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Brady v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 20, 2018

HARLEY M. BRADY, No. R13122, Plaintiff,
v.
MR. BALDWIN, JOHN DOE 1, MR. DUNCAN, JOHN DOE 2, NURSE JANE DOE, and JANE DOE 1, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In Brady v. IDOC, No. 17-cv-883-NJR (S.D. Ill. Aug. 21, 2017), Plaintiff Harley M. Brady, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently housed in Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brought suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights allegedly occurring at Lawrence. Pursuant to George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007), an access to the courts claim was severed from that initial action to form the basis for this action, No. 17-cv-1203-NJR.

         On December 4, 2017, the Court screened the severed action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. (Doc. 7). The action did not survive preliminary review and was dismissed without prejudice and with leave to amend. Id. On April 16, 2018, after receiving three extensions, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Doc. 16). The Amended Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review pursuant to § 1915A.

         Preliminary Review - Applicable Standard

         Section 1915A provides as follows:

(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.

         An 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 Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff is in IDOC custody as a result of his convictions in La Salle County, Illinois, for armed robbery and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon (No. 13-cf-202). See People v. Brady, 2017 IL App (3d) 150184-U, appeal denied, 98 N.E.3d 37 (Ill. 2018). According to the Amended Complaint, prior to sentencing, Plaintiff requested that certain officials release his mental health records. Plaintiff intended to have these records included in his presentence investigation report (“PSI”). The records were never released, and Plaintiff's grievances and complaints pertaining to the unreleased records were not adequately addressed. Plaintiff's sentencing proceeded, without the mental health records, and his subsequent motion to reconsider sentencing was denied. Plaintiff contends that, because the mental health records were not included in his PSI, he did not receive a fair sentencing hearing. In connection with these claims, Plaintiff has named the officials allegedly involved in failing to release the records and/or the officials who allegedly failed to address his grievances. Plaintiff claims that Defendants deprived him of due process and/or access to the courts. He also brings an Illinois common-law negligence claim. Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and monetary damages.

         Discussion

         It is well established that a plaintiff in a case brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 may not raise claims that, if correct, would necessarily imply the invalidity of a state conviction or sentence unless and until that conviction or sentence has been set aside. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 ...


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