United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
LONNIE T. WELLS, Plaintiff,
RALPH FOWLER, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
before this Court is the First Amended Complaint filed by
Plaintiff Lonnie Wells on May 14, 2018. (Doc. 11). Plaintiff
brought this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 while he was incarcerated at Taylorville Correctional
Center (“Taylorville”). (Doc. 1, p. 1). After
being released from custody, Plaintiff filed the First
Amended Complaint against Ralph Fowler, a prosecuting
attorney for the State of Illinois who is allegedly
responsible for his conviction for conspiracy to obstruct
justice. (Docs. 7, 11). Plaintiff alleges that Attorney
Fowler improperly used evidence from an overturned child
abuse and neglect case to prove the State's case against
him. Id. In his request for relief, Plaintiff seeks
the “TRUTH!” (Doc. 11, p. 7) (emphasis in
matter is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
the First Amended 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
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.
2009). The First Amended Complaint does not survive
First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Attorney
Fowler (State of Illinois Appellate Prosecutor) is guilty of
official misconduct. (Doc. 11, p. 6). The allegations offered
in support of this claim are far from clear. Id. The
Court has done its best to summarize Plaintiff's
Statement of Claim. Id.
to the allegations, the State of Illinois Department of
Children and Family Services (“DCFS”) opened a
case against Plaintiff's ex-wife, Dixon Turner. (Doc. 11,
p. 6). Jeannie Parker (DCFS caseworker) investigated the
allegations of child abuse and neglect against her and
concluded that they were substantiated. Id. Despite
this conclusion, the case against Dixon was dropped.
allegedly used his position to “fabricate evidence
towards Dixon's benefit and then turn[ ] it towards
[Plaintiff's] demise.” (Doc. 11, p. 6). Plaintiff
does not explain what he means by this assertion, beyond
stating that Fowler “successfully had a case from DCFS
that was against [his] ex-wife, Dixon Turner, dropped, and
then proceeded to become a witness for the prosecution”
in Plaintiff's criminal case. Id. Plaintiff
accuses Fowler of engaging in official misconduct, which he
says is a Class 3 felony. Id.
cannot use § 1983 as a vehicle for bringing criminal
charges against the defendant. Although he allegedly seeks
the “TRUTH, ” it appears that Plaintiff is
actually attempting to initiate a criminal prosecution
against Fowler for a Class 3 felony. (Doc. 11, pp. 6-7). An
inmate has no right to compel a criminal prosecution.
See, e.g., Wimberly v. Julius, 606 Fed.Appx. 309,
311 (7th Cir. 2015) cert. denied,136 S.Ct. 504
(2015) (citing Town of Castle Rock, Colo. v.
Gonzales,545 U.S. 748, 768 (2005); Sandage v. Bd.
of Comm'rs of Vanderburgh Cnty.,548 F.3d 595, 597
(7th Cir. 2008)). Further, this Court has no authority to
initiate a criminal prosecution. See Fed. R. Crim.
P. 7(c)(1) (“[t]he indictment or information . . . must
be signed by ...