initiating a prosecution and in presenting
the State's case, the prosecutor is immune from a civil
suit for damages under section 1983."); Polzin v.
Gage, 636 F.3d 834, 838 (7th Cir. 2011)(“A judge
has absolute immunity for any judicial actions unless the
judge acted in the absence of all jurisdiction.”). The
Sheriff does not violate the Constitution by arresting and
holding Plaintiff pursuant to a valid warrant, an action
which, in any event, occurred in 2013. Brunson v.
Murray, 843 F.3d 698, 708 (7th Cir.
2016)(“A police officer who receives a facially valid
arrest warrant is ordinarily expected to act upon it, not to
second-guess the court's decision to issue it.”).
Any claim based on the 2013 arrest would be barred by the
statute of limitations. Bryant v. City of Chicago,
746 F.3d 239, 241 (7th Cir. 2014)(In Illinois, § 1983
actions are subject to the two-year statute of limitations in
735 ILCS 5/13-202). Additionally, the Judicial Inquiry Board
does not violate any federal right by failing to take
disciplinary action against Judge Cavanagh.
Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A for failing to state a claim and for seeking
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. Any amendment to the Complaint would be futile
because Judge Cavanagh cannot be sued in a civil lawsuit for
his judicial decisions.
case is closed. The clerk is directed to enter a judgment
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 58.
dismissal shall count as one of the plaintiff's three
allotted “strikes” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section
Plaintiff must still pay the full filing fee of $350 even
though his case has been dismissed. The agency having custody
of Plaintiff shall continue to make monthly payments to the
Clerk of Court, as directed in the Court's prior order.
Plaintiff wishes to appeal this dismissal, he must file a
notice of appeal with this Court within 30 days of the entry
of judgment. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a). A motion for leave to
appeal in forma pauperis should set forth the issues
Plaintiff plans to present on appeal. See Fed. R. App. P.
24(a)(1)(C). If Plaintiff does choose to appeal, he will be
liable for the $505 appellate filing fee irrespective of the
outcome of the appeal.
clerk is directed to record Plaintiff's strike in the
After receiving Plaintiff's trust fund ledgers, the clerk
is directed to grant Plaintiff's petition to proceed in
forma pauperis for the purpose of ...