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Brownn v. Randolph County Jail

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 26, 2018

FRANK JOE BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDOLPH COUNTY JAIL and NENA, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert District Judge.

         Plaintiff Frank Joe Brown, who is currently detained at Randolph County Jail (“Jail”), brings this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). (Doc. 1). In the Complaint, Plaintiff indicates that his constitutional rights have been violated at the Jail. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff seeks monetary damages. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         The Complaint is now subject to preliminary review 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.

         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. The Complaint does not survive preliminary review under this standard.

         The Complaint

         Frank Joe Brown is a federal inmate who is currently housed at Randolph County Jail. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Brown lists no parties in the case caption of his Complaint. (Doc. 1, p. 1). Although he signed the Complaint as the plaintiff, Brown also lists himself and “Nena” as defendants. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2, 6).

         In the statement of his claim, Brown states: “(1) My 8th Amendment was violated; (2) This Jail have violated my constitution rights as a federal inmate; [and] (3) d[ue] to my religious practice as a Moorish American.” (Doc. 1, p. 5). Brown includes no other allegations in support of these claims. Id.

         Along with the Complaint, Brown filed copies of several grievances and grievance responses. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-15). They address numerous unrelated issues. Id. Brown complains that his food tray was delivered early one day while he was participating in a religious fast. (Doc. 1, pp. 7, 10). As a result, he was forced to choose between eating warm food and completing his fast. Id. Brown also complains that he was given food containing eggs. (Doc. 1, pp. 8, 15). He was denied cleaning supplies for two months. (Doc. 1, pp. 9, 11, 13-14). He was also required to share his cell with another inmate. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Finally, Brown states that he had to throw away food after Jail officials entered his cell and began spray painting it while he was cooking. (Doc. 1, p. 12). None of the exhibits mention Nena. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-15).

         Merits Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

         The Complaint suffers from numerous fatal defects, both procedural and substantive. It violates Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires every pleading to include the names of the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) in the case caption. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a). Brown lists no one at all in the case caption. (Doc. 1, p. 1). Although the form then prompts the plaintiff to provide additional information about each party on the first two pages of the complaint form, Brown identifies himself and “Nena” as defendants in this section without providing any additional information. Id. Given that he signed and filed the Complaint, Brown is the plaintiff, and he should list himself as “Plaintiff” in ...


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