United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JAMES R. WEBB, JR., Plaintiff,
OFFICER WEBB, MURPHYSBORO CHIEF OF POLICE, and FOUR UNKNOWN OFFICERS, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT United States District Judge
time of filing, Plaintiff James Webb was an inmate in Jackson
County Jail. However, Plaintiff presently resides at the
Alton Mental Health Center. Plaintiff brings this action for
deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's claim relates to an
incident involving the Murphysboro Police Department in 2014,
before Plaintiff was an inmate in Jackson County Jail.
Plaintiff seeks removal from probation, monetary damages, and
December 12, 2016, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se,
filed the instant action. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff alleged that in
December 2014, he was the victim of excessive force. In
connection with his excessive force claim, Plaintiff named
the Murphysboro Police Department. A police department,
however, is not a suable entity apart from the city which
operates it. See West By and Through Norris v.
Waymire, 114 F.3d 646, 646-47 (7th Cir. 1997). Further,
a municipality may only be sued in a civil rights action if
the constitutional deprivations were the result of an
official policy, custom, or practice of the municipality.
Monell v. Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691
(1978); see also Pourghoraishi v. Flying J, Inc.,
449 F.3d 751, 765 (7th Cir.2006).
the Court dismissed the original Complaint without prejudice
and granted leave to amend. (Doc. 11). The Order of Dismissal
directed Plaintiff to sue an appropriate legal entity or an
individual or individuals who caused or participated in the
alleged constitutional deprivation. Id. On April 26,
2017, Plaintiff timely filed a First Amended Complaint. (Doc.
First Amended Complaint is now before the Court for a
preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(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
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.
First Amended Complaint
to the First Amended Complaint, sometime in 2014, Plaintiff
and his girlfriend became locked out of the apartment they
were leasing. (Doc. 12, p. 5). Plaintiff somehow gained entry
into the apartment and a neighbor called the police.
Id. Police officers arrived on the scene and knocked
on the door. Id. When Plaintiff answered the door,
the chief of police grabbed him and threw him against a wall,
stating: “Why are you breaking in?” Id.
Plaintiff indicated that he was not breaking in. Id.
He stated that he leased the apartment and lived there.
Id. At that point, “they” shook
Plaintiff and pushed him down the stairs. Id.
Plaintiff rolled to the bottom of the stairs. Id.
When Plaintiff landed on the bottom of the stairs, Webb and
the Chief of Police started tazing Plaintiff. Id.
Either Webb or the Chief of Police tazed Plaintiff in the
back of the head. Id. Plaintiff tried to get away
but “they” all kept ...