United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
David Thurman, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections currently house at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff claims that, on a single occasion, he was
denied access to a magazine that depicted women in the nude.
He names as a defendant John/Jane Doe, the unidentified
correctional officer who confiscated his magazine. Plaintiff
seeks monetary damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:
(a) Screening - The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief.
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 any reasonable
person would find meritless. 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. At
this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se
complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
about November 27, 2016,  Plaintiff, who had recently been
transferred to Menard from Stateville Correctional Center
(“Stateville”), “was called to
property.” (Doc. 1, p. 9). When Plaintiff arrived,
John/Jane Doe, a correctional officer working in the property
department, told Plaintiff a magazine he attempted to
transfer from Stateville had been confiscated because it
depicted penetration. Id. According to Plaintiff,
the magazine contained nude photographs of women, but did not
depict penetration. (Doc. 1, pp. 9, 13).
November 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed a grievance pertaining to
John/Jane Doe confiscating his magazine. (Doc. 1, p. 13).
Plaintiff claimed that the confiscation was not authorized
because the magazine was a “nude magazine with women
only in it no penetration.” Id. The grievance
was denied by J. Clendenin, a counselor, on the ground that
the magazine was “contraband due to penetration in
it.” Id. Plaintiff's grievance was
subsequently considered by the Larissa Wandro, a grievance
officer. (Doc. 1, p. 12). Wandro concluded that
Plaintiff's claims pertaining to the confiscated magazine
were unsubstantiated and recommended denying the grievance.
Id. The Chief Administrative Officer concurred with
Wandro's recommendation. Id. Plaintiff appealed
to the Director, but his appeal was denied as untimely. (Doc.
1, p. 11). Plaintiff filed an additional grievance on
December 8, 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 15). Plaintiff indicated that
he wanted the Publication Review Committee to evaluate the
magazine and provide a written explanation of its findings.
Id. As to this request, the grievance counselor
stated, “Personal Property has the same ban list that
the Publication Review Officer has so the magazines are a
dead issue.” Id.
contends that the subject confiscation was not
“random” because it is “their” policy
to allow correctional officers in the personal property
department to confiscate restricted publications. (Doc. 1, p.
9). Plaintiff contends that the confiscation violated the
Illinois Administrative Code because (1) the Chief
Administrative Officer did not concur with the decision of
the publications review officer (see Ill. Admin.
Code tit. 20 §525.230 (d)) and (2) Plaintiff did not
receive a written explanation pertaining to the confiscation
(see Ill. Admin. Code tit. 20 §525.230(c)).
Id. Plaintiff also contends that the confiscation
violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Finally,
Plaintiff contends that his grievances pertaining to the
matter were mishandled. Id.
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
regarding their merit. ...