United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DONALD G. CARLYLE, # N-77711, Plaintiff,
LISA ROTH, and CALHOUN COUNTY, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Donald Carlyle, currently incarcerated at Robinson
Correctional Center,  filed this pro se civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on November 15,
2017. Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 1) was dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
(Doc. 11). He was given leave to file a First Amended
Complaint, which he did on January 11, 2018. (Doc. 14). In
his First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claims that Defendants
caused him to be wrongfully arrested and defamed his
character when they failed to notify Calhoun County Courts
that his debts had been sold. Id. The First Amended
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. Conversely, 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).
Although 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). Additionally, 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).
fully considering the allegations in Plaintiff's First
Amended Complaint, the Court concludes that this action is
subject to summary dismissal.
First Amended Complaint
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 14), Plaintiff makes the
following allegations: Calhoun County sold Plaintiff's
fines and court costs to a collection agency. (Doc. 14, p.
5). The County Treasurer, Lisa Roth, collected the debt, but
“was negligent in contacting” Plaintiff to tell
him his debt was sold and did not contact the Calhoun County
Courts to notify them that Plaintiff's debt was collected
and that his warrant should be lifted. Id. This
resulted in Plaintiff's arrest. Id. Plaintiff
was “made to bond out” for $250 and lost his job
due to Roth or Calhoun County's failure to notify the
Calhoun County Courts that they sold Plaintiff's debt.
seeks monetary damages from the defendants. (Doc. 14, p. 7).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the First Amended 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
First Amended 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
for fines and court costs because Calhoun County sold its
debt to a collection agency;
Count 2:Eighth Amendment claim for cruel and
unusual punishment based on Plaintiff's false/wrongful
arrest, resulting in him losing his job and paying $250 to
Count 3:State tort claim for defamation of
character in connection with Plaintiff's ...