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Decker v. Zabor

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 2, 2018

JOSEPH DECKER, Plaintiff,
v.
ERIC ZABOR, BEN KELLY, C/O MASON, and NEAL ROHLFING, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Plaintiff Joseph Decker, 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 claims that his constitutional rights were violated when a Waterloo Police Department officer sexually harassed him at Monroe County Jail. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff seeks monetary damages against Officer Zabor and several other officials at Monroe County Jail. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         The Complaint is now subject to screening under 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. 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 Complaint

         In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was harassed on a single occasion by Officer Eric Zabor, who is employed by the Waterloo Police Department. (Doc. 1, p. 5). On March 21, 2018, Officer Zabor served Plaintiff with a federal indictment at Monroe County Jail. Id. After completing service of the indictment on Plaintiff, Officer Zabor grabbed his own “private area in a very sexual way” and told Plaintiff that he “would be fucking [him] real soon.” Id. Plaintiff describes Officer Zabor as the “main officer” involved in his case. Id. A Waterloo Police Department Citizen's Complaint Form submitted along with the Complaint identifies Officers “Ben” and “Mason” as witnesses to the incident. (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         The following day, Plaintiff was given a bond reduction at a hearing in Monroe County. (Doc. 1, p. 8). When he returned to the Jail, Plaintiff learned that State's Attorney Chris Hitzemann had contacted the Jail and instructed the officers “not to let [Plaintiff] make bail” because of a “federal hold.” Id. The Jail supervisor later informed Plaintiff that there was no federal hold, and he was “free to make bail.” Id.

         Plaintiff now brings a claim against Officer Zabor for sexual harassment and against State's Attorney Hitzemann for unspecified constitutional violations. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He seeks monetary relief that includes reimbursement for the cost of “any medical bills for therapy or counseling.” (Doc. 1, p. 6). In the Complaint, he also names three other Monroe County Jail officials as defendants, including C/O Kelly, C/O Mason, and Sheriff Rohlfing. (Doc. 1, p. 1).

         Discussion

         The Court deems it appropriate to organize the pro se Complaint into the following enumerated count to facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in this case and in accordance with the ...


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