United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
OPINION & ORDER
BILLY McDADE, United States Senior District Judge.
matter is before the Court upon Plaintiff Wade William
Wilson's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
(Doc. 7) and Motion to Request Counsel (Doc. 9). For the
reasons given below, both motions are DENIED, the Amended
Complaint (Doc. 6) is DISMISSED, and the case is TERMINATED.
December 18, 2017, Wilson filed a civil rights complaint in
this Court alleging that he was subjected to deliberate
indifference by several Peoria county officials and/or
employees. In 2013, Wilson was charged with several counts of
attempted burglary in violation of 720 ILCS 5/19-1(a). He
pled guilty and was sentenced to concurrent terms of
two years on each of three counts of attempted burglary.
(Doc. 1 at 9). He contends that he was wrongfully forced to
serve consecutive sentences based on a court
employee's mistake in marking a box next to the word
“consecutive” instead of the box next to the word
“concurrent” (see Doc. 1 at 10) on the
order committing him to the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections. This error caused Wilson to serve
a longer sentence than he should have otherwise served.
Wilson completed the improperly extended sentence and was
released on July 22, 2016.
alleged in his original complaint that the State of Illinois;
the Peoria County state judge who presided over his 2013
case, Kevin Lyons; the then prosecutor, Jodi Hoos (now a
state judge); his trial counsel, Kevin Lowe; the Clerk of
Court, Robert Spears; and a court employee who allegedly
incorrectly marked his sentencing order, Jill David, were all
deliberately indifferent to his wrongfully prolonged prison
sentence. However, Wilson did not allege that any of the
individual Defendants even knew about the mistaken order. Nor
did he allege that he attempted to take any measures to
correct his sentence while he was incarcerated. Nevertheless,
in his Complaint, Wilson requested this Court to force the
named state actors to resign their positions and to pay him
1.2 million dollars for pain and suffering.
is currently in Peoria County jail on matters unrelated to
this action and sought to proceed in forma pauperis, which
necessitated this Court to examine his pleading under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(a) and 1915A. The Court found that
Wilson's Complaint had to be dismissed for two reasons.
First, the Court recognized it did not have the power to
force state officials and employees, some of whom were
elected by the people of Peoria County, to resign their
positions. Second, the allegations of the Complaint, even
taken as true, did not set out with any degree of
plausibility that any of the individual Defendants even knew
of the error in Wilson's paperwork or that he was
languishing behind bars for longer than he should have.
was nothing pled in the Complaint from which one could draw
the conclusion that anyone knew of the mistake in his
sentencing order, let alone deliberately ignored it.
Furthermore, it did not appear from the Complaint that Wilson
himself noticed the error during his term of incarceration.
For these reasons, the Court found that the Complaint failed
to state claims upon which relief may be granted on its face
and had to be dismissed. However, in keeping with circuit
precedent that requires district courts to allow pro se
litigants at least one chance to correct deficient pleadings,
the Court allowed Wilson leave to amend the Complaint.
Wilson has submitted an Amended Complaint and renewed his
motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 7) and
for counsel (Doc. 9). This time, Wilson only names the State
of Illinois, Kevin Lowe, and Jodi Hoos as defendants. The
facts are essentially the same as originally pled, except now
Wilson claims he informed a prison counselor about his
sentence. He is not suing that counselor. He claims that
counselor told him that the Illinois prison officials use
mittimus papers from the courts to determine the appropriate
duration of a sentence and that she showed him on her
computer that his sentence was indeed six years according
those mittimus papers.
privilege to proceed without [paying] costs and fees is
reserved to the many truly impoverished litigants who, within
a district court's discretion, would remain without legal
remedy if such privilege were not afforded to them.”
Brewster v. North Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461 F.2d 649,
651 (7th Cir. 1972). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), an
indigent jailed litigant may pursue a federal civil action by
filing an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets
such prisoner possesses, and affirms that the prisoner is
unable to pay court fees or provide security therefor. Wilson
has done that. Section (e) of that same statute requires the
court to dismiss the case at any time if the court determines
that the allegation of poverty is untrue; or the action 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. Another statute, 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, also requires the Court to review each
and every complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner
seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity as soon as practicable to
identify any cognizable (which means legally comprehensible
and within the power of the Court to address) claims and to
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted; or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Thus,
the Court has a responsibility to analyze the Complaint as
soon as practicable to determine whether the case should
reviewing a complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in the
plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649-51 (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. United States, 721 F.3d
418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013) (citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). As in any other case, a plaintiff can plead
himself out of court by providing enough facts to demonstrate
that he has no claim for which relief nay be granted.
Atkins v. City of Chicago, 631 F.3d 823, 832 (7th
Cir. 2011). This includes not only the facts alleged within
the complaint, but also facts that come from documents that
were incorporated into the pleadings. In re Wade,
969 F.2d 241, 249 (7th Cir. 1992). Although the court must
take all well-pled allegations as true, when an exhibit
incontrovertibly contradicts the allegations in the
complaint, then the exhibit generally controls, even when the
court is considering a motion to dismiss. Bogie v.
Rosenberg, 705 F.3d 603, 609 (7th Cir. 2013).
Additionally, the court may independently examine and form
its own opinions about a document because it is not bound by
a party's characterization of it. Forrest v.
Universal Sav. Bank, F.A., 507 F.3d 540, 542 (7th Cir.
Wilson has now amended his complaint, he has still failed to
state a plausible claim upon which relief can be granted.
“Incarceration beyond the date when a person is
entitled to be released violates the Eighth Amendment if it
is the product of deliberate indifference.” Figgs
v. Dawson, 829 F.3d 895, 902 (7th Cir. 2016). For an
action to be have been performed deliberately, the
actor had to have some sort of knowledge of the action. There
is nothing pled in the Amended Complaint from which one can
draw the conclusion that Kevin Lowe, Jodi Hoos, or anyone
else knew that a court employee marked the wrong box on
Wilson's sentencing order except Wilson. He states that
he sent letters to the Peoria courthouse and implored his
family to go to the Peoria courthouse but nothing was ever
the Court empathizes with Wilson to the extent that his
allegations are true, no deliberate indifference claim can be
sustained against the Defendants based on these allegations.
Wilson has not pleaded any facts from which one can draw a
plausible conclusion that Kevin Lowe or Jodi Hoos or anyone
affiliated with the State of Illinois had ...