United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
KOFI M. AJABU, Plaintiff,
HAMILTON COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE, Defendants.
ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE
plaintiff, Kofi M. Ajabu (“Mr. Ajabu”), is a
prisoner currently incarcerated at Wabash Valley Correctional
Industrial Facility (“Wabash”). Because the
plaintiff is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(h), this Court has an obligation under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b) to screen his complaint before service on the
defendants. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court
must dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or malicious,
fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief. In
determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court
applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to
dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th
Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
complaint is brought under the Rackateer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et
seq. (“RICO”), and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Mr. Ajabu names the following defendants: 1) Hamilton County
Prosecutor's Office; 2) Wayne Sturtevant, former Hamilton
County Prosecutor; 3) Ken Roberts; 4) Estate of Kevin
Scionti; 5) Sonia Leerkamp, former Hamilton County
Prosecutor; 6) Bruce Lemmons, Commissioner of the Indiana
Department of Correction; and 7) Eric K. Koselke, appeals
attorney. Mr. Ajabu seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Ajabu alleges that in October 1995, he was sentenced to life
without parole on three counts of murder and one count of
burglary. He alleges that his defense attorney Mr. Roberts
and the Hamilton County Prosecutors colluded to fraudulently
deprive him of his constitutional right to effective counsel
and of his right to put forth a defense. His appellate
attorneys also allegedly worked in concert with the Hamilton
County Prosecutor's Office and his trial attorneys to
conceal fraudulent acts.
ahead a decade in an unrelated claim, Mr. Ajabu alleges that
while in prison in 2006, he was charged with battery
resulting in serious bodily injury. His defense attorney,
Chadwick Hill, visited the prison and determined that the
layout of the prison would not have allowed Mr. Ajabu to
commit the battery. The Madison County Prosecutor ultimately
decided that there was insufficient evidence to proceed to
trial and dismissed the charges. Nonetheless, the Indiana
Department of Correction kept Mr. Ajabu in solitary
confinement for over a year based on the same facts from
which the prosecutor found exonerating evidence and decided
not to prosecute.
Ajabu brings claims under RICO. RICO's private civil
remedy provision states:
Any person injured in his business or property by reason of a
violation of section 1962 of this chapter may sue therefor
... and shall recover threefold the damages he sustains and
the cost of the suit, ...