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Jones v. Mooney

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 30, 2018

CORBIN D. JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
NEIL MOONEY, CITY OF MT. VERNON, ILLINOIS, and MT. VERNON COUNTY JAIL, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, a former detainee at the Jefferson County Justice Center, brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At the time of filing, Plaintiff was not incarcerated, meaning that he was not a “prisoner” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. However, he filed a motion seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Accordingly, the Court screened the original Complaint (Doc. 1) and the Amended Complaint (Doc. 7) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Neither pleading survived screening under this standard.

         Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint on July 17, 2018. (Doc. 10). The Second Amended Complaint is now before the Court for screening pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         Background

         As previously noted, the original Complaint did not survive screening; it was dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted, and Plaintiff was granted leave to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 5).

         On April 6, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Doc. 7). In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claimed that his constitutional rights were violated on February 14, 2017, when he was arrested at his mother's home by two police officers working for the City of Mt. Vernon (Officers Mooney and Greenwood). In conjunction with screening the Amended Complaint, the Court divided the pro se action into the following counts:

Count 1: Mooney violated Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights by forcing his way into Plaintiff's bedroom to conduct a search without a warrant or permission.
Count 2: Mooney violated Plaintiff's Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights by failing to inform him of his Miranda rights before or after his arrest or while he was in Mooney's custody.
Count 3: Mooney submitted a police report containing false statements about the events on February 14, 2017.
Count 4: Evidence obtained from Plaintiff's home that would have been exculpatory in his criminal prosecution was destroyed.

(Doc. 9, pp. 6-7). The Court then dismissed Counts 1 through 4, explaining as follows:

[T]he claims directed against Officer Mooney are the same claims at issue in Jones v. Mooney, 17-cv-337-JPG. The Court knows of no reason Plaintiff should be allowed to proceed on the same claims, against the same defendant, in two cases. Interests in “wise judicial administration” permit dismissal of a federal suit that parallels another action pending in federal court. See Serlin v. Arthur Andersen & Co., 3 F.3d 221, 223 (7th Cir. 1993). See also Id. (“The irrationality of tolerating duplicative litigation in the federal system is all the more pronounced where, as here, two federal judges sitting on the same district court are ... devoting scarce judicial resources to the adjudication of the same charges by essentially the same plaintiffs against the same defendants.”). Moreover, Plaintiff is prosecuting this action under the in forma pauperis statute, which requires dismissal if the action is deemed frivolous or malicious. It is malicious for Plaintiff to file more than one suit against the same defendant based on the same set of facts. See Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1109 (7th Cir. 2003) (suit is “malicious” for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915 if it is intended to harass or is otherwise abusive of the judicial process); Pittman v. Moore, 980 F.2d 994, 994-95 (5th Cir. 1993) (holding that it is malicious for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit under the in forma pauperis statute that duplicates allegations of another pending lawsuit).

(Doc. 9, p. 7).

         Accordingly, Counts 1-4 were dismissed from this action with prejudice. (Doc. 9, pp. 7-8). However, the dismissal was without prejudice to Plaintiff pursuing the claims in his earlier filed action against Mooney. Id. The Court also explained that any intended claims against Officer Greenwood were dismissed without prejudice because he was not named as a defendant in the case caption. (Doc. 9, p. 6). Further, the Court dismissed the City of Mt. Vernon without prejudice because the Amended Complaint did not identify any municipal policy that was responsible for any alleged constitutional violations. (Doc. 9, pp. 5-6). Accordingly, the Amended ...


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