The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge
Plaintiff, an inmate in the Menard Correctional Center, brings
this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff previously was granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and he has tendered his
initial partial filing fee as ordered.
To facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in
this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure 8(f) and 10(b), the Court finds it appropriate
to break the claims in Plaintiff's pro se complaint and
supporting exhibits into numbered counts, as shown below. The
parties and the Court will use these designations in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial
officer of this Court. The designation of these counts does not
constitute an opinion as to their merit.
COUNT 1: Against Defendants Ramos and Turner for
damage to his property.
COUNT 2: Against Defendant Walls for failure to
COUNT 3: Against Defendant Ramos for retaliation. COUNT 4: Against Defendant Surman for failure to
provide proper due process.
COUNT 5: Against Defendant Ramos for depriving him
COUNT 6: Against Defendant Grathler for harassment.
COUNT 7: Against Defendant Bauer for failure to
provide proper due process.
COUNT 8: Against Defendant Grathler for failure to
provide proper due process.
COUNT 9: Against Defendant Walls for denying his
This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:
(a) Screening. The court shall review, before
docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil
action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a
(b) Grounds for Dismissal. On review, the court
shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks
an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319
, 325 (1989). Upon careful review of the
complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it
appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of
this action are legally frivolous and thus subject to summary
On January 21, 2002, Plaintiff went to morning recreation. When
he returned, he found his radio/cassette player on the floor of
his cell with two buttons missing.
Plaintiff's first claim is that his radio was damaged to harass
him. The only constitutional right that might be implicated by
these facts is Plaintiff's right, under the Fourteenth Amendment, to be free from deprivations of his property by state actors
without due process of law. To state a claim under the due
process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Plaintiff must
establish a deprivation of liberty or property without due
process of law; if the state provides an adequate remedy,
plaintiff has no civil rights claim. Hudson v. Palmer,
468 U.S. 517, 530-36 (1984) (availability of damages remedy in state
claims court is an adequate, post-deprivation remedy). The
Seventh Circuit has found that Illinois provides an adequate
post-deprivation remedy in an action for damages in the Illinois
Court of Claims. Murdock v. Washington, 193 F.3d 510, 513
(7th Cir. 1999); Stewart v. McGinnis, 5 F.3d 1031, 1036
(7th Cir. 1993); 705 ILCS 505/8 (1995). Accordingly,
Plaintiff has no claim under Section 1983, and Count 1 is
dismissed from this action with prejudice.
Upset about his broken radio, Plaintiff filed a grievance over
this matter, alleging that the radio had been broken deliberately
by Turner on the orders of Ramos in order to harass him. His next
claim is that Walls refused to consider his grievance over his
broken radio under the "emergency grievance" procedures.
Although an inmate "may request a grievance be handled on an
emergency basis," such a request will be granted only if "the
Chief Administrative Officer determines that there is a
substantial risk of imminent personal injury or other serious or
irreparable harm to the offender. . . ."
20 Ill. Adm. Code § 504.840. The Court finds, as a matter of law, that a broken radio
does not constitute such an emergency and, as such, Plaintiff
suffered no constitutional violation by Walls's refusal to
consider his grievance as an emergency. Therefore, Count 2 is
dismissed from this action with prejudice. COUNT 3
Two weeks after Plaintiff accused Ramos and Turner of
deliberately breaking his radio, Ramos issued a disciplinary
ticket to Plaintiff for providing false information, damage or
misuse of property, insolence, and disobeying a direct order.
Plaintiff contends that this ticket was written solely in
retaliation for Plaintiff's complaint to Walls about the broken
Prison officials may not retaliate against inmates for filing
grievances or otherwise complaining about their conditions of
confinement. See, e.g., Walker v. Thompson, 288 F.3d 1005
(7th Cir. 2002); DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607 (7th
Cir. 2000); Babcock v. White, 102 F.3d 267 (7th Cir. 1996);
Cain v. Lane, 857 F.2d 1139 (7th Cir. 1988). Furthermore,
"[a]ll that need be specified is the bare minimum facts necessary
to put the defendant on notice of the claim so that he can file
an answer." Higgs v. Carver, 286 F.3d 437, 439 (7th Cir.
Applying these standards to the allegations in the complaint,
the Court is unable to dismiss this retaliation ...