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Meyerr v. Idoc, Robinson Correctional Center

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 17, 2017

PATRICK MEYERR, M47701 Plaintiff,
v.
IDOC, ROBINSON CORRECTIONAL CENTER, and SHANE PICA, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Patrick Meyer, currently incarcerated in Robinson Correctional Center, brings this pro se action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. According to the Complaint, a correctional officer has been verbally harassing and making fun of Plaintiff. Plaintiff contends the officer's conduct is causing mental anguish and seeks monetary relief. In connection with these claims, Plaintiff sues the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), Robinson Correctional Center, and Shane Pica, a correctional officer.

         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).

         The Complaint

         On October 18, 2016, Plaintiff was moved to 2B Wing. (Doc. 1, p. 5). After being moved to this wing, Plaintiff alleges Pica, a correctional officer, began verbally harassing and “making fun” of him. Id. Specifically, Plaintiff contends Pica made comments such as: “Oh my feet hurt soo soo much, I can barely walk, oh my ears I can barely hear.” Id. Pica also made harassing comments regarding Plaintiff's depression. Id. Plaintiff feels intimidated by the comments. Id. As a result, he often remains in his cell and has requested psychological treatment. In connection with these claims, Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.

         Discussion

         Dismissal of IDOC and Robinson Correctional Center

         As a preliminary matter, the Court notes that, in addition to Officer Pica, Plaintiff has named as defendants Robinson Correctional Center and IDOC. Neither Defendant, however, is a proper defendant with respect to Plaintiff's claim for damages. IDOC is a state agency. “State agencies are not ‘persons' for purposes of the Civil Rights Act.” Toledo, Peoria & Wester R. Co. v. State of Ill. Dept. of Transp., 744 F.2d 1296, 1298 (7th Cir. 1984). Similarly, Robinson Correctional Center is a division of a state agency (the Department of Corrections) and is not a “person” within meaning of § 1983. See Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 66-67, 71, 109 S.Ct. 2304, 105 L.Ed.2d 45 (1989); Williams v. Wisconsin, 336 F.3d 576, 580 (7th Cir. 2003); Smith v. Gomez, 550 F.3d 613, 618 (7th Cir. 2008).

         Accordingly, IDOC and Robinson Correctional Center shall be dismissed from ...


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