United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
ADAM C. SMITH, Plaintiff,
COREY MALONEY, et al., Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW OPINION
MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeds pro se from his incarceration in Pinckneyville
Correctional Center. His Complaint is before the Court for a
merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This section
requires the Court to identify cognizable claims stated by
the Complaint or dismiss claims that are not
cognizable. In reviewing the complaint, the Court
accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing
them in Plaintiff's favor and taking Plaintiff's pro
se status into account. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory
statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be
provided to "'state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S.,
721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(quoted cite
sues 47 defendants regarding unrelated incidents reaching
back to the year 2009. These defendants and claims are not
properly joined in one action. Wheeler v. Wexford Health
Sources, Inc., 689 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir.
2012)(“A litigant cannot throw all of his grievances,
against dozens of different parties, into one stewpot.
Joinder that requires the inclusion of extra parties is
limited to claims arising from the same transaction or series
of related transactions.”); George v. Smith,
507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007)(“Unrelated claims
against different defendants belong in different suits . .
.”). If Plaintiff files an amended complaint, he must
confine his claims to claims arising from the same set of
transactions or occurrences. Listing every adverse incident
back to 2009 and adding the word conspiracy is not enough to
state a federal claim or join unrelated claims.
a two year statute of limitations applies to constitutional
claims. Liberty v. City of Chicago (7th Cir.
2017)(two year statute of limitation for 42 U.S.C. §
1983 actions starts to run when plaintiff knew of injury and
knew that defendant acting within scope of government
employment caused injury.) In general, then, claims arising
from adverse government actions which were completed more
than two years ago are barred by the statute of limitations.
For example, Plaintiff's claims about what happened to
him in 2009, such as illegal searches and seizures would be
barred by the statute of limitations.
also cannot challenge his standing convictions in this
action. Any challenge to Plaintiff's convictions belongs
in Plaintiff's state criminal proceedings and appeals.
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994)(“[A]
district court must dismiss a § 1983 action if a
judgment in favor of the plaintiff in that § 1983 action
would necessarily imply the invalidity of his criminal
conviction or sentence.”) The judges and prosecutors
are absolutely immune from damages for actions taken in
Plaintiff's criminal proceedings. Forrester v.
White, 484 U.S. 219, 229-30 (1988)(judges immune from
lawsuit based on their actions in court); Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 431 (1976)("in initiating a
prosecution and in presenting the State's case, the
prosecutor is immune from a civil suit for damages under
section 1983."). Public defenders are not considered
government actors and therefore cannot be sued for
constitutional violations. Polk County v. Dodson,
454 U.S. 312 (1981)(“a public defender does not act
under color of state law when performing a lawyer's
traditional functions as counsel to a defendant in a criminal
has filed a motion for the appointment of counsel, asserting
that he is mentally disabled and needs counsel to help him
file an amended complaint. The Court does not have the
authority to order an attorney to accept pro bono appointment
on a civil case such as this. Pruitt v. Mote, 503
F.3d 647, 653 (7th Cir. 2007). In determining whether the
Court should attempt to find an attorney to voluntarily take
the case, the question is “given the difficulty of the
case, does the plaintiff appear competent to litigate it
himself?" Pruitt, 503 F.3d at 654-55 (7th Cir.
point, Plaintiff appears competent to proceed pro se to the
extent that he should be able to file an amended complaint
limited to one connected set of transactions with government
employees within the last two years that do not involve the
propriety of his criminal convictions. Though containing
unrelated claims, Plaintiff's current complaint is
factually detailed, demonstrating an ability to remember and
explain what happened to Plaintiff that Plaintiff believes
was wrong. That is all that is necessary for the Court to
determine whether a viable claim can proceed.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
1) Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed without prejudice
to filing an amended complaint by December 8, 2017. If
Plaintiff does not file an amended complaint, then this case
will be dismissed, without prejudice, and closed.
2) Plaintiff's motions for appointed counsel are denied.
(d/e's 4, 7.)
3) Plaintiff's motion for a hearing is denied. (d/e 8.)
 A prisoner who has had three prior
actions dismissed for failure to state a claim or as
frivolous or malicious can no longer proceed in forma
pauperis unless the prisoner is under “imminent danger
of serious ...