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Matherly v. Dekalb County Jail

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division

January 24, 2018

Jason Matherly (278343), Plaintiff,
v.
DeKalb County Jail, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Philip G. Reinhard Judge.

         Plaintiff's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [3] is granted. The court authorizes and orders the trust fund officer at plaintiff's place of incarceration to deduct $6.80 from plaintiff's account for payment to the Clerk of Court as an initial partial payment of the filing fee, and to continue making monthly deductions in accordance with this order. However, the court summarily dismisses the complaint on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A for failure to state a colorable federal claim. The case is terminated. The court directs the Clerk of Court to enter final judgment. This dismissal counts as one of plaintiff's three allotted dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Dismissal is without prejudice to pursuing any avenue of relief that may be available in the state court system.

         STATEMENT

         Plaintiff Jason Matherly, currently an inmate at the Kendall County Jail, brings this pro se civil rights action purportedly pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that he stumbled, fell, and injured himself while exiting from a DeKalb County Jail transport vehicle. Plaintiff faults the deputy who was escorting him, alleging that the officer failed to raise the car seat for him. For the reasons set forth in this order, the court grants plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, but summarily dismisses the complaint on initial review for failure to state an actionable federal claim.

         Plaintiff has demonstrated that he is unable to prepay the statutory filing fee. The court therefore grants his application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(b)(1) and (2), the court orders: (1) plaintiff to immediately pay (and the facility having custody of him to automatically remit) $6.80 to the Clerk of Court for payment of the initial partial filing fee and (2) plaintiff to pay (and the facility having custody of him to automatically remit) to the Clerk of Court twenty percent of the money he receives for each calendar month during which he receives $10.00 or more, until the $350 filing fee is paid in full. The court directs the Clerk of Court to ensure that a copy of this order is mailed to each facility where plaintiff is housed until the filing fee has been paid in full. All payments shall be sent to the Clerk of Court, United States District Court, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, attn: Cashier's Desk, 20th Floor, and shall clearly identify plaintiff's name and the case number assigned to this case.

         However, under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a), the court is required to screen pro se prisoners' complaints and dismiss the complaint, or any claims therein, if the court determines that the complaint or claim 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. See Jones v. Bock, 199');">549 U.S. 199, 214 (2007); Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013).

         Courts screen prisoner litigation claims in the same manner as ordinary motions to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). See Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709, 718 (7th Cir. 2011). A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. See Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 11');">570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must “give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citation omitted).

         Under federal notice pleading standards, a plaintiff's “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put differently, a “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, [courts] accept the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true.” Alam v. Miller Brewing Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013). Courts also construe pro se complaints liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 1 U.S. 89');">551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam).

         A plaintiff is not required to plead facts in the complaint to anticipate and defeat affirmative defenses. Independent Trust Corp. v. Stewart Info. Serv. Corp., 665 F.3d 930, 935 (7th Cir. 2012). But a plaintiff can plead himself or herself out of court by pleading facts that undermine the allegations set forth in the complaint. See, e.g., Whitlock v. Brown, 596 F.3d 406, 412 (7th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted) (“A judicial admission trumps evidence. This is the basis of the principle that a plaintiff can plead himself out of court.”).

         Facts

         Plainti1ety as follows:

In the month of March 2017 I was returning from court in the custody of Deputy Schults and two other inmates whos[e] name[s] I do not know. When the other two inmat1es got out of the mini-van, I was instructed by Deputy Schults to climb through the seats instead of raising the seat like the deputy was supposed to do. He left it down. So as I climbed out, my shackle was caught by the seat, causing me to fall and smack my head and shoulder on the ground, causing me to be in great pain.
I feel that I should be fin[an]cially compensated for the negligen[ce] of the officer and that any doctor bills related ...

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