United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Antrell Teen, a detainee at St. Clair County Jail, brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff claims
that Defendant Zina Cruse improperly handled his criminal
proceedings. (Doc. 1). This 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
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.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to summarily dismiss this
makes the following allegations in the Complaint (Doc. 1):
Defendant Zina Cruse is the presiding judge at St. Clair
County Twentieth Judicial District Court in Belleville,
Illinois. (Doc. 1, p. 1). At all times relevant to the
Complaint, she was also the presiding judge in
Plaintiff's criminal proceeding. Id.
was arrested December 11, 2015. (Doc. 1, p. 2). On December
16, 2015, he “invoked his rights to a speedy trial 725
ILCS 5/103-5 to Judge Clay during arraignment of criminal
charges of 1st degree murder and aggravated
assault with a firearm.” Id. Later that month,
Plaintiff appeared in court and informed Public Defender Greg
Nester that he had invoked his right to a speedy trial.
met Mark Peebles, the public defender assigned to his case,
during the second week of February 2016. Id.
Plaintiff also informed Peebles that he invoked his right to
a speedy trial, and told him “if he could not perform
under the boundaries set by the statute that he should remove
himself from [Plaintiff's] case.” Id.
Peebles assured Plaintiff that he could, but he “became
evasive and unresponsive” in March 2016. Id.
Plaintiff wrote to Cruse and the public defender supervisor,
and “informed them of [his] concerns of bad faith
delay, due process, and speedy trial being affected by
ineffective counsel.” Id. Nothing was done.
April 2016, Plaintiff called the court and discovered that
“a toll was used to suspend the statute of limitation
of the speedy trial.” Id. He immediately wrote
objecting to this and asking for an evidentiary hearing.
Id. On April 13, 2016, Plaintiff wrote a pro
se dismissal motion. Id. He was taken to court
for his first status conference on April 28, 2016,
“outside of the 120 days allowed.” Id.
Plaintiff objected to Peebles' actions. Id.
was again taken to Court on May 2, 2016, where he
“objected to all trial dates, objected to Peebles, and
objected to the state.” Id. Plaintiff was
brought to trial June 20, 2016 without the evidentiary
hearing he requested, “and in violation [of] 725 ILCS
5/103-5, due process, and the 6th
Amendment.” Id. Cruse allowed this “and
operated outside of her jurisdiction.” Id.