The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES NORGLE, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The Plaintiff, currently an inmate at Menard Correctional
Center, brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. He claims that the defendants, officials at
Stateville Correctional Center, violated his constitutional
rights by retaliating against him after he filed a lawsuit. For
the reasons stated in this order, the motion is denied.
In considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as
true all well-pleaded facts and must draw all reasonable
inferences from those allegations in plaintiff's favor; a
complaint shall only be dismissed if it is beyond doubt that the
plaintiff can prove no facts which would entitle him to relief.
MCM Partners, Inc. v. Andrews-Bartlett & Assoc., Inc.,
62 F.3d 967, 972 (7th Cir. 1995). Furthermore, when confronted with a
pro se complaint, the court must employ a more liberal standard
of review than would be used where an attorney prepared the
complaint. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Whitford v.
Boglino, 63 F.3d 527, 535 (7th Cir. 1995). Despite this liberal
review of pleadings, federal rules still require that the
complaint allege facts which would provide an adequate basis for each claim. Gray v.
Dane County, 854 F.2d 179, 182 (7th Cir. 1988). On a motion to
dismiss, a plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations of fact are taken
as true and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the
plaintiff's favor. Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics
Intelligence and Coordination Units, 507 U.S. 163 (1993);
Swofford v. Mandrell, 969 F.2d 547, 549 (7th Cir. 1992).
Additionally, as long as they are consistent with the allegations
of the complaint, a party may assert additional facts in his or
her response to a motion to dismiss. Travel All Over the World,
Inc. v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 73 F.3d 1423, 1428 (7th Cir.
1996); Highsmith v. Chrysler Credit Corp., 18 F.3d 434, 439-40
(7th Cir. 1994). Furthermore, the court can take judicial notice
of matters of public record without converting a motion to
dismiss into one for summary judgment. Henson v. CSC Credit
Services, 29 F. 3d 280, 284 (7th Cir. 1984).
Plaintiff, formerly an inmate at Stateville Correctional
Center, sued officials at that institution on a variety of
claims. In a December 15, 2003 order of this court, all claims
were dismissed except the claim for retaliation against defendant
Robert Catchings, Assistant Warden of Programs, and defendants
Louis Kovach and Joshua Slaughter, both Internal Affairs
Reading Plaintiff's complaint and accompanying pleadings in the
light most favorable to him, we take the following facts as true,
for the purpose of this motion to dismiss. Plaintiff claims that
defendants removed him from his job in the prison law library in
retaliation for his having filed a lawsuit in this court dealing
with inadequate medical care at the prison. Further, he states
that he exhausted administrative remedies prior to filing this
suit. He states that defendant Catchings was responsible for
overseeing the law library and the medical unit at the prison and that he was aware of Plaintiff's lawsuit dealing with his
allegations of inadequate medical care at Stateville. Further,
Plaintiff alleges that he was an informant working for the
superintendent and the warden, and that Catchings was involved in
gang issues in the law library that Plaintiff was apparently
investigating. Additionally defendants Kovach and Slaughter
disliked the superintendent to whom Plaintiff was reporting.
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Defendants first argue that Plaintiff failed to exhaust
administrative remedies prior to filing this suit, in violation
of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). (Defendants provide the wrong citation
subsection). In support of this position, they submit evidence in
the form of an affidavit. Such evidence, not appropriate for a
motion to dismiss, could be allowed and the case converted to a
motion for summary judgment, if the evidence was a matter of
public record, but it is not. They further argue that Plaintiff
failed to file any grievances specifically against these
defendants and that he must have done so to properly exhaust his
Next defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to state a
claim for retaliation, arguing that since the medical suit
Plaintiff filed was not against these defendants, therefore there
is no basis for a retaliation claim. In support of this position
they cite only two cases, one from 1987 and one from 1988.
Defense counsel might not be aware that subsequently, the law on
retaliation has been greatly developed. The court will examine
current case law to evaluate the retaliation claim.
Finally, defendants cite the doctrine of qualified immunity,
claiming that it should apply to them.
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies According to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), "[n]o action shall be
brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of
this title . . . by a prisoner . . . until such administrative
remedies as are available are exhausted." See Porter v. Nussle,
122 S. Ct. 983 (2002); Massey v. Helman, 259 F.3d 641 (7th
Cir. 2001); Johnson v. Litscher, 260 F. 3d 826 (7th Cir.
2001). Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that he did exhaust
administrative remedies. Further, in his complaint and response
to the motion to dismiss, he attaches copies of his grievances,
and states in the response that he did exhaust on the issue of
At this point the court could do one of two things: deny
defendants' motion on this issue because their evidence cannot be
considered in a motion to dismiss, or convert the motion into one
for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R. Civ. P. 12(c), and give
Plaintiff the required LR56.1 warning and give him time to
respond appropriately. The court denies defendants' motion to
dismiss as to the failure to exhaust claim. Defendants' arguments
that he must have specifically stated the names of the defendants
in his grievances is not an accurate depiction of what is
required in an inmate grievance. As the Seventh Circuit made
clear in Strong v. David, 297 F. 3d 646, 649 (7th Cir.
When the administrative rulebook is silent, a
grievance suffices if it alerts the prison to the
nature of the wrong for which redress is sought. As
in a notice-pleading system, the grievant need not
lay out the facts, articulate legal theories, or
demand particular relief. All the grievance need do
is object intelligibly to ...