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Speed v. True

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 20, 2019

ANTONIO NATHANIEL SPEED, #40750-044, Plaintiff,
v.
B. TRUE, ASSOCIATE WARDEN COOPER, LIEUTENANT McALLISTER, LIEUTENANT BLAIR, WINN, SCHREIBER, and JARRETT, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Antonio Speed is a former federal inmate at the United States Penitentiary located in Marion, Illinois (“USP-Marion”). He filed this pro se action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), in order to challenge his placement in USP-Marion's Prison Camp on due process grounds. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-22). He seeks money damages. (Id. at p. 7).

         The Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner complaints and filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court is required to dismiss any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks money damages from a defendant who is immune from relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations in the pro se Complaint are liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff's statement of claim consists of the following single allegation:

My constitutional rights were violated by the administration of Marion USP Prison Camp when it forced me to become a participant in their sanctions without a report and hearing programs upon my arrival at Marion USP Prison Camp 9118.

(Doc. 1, p. 6). In his request for relief, Plaintiff cites violations of his Fifth Amendment due process rights. (Id. at p. 7). The Complaint includes various marked-up exhibits, such as a copy of his Inmate Rights and Responsibilities (Id. at p. 10), a Program Statement for the Inmate Discipline Program (Id. at pp. 11-13), and memoranda from Warden True (Id. at pp. 14-16), among other documents. Plaintiff fails to explain why he submitted these exhibits. (Id. at pp. 1-21).

         Based on the allegation in the Complaint, the Court designates a single count in this pro se action:

Count 1: Defendants violated Plaintiff's Fifth Amendment right to due process of law by placing him in USP-Marion's Prison Camp without notice or a hearing.

         The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. Any claim that is encompassed by the allegations in the Complaint but not addressed herein is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[1]

         Discussion

         Plaintiff's one-sentence allegation falls woefully short of the pleading standards described in Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Twombly. He omits reference to the defendants and to the acts or omissions that support his claim against them. Rule 8(a) requires “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Plaintiff's allegation is too short and too vague. The Complaint must set forth sufficient facts to give each defendant “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Plaintiff has not set forth enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Id. As such, the Complaint does not survive screening.

         Moreover, Plaintiff's Fifth Amendment due process claim against the defendants is likely foreclosed by the Supreme Court's decision in Ziglar v. Abbasi, 137 U.S. 1843 (2017). In Ziglar, the Supreme Court held that federal courts should not expand Bivens into contexts not officially recognized by the Supreme Court, unless certain “special factors” counsel otherwise. Ziglar, 137 U.S. at 1859-60. The Court cited only three instances in which a Bivens remedy should be recognized against federal officials: (1) Fourth Amendment claims involving unlawful searches and seizures; (2) Fifth Amendment due process claims involving gender discrimination; and (3) Eighth Amendment claims for inadequate medical treatment. Ziglar, 137 U.S. at 1854-55. Count 1 does not fit into any of these categories. See Goree v. Serio, 735 Fed.Appx. 894 (7th Cir. 2018) (claims premised on due process violations arising from administrative and disciplinary proceedings not cognizable under Bivens and were properly dismissed at screening).

         In light of the above, the Court finds that Plaintiff's Complaint does not survive screening and shall be dismissed without prejudice. If Plaintiff wishes to pursue his claims any further, he may file an amended complaint. However, Plaintiff is WARNED that his failure to comply with the below deadline and instructions will result in dismissal of this action with prejudice and the ...


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