United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
ORDER & OPINION
BILLY McDADE United States Senior District Judge.
Matter before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave
to Proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 2). For the reasons
stated below, the Court will grant Plaintiff's Motion for
Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Because Plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis, his Complaint (Doc. 1) must be
screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Because Plaintiff
has failed to state a claim upon which relief could be
granted, Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 1) is dismissed.
attempts to bring this Complaint against Defendants for a
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1 at
He details two specific allegations.
he alleges that Defendant White, Illinois's Secretary of
State, implemented a policy or custom that suspended
Plaintiff's Illinois driver's license, despite
Plaintiff never applying for one. (Doc. 1 at 2). More
specifically, Plaintiff alleges that on or about November of
1987 or 1988, Secretary White suspended his Illinois
driver's license and that he was subsequently charged
with auto theft, attempting to elude a peace officer, and
driving 11-14 miles per hour above the speed limit. (Doc. 1
at 4). Plaintiff was found guilty of a least one of those
charges. (Doc. 1 at 4). Plaintiff also alleges that
“[Secretary] White suspended my Illinois driving
license by taking my [social security number], date of birth,
and name to a driving license number and then suspending it.
I Myron Simmons has [sic] never had an Illinois license. At
the time of . . . all those tickets, I had an Ohio driving
license.” (Doc. 1 at 5). Plaintiff claims that as a
result of the Secretary's conduct, Plaintiff was arrested
multiple times for driving with a suspended license and that
he lost multiple cars in the state of Illinois. (Doc. 1 at
he alleges that Defendant Yoder, a McLean County judge,
refused to allow his witness to be called at trial for
driving with a revoked license. (Doc. 1 at 2). This trial
resulted in a finding of guilt. (Doc. 1 at 7). Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges that “[Judge Yoder's] statement
to me was that he was not allowing no states attorney, public
defender, or a state police [officer] from another county to
testify in his court.” (Doc. 1 at 8).
Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis
Court grants Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. 2). A court may allow a civil suit to proceed
without the prepayment of fees when a plaintiff submits an
affidavit that includes a statement of all their assets, and
shows that they are unable to pay filing fees or provide
security for the payment of a filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1). The affidavit must “state the nature of the
action . . . and affiant's belief that the person is
entitled to redress.” Id. However, the
“privilege to proceed without [paying] costs and fees
is reserved to the many truly impoverished litigants who,
within a district court's discretion, would remain
without legal remedy if such privileges were not afforded to
them.” Brewster v. North Am. Van Lines, Inc.,
461 F.2d 649, 651 (7th Cir. 1972).
support of his Motion, Plaintiff states under penalty of
perjury that his monthly income is approximately $784.00 in
wages and $357.00 in food stamps.(Doc. 2 at 2). Plaintiff also
states that he has approximately $835.29 in monthly expenses.
(Doc. 2 at 4-5). Additionally, Plaintiff has a 7 year old
daughter for whom he cares. (Doc. 2 at 5). Therefore, based
on Plaintiff's submission, the Court concludes that he is
entitled to proceed in forma pauperis.
28 U.S.C. § 1915 Screening
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must screen complaints
proceeding in forma pauperis. The Court must then dismiss a
complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Plaintiff's claim against
Secretary White is untimely. Plaintiff's claim against
Judge Yoder is barred by the Heck doctrine.
Additionally, Judge Yoder has absolute immunity against money
damages for decisions he made during Plaintiff's criminal
proceedings. Therefore, Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.
evaluating whether a pro se plaintiff has stated a claim
under § 1915(e)(2)(B) de novo, courts use the same
standards as that which apply to Rule 12(b)(6) dismissals.
Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014,
1027 (7th Cir. 2013). Therefore, the court will take
“all well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true
and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Id. (citing Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011). A plaintiff need only give
“‘fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” EEOC v.
Concentra Health Serv., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776-77 (7th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Furthermore, a pro se complaint is to
be construed liberally and held to “less stringent
standards than a formal pleadings by lawyers.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
a pro se plaintiff is not excused from meeting the basic
pleading requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
8(a). Pearle Vision, Inc. v. Romm, 541 F.3d 751, 758
(7th Cir. 2008). A plaintiff must contain sufficient factual
matter to “state a claim that is plausible on its face,
” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009);
“plausible on its face” is otherwise stated as
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Adams v.
City of Indianapolis, 742 F.3d 720, 728 (7th Cir. 2014).
A pleading that simply offers “labels and conclusions,
” a “formulaic recitation of the elements,
” or “naked assertions devoid of factual
enhancement” is insufficient. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
even pro se plaintiffs must identify a plausible right to
relief in order to satisfy the pleading requirements.
Killebrew v. St. Vincent Health, Inc., 295 F.
App'x 808, 810 (7th Cir. 2008). A dismissal of a
complaint is appropriate when “‘the factual
detail . . . is so sketchy that the complaint does not
provide the type of notice of the claim to which the
defendant is entitled under Rule 8.'”
Srivastava v. Daniels, 409 F. App'x 953, 955
(7th Cir. 2011) (quoting St. John's United Church of
Christ v. City of Chi., 502 F.3d 616, 625 (7th Cir.
2007)). Additionally, a district court should not assume the
role of an advocate for the pro se litigant and cannot
rewrite a petition to include claims that were not presented.
United States v. Buddhi, Nos. 2:06-CR-63,
2:13-CV-128, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68145, at *7 (N.D. Ind.
May 19, 2014) (citation omitted); see also Young Bok Song
v. Gipson, 423 F. App'x 506, 510 (6th Cir. 2011)
(“We decline ...