The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge United States District Court.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Bobby Ford, currently an inmate at the Pontiac Correctional
Center, brings this pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On
October 2, 2000, the court dismissed Ford's claims in regard to a
disciplinary hearing and in regard to defendants allegedly denying Ford's
grievances. Defendants Georgia Schonauer, D. Luce, M. Thompson, A.
Johnson, Leora Harry, Director Snyder, and Jim Simmons were accordingly
dismissed from this action. The court allowed Ford to proceed in forma
pauperis on his remaining claims against the remaining defendants.
Defendants James Page, Jesse Montgomery, John Thomas, Rodney Stewart,
Leonta Jackson, Anthony Selmon, Vincent Hollingsworth, Daniel Voights,
John Adams, Raphael Spencer, and Bukari Autman*fn1 have filed a motion
to dismiss, to which Ford has responded.
The purpose of a motion to dismiss is to test the sufficiency of the
complaint, not to decide the merits. Gibson v. Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510,
1520 (7th Cir. 1990). Federal notice pleading requires only that the
plaintiff "set out in her complaint a short and plain statement of the
claim that will provide the defendant with fair notice of the claim."
Scott v. City of Chicago, 195 F.3d 950, 951 (7th Cir. 1999). When ruling
on a motion to dismiss, the court assumes that well-pleaded allegations
are true and draws all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff. Henderson v. Sheahan, 196 F.3d 839, 845 (7th Cir.
1999), cert denied, 530 U.S. 1234 (2000). This rule has particular force
when considering the allegations of a pro se complaint, which are held
"to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers."
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Accordingly, pro se
complaints are to be liberally construed. Wilson v. Civil Town of
Clayton, Ind., 839 F.2d 375, 378 (7th Cir. 1988). However, while it is
often said that a claim may be dismissed only if, as a matter of law, "it
is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that
could be proved consistent with the allegations," Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989) (quoting Hishon v. King & Spalding,
467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984)), the Seventh Circuit has observed that this maxim
"has never been taken literally." Kyle v. Morten High School, 144 F.3d 448,
455 (7th Cir. 1998) (quoting Sutliff, Inc. v. Donovan Companies, Inc.,
727 F.2d 648, 654 (7th Cir. 1984)). All plaintiffs — whether pro
se or represented — must include in the complaint allegations
concerning all material elements necessary for recovery under the
relevant legal theory. Chowla v. Klapper, 743 F. Supp. 1284, 1285 (N.D.
Ford was assigned to the I-House Segregation Unit at Stateville
Correctional Center on December 3, 1999. At about l0:00 p.m., defendant
D. Voights intentionally smashed Ford's left arm and hand in the solid
steel door, causing a four-inch cut on his elbow and fracturing his left
ring finger, which swelled permanently. Ford claims that Voights did this
because Ford was taking too long to empty his garbage through the food
Ford demanded immediate medical attention but Voights walked away,
smiling, after seeing the blood. About 20 minutes later, defendant Lt.
Jackson came but he refused to get medical attention for Ford. Rather,
his main concern was to close the chuck hole. Ford refused to remove his
arm because defendants have a policy of ignoring inmates once the food
hatch is closed. Lt. Jackson left, denying Ford medical attention, but
then returned some time later with defendant Med-tech Adams who cleaned
the wound but failed to treat or document the finger injuries or place
Ford on sick call for x-rays. Adams provided inadequate treatment, and
later that night Ford's elbow swelled to the size of a soft ball and his
finger swelled to the size of a golf ball. Although he was in great
pain, he was not given any pain pills.
Voights wrote a false disciplinary report, charging Ford with assault
in order to conceal Voights's assault on Ford.
On May 1, 2000, Ford called defendant Lt. McBride to his cell,
complaining that the gallery officer had refused to return his laundry.
McBride came to Ford's cell because Ford refused to take his arm out of
the food slot. McBride left to check on the laundry. When he*fn2
returned about 45 minutes later, he told Ford that he could not find it.
Ford refused to move his arm, and McBride began twisting, jerking and
slamming Ford's arm into the steel doors. Several unknown correctional
officers aided McBride. After they forced Ford's arm into the cell, they
left and refused to get medical attention for him, although he was in
great pain and requested it.
*fn2 Ford refers to McBride as "he"; however, a "Sally McBride" signed
the summons. The court accordingly is unsure of the gender of defendant
Defendant C/O Spencer refused to get medical attention for Ford later
that day at the 11:00 p.m. count. When Spencer was serving breakfast on
the morning of May 2, Ford put his arm out the chuck hole, demanding
medical attention. Spencer refused to feed Ford, call for a med-tech, or
get a sergeant. After Spencer left, the other inmates began banging on
their doors. Defendants Sgt. Hollingsworth, C/O Selmon, and C/O Spencer
came to the gallery and Ford told Hollingsworth that he needed medical
attention. Hollingsworth refused to call for medical attention and to
At 7:30 am., med-tech Dave told Ford to get dressed for the hospital
emergency room. At the hospital, Ford was x-rayed but not given any pain
On May 15, 2000, defendant McBride, aided by defendants C/O King and
C/O Autman, struck Ford with his fist, cutting Ford over the left eye.
They left without getting any medical attention for Ford.
At the shift change, Ford reported the assault to C/O Odate and Lt.
L.C. Johnson (not defendants), who immediately had Ford taken to the
hospital. Med-tech Adams wrote an incident report and called defendant
Stewart of Internal Affairs, but did not treat Ford.
Ford has sprinkled numerous allegations about his conditions of
confinement throughout his complaint and in a separate section, including
claims that the cells are filthy and he is not given adequate cleaning
supplies; soiled mattress; ventilation system that blows out
contaminants; inadequate laundry service; no educational or job programs
for segregation inmates; no restroom facilities on the yard; no running
water in the yard during the summer; no provisions for winter clothing in
the yard during the winter; broken basketball rims; half-cooked, cold,
and nutritionally deficient food; mentally-ill inmates housed with other
inmates. Ford avers that he suffers from a fungus, low self-esteem,
psychological pain, and perception and sleep disorders as a result of
Based on these facts, Ford has divided his complaint into eight
counts: Count 1. The assault on December 3, 1999. Count 2. Deprivation of
adequate medical care. Count 3. Due process violations in regard to the
Adjustment Committee hearing of December 10, 1999. Count 4. The assault
on May 1, 2000. Count 5. Refusal to call for immediate medical care on
May 1, 2000. Count 6. Inhumane conditions of confinement. Count 7.
Supervisory officials condoned, approved, sanctioned, or ignored the
unconstitutional actions of their ...