United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon United States District Judge.
Mickey Mason, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings
this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests
monetary damages. 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.
and Procedural History
originally filed suit in Case No. 17-cv-867-DRH-RJD
(“17-867”) on August 15, 2017. On September 21,
2017, the Court determined that Plaintiff had stated
unrelated claims and directed that Count 4 be severed into
this action. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff filed a motion requesting
reconsideration of that order, or in the alternative,
dismissal of the severed claims in Case No. 17-867 on October
2, 2017. (17-867, Doc. 16). That motion remains under
advisement. On October 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to
Proceed with Count 4, indicating that since the Court had
already assessed a filing fee in this case, he no longer
wished to dismiss this case as an alternative if the Court
declined to grant his motion to reconsider. (Doc. 7).
Plaintiff's motion requesting to withdraw his prior
request of conditional dismissal is GRANTED. (Doc. 7).
Although the Court is proceeding with screening in this case,
the Court does not intend this screening order to speak to
Plaintiff's request for reconsideration; that motion
remains under advisement in Case No. 17-867.
relevant to the claim in this case, Plaintiff alleges that he
wrote to the Illinois State Police twice, but got no response
because his mail was being thrown away. (Doc. 2, p. 8). He
was finally able to get a letter to the State Police via
certified mail on May 13, 2016, although he alleges that the
mailroom staff put the wrong year on his receipt.
Id. Plaintiff then began to notice that all of his
incoming legal and privileged mail from government officials
was being tampered with. Id. He also alleges that
his outgoing legal and privileged mail took 7 to 10 days to
clear the mailroom. Id.
unspecified time, “mailroom/internal affairs”
started steam opening all of Plaintiff's incoming legal
and privileged mail because they were aware that Plaintiff
was trying to press charges against William Spiller, an IA
officer. Id. Specifically, on November 9, 2016,
Plaintiff received a piece of certified legal mail that had
been opened and read outside of his presence; he also alleges
that his signature was forged on the receipt. Id. He
also received a piece of certified legal mail 18 days after
the postmark that had been opened and read outside of his
presence on November 28, 2016. (Doc. 2, p. 9). This
significantly cut into Plaintiff's 30 day deadline to
appeal a ruling in that case. Id. Like the other
piece, Plaintiff's signature had been forged to confirm
delivery of the certified mail. Id. He received
another piece of legal mail postmarked November 8, 2016 on
November 30th, also opened and read outside of his presence.
Id. Plaintiff experienced many other instances of
this happening. (Doc. 2, p. 11).
mailroom staff stopped sending Plaintiff his money voucher
receipts for sent mail. (Doc. 2, p. 10). When he complained,
they returned them with a middle finger drawn on the back.
severance order designated 1 ...