United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
STANLEY E. RECTOR, JR., Plaintiff,
DAVID H. SEARBY, JR., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Stanley Rector, Jr. filed this action seeking dismissal of
criminal charges pending in state court and monetary damages
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). The Complaint
did not survive screening because Rector failed to state a
claim for relief, and on July 30, 2019, the Court dismissed
the Complaint without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. (Doc. 10). Rector was granted leave to file a First
Amended Complaint on or before August 27, 2019. (Doc. 10, p.
6). Rector failed to file a First Amended Complaint, and the
case was dismissed with prejudice on September 5, 2019. (Doc.
the Court discovered that Rector had filed a Complaint making
the same allegations made in this case that had been opened
as a new case. Rector v. Searby, No. 19-cv-00877-NJR
(S.D. Ill. filed Aug. 12, 2019) (“Case 19-877”).
The Court surmised that Rector intended to file the Complaint
used to open Case 19-877 as the First Amended Complaint in
this case. The Court closed case 19-877 and reopened this
case for consideration of the First Amended Complaint.
First Amended Complaint is now before the Court for
preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
requires the Court to screen prisoner complaints to filter
out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any
portion of the First Amended Complaint that is legally
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or
requests money damages from an immune defendant must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
Section 1915A review of the original Complaint, the Court
designated the following two counts:
Count 1: Defendant Searby offered a deal to Plaintiff's
Perry County Public Defender on Plaintiff's Jackson
County charges without informing Plaintiff or Plaintiff's
Jackson County Public Defender.
Count 2: Defendants failed to inform Plaintiff's Jackson
County Public Defender that he was in the Perry County jail
and he missed a court date in Jackson County.
First Amended Complaint, Rector restates Counts 1 and 2 and
then states “[t]his took place at the Perry County
Courthouse on or about April 15, 2019.” (Doc. 17, p.
6.). No. additional facts are alleged. The only
other difference between the Complaint and the First Amended
Complaint is that Rector no longer requests dismissal of the
charges and monetary damages. Instead, he asks the Court
“to make the defendant aware of his wrong doings and
any punishment to be at the discretion of the Courts.”
(Id., p. 7).
the Complaint, the facts alleged in the First Amended
Complaint do not rise to the level of a colorable
constitutional claim cognizable via a Section 1983 action.
“Prosecutors are absolutely immune from liability for
damages under § 1983 for conduct that is functionally
prosecutorial; this immunity is understood to broadly cover
all conduct associated with the judicial phase of the
criminal process.” Bianchi v. McQueen, 818
F.3d 309, 316 (7th Cir. 2016) (citing Van de Kamp v.
Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 341-43, 129 S.Ct. 855, 172
L.Ed.2d 706 (2009); Burns v. Reed, 500 U.S. 478,
486, 111 S.Ct. 1934, 114 L.Ed.2d 547 (1991); Imbler v.
Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 430-31, 96 S.Ct. 984, 47 L.Ed.2d
128 (1976)). Whether an individual “is protected by
absolute prosecutorial immunity depends on the type of work
he performed and the factual premises of the plaintiffs'
claims” because a “prosecutor only enjoys
absolute immunity insofar as he is ‘act[ing] within the
scope of his prosecutorial duties.'” Id.
at 318 (quoting Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409,
420, 96 S.Ct. 984, 47 L.Ed.2d 128 (1976)). Here, the
allegations relate to conduct during the judicial phase of
the criminal process and Searby would be entitled to absolute
immunity. Accordingly, the First Amended Complaint will be
dismissed for failure to state a claim for relief.
Court must once again consider whether to allow Rector to
submit an amended complaint in an effort to state a viable
claim. Leave to amend a complaint need not be granted when an
amendment would be futile. See Bogie v. Rosenberg,
705 F.3d 603, 608 (7th Cir. 2013); Garcia v. City of
Chicago, 24 F.3d 966, 970 (7th Cir. 1994); Barry
Aviation, Inc. v. Land O'Lakes Municipal Airport
Comm'n, 377 F.3d 682, 687 (7th Cir. 2004) (leave to
amend should be freely given “unless it is certain from
the face of the complaint that any amendment would be
futile”). Rector's First Amended Complaint is
nothing more than a restatement of his original Complaint
that was dismissed for failure to state a claim for relief.
Under the facts of the case, the Court finds that leave to
amend would be futile and, therefore, Rector will not be
given another opportunity to amend.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the First Amended Complaint
does not survive preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A, and this action is DISMISSED with
prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted. This ...