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Robinson v. Sloop

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 17, 2017

JAMES ROBINSON, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
T. SLOOP, JOHN/JANE DOE, JOHN/JANE DOE 2, JOHN/JANE DOE 3, JOHN/JANE DOE 4, JOHN/JANE DOE 5, JOHN/JANE DOE 6, R. PHELPS, W. WILLS, C. KRAWCZYK, JOHN/JANE DOE 7, JOHN/JANE DOE 8, JOHN/JANE DOE 9, JOHN/JANE DOE 10 Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff James Robinson, Jr., an inmate in the United States Penitentiary Marion, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights by persons acting under the color of federal authority pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of the Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(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 such relief.

         An 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. 2009).

         Upon 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 dismissal.

         The Complaint

         The United States Air Force sentenced Plaintiff to a term of 90 years after a general court martial on September 8, 1983. (Doc. 1-1, p. 7). Plaintiff served his sentence in military custody until January 2006. Id. On January 4, 2006, Plaintiff's paperwork was sent to the Designation and Sentence Computation Center in Grand Prairie, Texas. Id. Plaintiff alleges that John/Jane Does #7-9, employees of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, reviewed Plaintiff's file, made his original placement, and subsequently approved Plaintiff's transfers. (Doc. 1-1, p. 5). Plaintiff alleges that John/Jane Does, #7, 8, 9 knew that he was a military inmate, but placed Plaintiff at U.S.P. Terre Haute, where foreign nationals were also housed. (Doc. 1-1, p. 8). Plaintiff alleges that John/Jane Does #7, 8, and 9 also approved of subsequent transfers to F.C.I. McKean, F.C.I. Elkton, F.C.I. Milan, and U.S.P Marion. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 9-12). Plaintiff alleges these placements and transfers violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 12, 10 U.S.C. § 812 (“Article 12”). (Doc. 1-1, p. 8-12) Plaintiff further alleges that this violated his due process rights under the Fifth Amendment. Id.

         When Plaintiff arrived at U.S.P. Terre Haute, he came under the custody, care, and control of John/Jane Doe #1 and 2. (Doc. 1-1, p. 8). Plaintiff alleges that John/Jane Doe #1 and 2 knew or should have known he was military prisoner, yet placed Plaintiff on a housing unit that contained enemy prisoners and/or foreign nationals, assigned Plaintiff a job in immediate association with enemy prisoners and/or foreign nationals, and required Plaintiff to eat with enemy prisoners and/or foreign nationals. Id. Plaintiff alleges this violated Article 12. Id. John/Jane Doe #1 and 2 ultimately requested that Plaintiff be transferred, a request that was approved by John/Jane Doe #7-9. Id.

         Plaintiff was transferred to F.C.I. McKean. (Doc. 1-1, p. 9). He was placed under the custody and control of John/Jane Doe #3 and 4. Id. Plaintiff alleges that John/Jane Doe #3 and 4 knew or should have known that Plaintiff was a military inmate, but placed Plaintiff in a housing unit that contained enemy prisoners, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals, assigned Plaintiff a job in immediate association with enemy prisoners, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals, and required him to eat in immediate association with enemy prisoners, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals. Id. Plaintiff alleges that John Doe #3 and 4 violated Article 12, and by extension, Plaintiff's due process rights. Id. John/Jane Doe #3 and 4 ultimately submitted Plaintiff for a transfer to F.C.I. Elkton, which Plaintiff alleges was similarly flawed. (Doc. 1-1, p. 9).

         Plaintiff was transferred to F.C.I. Elkton, where he was placed under the custody and control of John/Jane Doe #5 and 6. (Doc. 1-1, p. 10). Plaintiff alleges that John/Jane Doe #5 and 6 knew or should have known that Plaintiff was a military inmate, but placed Plaintiff in a housing unit that contained enemy prisoners, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals, assigned Plaintiff a job in immediate association with enemy prisoners, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals, and required him to eat in immediate association with enemy prisoners, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals. Id. Plaintiff alleges that John/Jane Doe #5 and 6 violated USMJ Article 12, and by extension, Plaintiff's due process rights. Id. John/Jane Doe #5 and 6 ultimately submitted Plaintiff for a transfer to F.C.I. Milan, despite the fact that they knew or should have known that there were enemy combatants, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals. (Doc. 1-1, p. 11).

         Plaintiff was transferred to F.C.I. Milan, where he was placed in the care, custody, and control of R. Phelps and Church (listed on the docket as John/Jane Doe 10). Id. Defendants Phelps and Church knew or should have known that Plaintiff was a military inmate, but despite this they placed Plaintiff in an institutional job that required immediate association with enemy prisoners, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals, and required him to eat in immediate association with enemy prisoner, terrorists, and/or foreign nationals. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 11-12). Plaintiff alleges that ...


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