United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. Chief District Judge
Jordan v. Lamb, Case No. 17-cv-207-SMY (S.D. Ill.
June 14, 2017), Plaintiff Pierre Jordan, an inmate in
Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”),
brought suit for deprivations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007), a First Amendment
access to courts claim against Defendant Brookhart was
severed from that initial action to form the basis for this
action, Case No. 17-cv-625-MJR. This case is now before the
Court for a preliminary review of that claim 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
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.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 2) relevant to
this severed action are as follows: Plaintiff was obstructed
from having meaningful access to the courts when Dr.
Brookhart instructed Law Librarian Caslin to deny his request
“to be placed on the legal deadline because they
don't recognize civil and criminal litigation, only
prison conditions.” (Doc. 1, p. 19). As a result,
Plaintiff missed a filing deadline in his tort case, a fact
the opposing counsel cited as grounds for dismissal of the
Severance Order (Doc. 1), the Court designated the following
count to be severed into this pro se action. The
parties and the Court will continue to use this designation
in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed
by a judicial officer of this Court.
Count 6 - Brookhart violated Plaintiff's First Amendment
rights by denying him access to courts when he instructed the
law librarian to deny Plaintiff's requests with respect
to his ...