United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JORGE D. GUZMAN-ZAVALA., Y-24238, Plaintiff,
MORGAN COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT United States District Judge.
Jorge D. Guzman-Azvala., an inmate in Graham correctional
Center, brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff's claim pertains to his detention at Morgan
County Jail, as a pretrial detainee, between March of 2017
and September of 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff contends
officials at Morgan County Jail violated his right of access
to the courts by interfering with attorney-client phone
calls. In connection with this claim, Plaintiff has sued
Morgan County Jail and states that he “would like
relief for the duration of [his] imprisonment.” 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
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 exercise its authority
under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary
March of 2017 and September of 2017, Plaintiff was a
pre-trial detainee in Morgan County jail. (Doc. 1, p. 6). At
the time, Plaintiff had two cases pending: (1) Case No.
16-cf-627 in Adams County, Illinois and (2) Case No. 17-cf-21
in Cass County, Illinois. Id. Plaintiff's
attorney was not located nearby and their primary means of
communication was via the phone. Id. After Plaintiff
had difficulty calling his attorney, he filed a grievance and
the jail administrator made arrangements to correct the
problem. Id. Despite these arrangements, Plaintiff
had difficulty speaking with his attorney and was only
allowed to call him approximately two times in five months.
Id. On one occasion, correctional officers denied a
phone call placed by Plaintiff's attorney. Id.
The attorney was told he needed to appear in person to speak
with the Plaintiff. This interference harmed Plaintiff
because the phone call was in reference to Plaintiff's
plea agreement in the Adam's County case. Id.
Plaintiff contends he wanted to withdraw his plea agreement
and, but for the interference, he would not have pled guilty
in the Adams County case. Id.
of Adams County Case
of the electronic docket in the Adams County case (16-cf-627)
reveals that on June 5, 2017, Plaintiff pled guilty to
manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance in
violation of 720 ILCS 570/401 and was sentenced to 10
years' imprisonment. Further, according to the IDOC's
website, Plaintiff is presently serving a 10-year sentence in
connection with his guilty plea in the Adams County case.