United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MICHAEL OLIVER Suing as King Michael Oliver, # B-89925, Plaintiff,
JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, RICHARD E. SWINEY, CHARLES HECK, LESLIE McCARTY, BART A. LIND, CAROL A. McBRIDE, PHILLIP O. BAKER, MAILROOM CLERK(s), and FOOD SERVICE SUPERVISOR(s), Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. HERNDON, DISTRICT JUDGE.
February 15, 2017, Plaintiff King Michael Oliver filed a
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
Illinois based on several alleged violations of his
constitutional rights at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”) and Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”). See Oliver v.
Lashbrook, No. 17-cv-01076 (C.D. Ill. 2017). Both
prisons are located in this federal judicial district.
Therefore, the case was transferred to the Southern District
of Illinois the same month. (Doc. 5).
Court screened the Complaint on February 24, 2017. (Doc. 8).
The screening order identified at least 14 claims against 3
groups of defendants, including a group of Menard defendants,
Pinckneyville defendants, and State defendants. (Doc. 8, pp.
6-7). The claims were largely undeveloped and improperly
joined. Counts 1-9 arose from events that occurred during
Plaintiff's incarceration at Pinckneyville. Counts 10-13
arose from events that occurred at Menard. Count 14 was a
vicarious liability claim against two high-ranking state
officials for the conduct that occurred at both prisons.
Court dismissed Count 14 with prejudice and severed the
Menard claims (i.e., Counts 10-13) into a separate
suit. See Oliver v. Butler, No. 17-cv-00206-DRH
(S.D. Ill. 2017). The Pinckneyville claims (i.e.,
Counts 1-9) remained in this action. (Doc. 8, p. 10). Before
further review of these claims was completed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court offered Plaintiff an opportunity to
file an amended complaint that focused only on his
Pinckneyville claims. Id.
Court had numerous reasons for deferring § 1915A review
of the Pinckneyville claims. (Doc. 8, pp. 10-11). Plaintiff
identified claims in his exhibits that were not in the
Complaint. Id. The exhibits appeared to be
incomplete but were so poorly organized that the Court could
not tell with certainty. Id. Several claims lacked
any factual basis. Id. Numerous others lacked
reference to any defendants. Id. Finally, further
severance of the claims appeared necessary, but this
determination could not be made until Plaintiff named
defendants in connection with each claim. Id. For
these reasons, Plaintiff was given an opportunity to file an
amended complaint. (Doc. 8, p. 15).
initial deadline for amending was March 28, 2017. (Doc. 8, p.
15). The Court warned Plaintiff that failure to file an
amended complaint by the deadline would result in preliminary
review of his Complaint. Id. On March 6, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a “Motion for Reconsideration.”
(Doc. 12). In his Motion, Plaintiff indicated that he
intended to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 12, pp. 2-3). He
confirmed that one or more claims were omitted from his
original Complaint. Id. He also pointed out that
five (5) exhibits were, in fact, missing from the initial
Complaint: Exhibit Y2, Exhibit 14, Exhibit O, Exhibit 6b2,
and Exhibit 6b3. (Doc. 12, p. 2). However, he asked to be
excused from filing these exhibits or re-filing any others
because doing so placed him “at risk of injury”
and “at a huge disadvantage.” (Doc. 12, p. 3). He
did not explain how or why. Id. Plaintiff requested
discharge of his filing fee obligation. (Doc. 12). He also
requested the appointment of counsel. (Doc. 13).
Court construed Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration as
a Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint and denied it as
moot on March 14, 2017. (Doc. 15). Plaintiff did not question
any aspect of the Court's initial Order in his Motion.
(Doc. 8). His concerns instead focused on the preparation and
filing of an amended complaint, which Plaintiff was
previously granted leave to file. (Docs. 8, 15). Nonetheless,
the Court granted Plaintiff additional time to prepare and
file his amended complaint, while denying his request for
counsel and discharge of his filing fee obligation. (Doc.
deadline for filing the amended complaint was extended to
April 27, 2017. (Doc. 15, pp. 1, 5). This time, the Court
warned Plaintiff that failure to comply with the extended
deadline or instructions for amending the complaint would
result in dismissal of the action for noncompliance with a
court order or for failure to prosecute his claims. (Doc. 15,
pp. 5-6) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b)).
did not file an amended complaint before the extended
deadline expired on April 27, 2017. The Court has received no
communication from Plaintiff since March 16, 2017, when he
renewed his request for discharge of his filing fee
obligation. (Doc. 16). Although he expressed concern
over his ability to properly organize and file the exhibits
to his amended complaint in the same motion, Plaintiff
mentioned nothing about the status of the amended complaint.
Id. He also did not request another extension of the
deadline for filing it. Id. In light of these
developments, the Court will now screen Counts 1 through 9 in
the original Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and
consider whether it is appropriate to dismiss the Complaint
and this action based on Plaintiff's failure to comply
with an Order (Doc. 15) of this Court and/or for failure to
prosecute his claims.
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
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.
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
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).
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court deems it appropriate to exercise its authority
under § 1915A to dismiss Counts 1 through 9 and this
action for ...