United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DONALD G. CARLYLE, # N-77711, Plaintiff,
CALHOUN COUNTY TREASURER, CALHOUN COUNTY COMMISSIONER, CALHOUN COUNTY COURTS, CALHOUN COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT, and CALHOUN COUNTY, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Donald Carlyle, currently incarcerated at Robinson
Correctional Center,  brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights. Plaintiff claims that Defendants caused
him to be wrongfully arrested and incarcerated and defamed
his character when they contributed to or allowed the
issuance of a warrant for failure to appear in court that
resulted in his arrest and temporary incarceration.
Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for a
preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
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. A Complaint is plausible on its face
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true,
see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir.
2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Courts “should not accept as
adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of
action or conclusory legal statements.” Id. At
the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro
se complaint are to be liberally construed. See
Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011);
Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816,
821 (7th Cir. 2009).
fully considering the allegations in Plaintiff's
Complaint, the Court concludes that this action is subject to
was released from prison on September 11, 2015, after serving
a sentence at Pinckneyville Correctional Center. (Doc. 1, p.
5). During his time in the custody of the Illinois Department
of Corrections, Plaintiff was aware that he had an
outstanding warrant from Calhoun County for failure to appear
on fines and court costs from a 2006 case for the obstruction
of justice. Id. Plaintiff had filed a motion to
quash that warrant, but his motion was denied. Id.
Upon his release, Plaintiff had a “Blue I.D. Card,
” indicating that he had an outstanding warrant from
Calhoun County. Id.
his release, Plaintiff was arrested by Caseyville police on
the Calhoun County warrant for failure to appear.
Id. He was taken to St. Clair County Jail, where he
posted bond and was released with a pending court date in
Calhoun County. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). However, Plaintiff did not
show up for the Calhoun County court hearing because
“he called them and explained to them that the debt was
sold and [he did]] not owe them any longer.” (Doc. 1,
missing the court date, Plaintiff was arrested “on that
warrant and was held for like 12 days in Jersey County Jail
waiting to see a judge.” Id. Plaintiff's
father called and attempted to “explain they were wrong
but they wouldn't listen.” Id. When
Plaintiff saw the judge in his case, he explained the
situation. Id. The judge directed the clerk to look
up whether Plaintiff's debt had been sold, and determined
that it indeed had been. Id. Plaintiff was then
asserts that “the person responsible should [have]
quashed the warrant upon selling of the debt.”
Id. He alleges that the Calhoun County Treasurer was
responsible for selling the debt to the collection agency and
should have informed the Circuit Clerk to quash the warrant
for F.T.A. on fines and court costs.” (Doc. 1, p. 1).
He also asserts that the Calhoun County
Commissioner/Superintendent was responsible for passing the
law turning fines and court costs over to collection agencies
and should have appointed someone to throw out or quash his
warrant. (Doc. 1, p. 2). As for Calhoun County, Plaintiff
alleges that they sold his debt to a collection agency but
did not thereafter quash his warrant, resulting in his
wrongful arrest and incarceration. Id.
seeks monetary relief for his “mental anguish, wrongful
incarceration, loss of wages, defamation of character, and
malicious prosecution.” (Doc. 1, p. 7).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following counts. The parties and the Court will use
these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as
to their merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in the
Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice.
Count 1: Fourth Amendment claim for
false/wrongful arrest, where Plaintiff no longer owed a debt
to Calhoun County for fines and court costs, because the
County sold its debt to a collection agency;
Count 2: Fourth Amendment claim for
false/wrongful imprisonment, where Plaintiff was jailed for
12 days based on the Calhoun County warrants that should not
have been issued because Plaintiff no longer owed fines or
costs to the County;
Count 3: State tort claim for defamation of
character in connection with Plaintiff's wrongful arrest
1 and 2 will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. The state tort claim in Count 3
will be dismissed without prejudice because no viable federal
claims will remain in the action, and the Court declines to
assert supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
state-law claim under these circumstances.
of Count 1 - ...