The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES FOREMAN, District Judge
Plaintiff, a former inmate in the Madison County Jail, 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 other
pleadings 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 Hertz, Gulash,
Hollenbeck, Churchich, Miquelon, and Madison County
for violating Plaintiff's First Amendment rights by
refusing to provide pork-free meals, in accordance
with his religion, during the two-year period he was detained in the Madison County Jail.
COUNT 2: Against Defendants Lemarr and Hill for
failing to intervene to stop a fight between
Plaintiff and a jail inmate and against Defendants
Churchich, Hertz, Gulash, and Madison County for
failing to properly separate detainees.
COUNT 3: Against Defendants Hill and Lemarr for
failing to provide adequate medical care to Plaintiff
after the fight.
COUNT 4: Against Defendants Gulash, Hollenbeck,
Churchich, Hertz, Miquelon, Hackett, Madison County,
and unknown defendants for violating Plaintiff's due
process rights by placing him in disciplinary
segregation without a hearing.
COUNT 5: Against Defendants Gulash, Hollenbeck,
Churchich, Hertz, Miquelon, Hackett, and Madison
County for restricting Plaintiff from access to his
legal materials as punishment for the October 7
fight, in violation of due process and Illinois
statute, and for preventing him from taking his legal
papers with him when he was transferred from the jail
to an Illinois prison.
COUNT 6: Against Defendants Gulash, Hertz, Madison
County, Jensen, Churchich, Haine, and Mudge for
conspiring to deprive him of his liberty by moving
him to a cell near another inmate who had frequently
been used as a trial witness by Madison County
prosecutors and who in fact was a prosecution witness
in the criminal case against Plaintiff. Plaintiff
also contends that a number of "plants" were placed
near him in the jail (or he near them) with the
intention of eliciting information against him to be
used by the prosecution in his criminal case.
This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides, in
(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). After evaluating plaintiff's claims
individually, the Court finds it appropriate to
exercise its authority under Section 1915A to dismiss
those claims that are frivolous before allowing
plaintiff to proceed with his remaining claims. See
also House v. Belford, 956 F.2d 711, 718-19 (7th
To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the
United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Generally, confinement of
pretrial detainees may not be punitive, because "under the Due
Process Clause, a detainee may not be punished prior to an
adjudication of guilt." Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535
(1979). Thus, conditions of pretrial confinement must be
"reasonably related to a legitimate governmental objective."
Id. at 539. See also Murphy v. Walker, 51 F.3d 714, 717
(7th Cir. 1995); Brownell v. Figel, 950 F.2d 1285 (7th
Cir. 1991). At the same time, "[t]he conditions of imprisonment,
whether of pretrial detainees or of convicted criminals, do not
reach even the threshold of constitutional concern until a
showing is made of `genuine privations and hardship over an
extended period of time.'" Duran v. Elrod, 760 F.2d 756, 759
(7th Cir. 1985).
Plaintiff states that he is a Muslim and his religion prohibits
him from eating pork. Plaintiff states that Defendants Gulash,
Hollenbeck, Miquelon, Churchich, Hertz, and Madison County
refused to provide him with a pork-free diet while he was
detained in the Madison County Jail. Plaintiff states that after
he complained about being denied pork-free meals, Defendant
Gulash told him that it was the policy of the jail that a detainee must
inform the booking officer upon being processed into the jail
that he is a Muslim in order to receive a pork-free diet. A
detainee would not be allowed later to profess his religion and
receive pork-free meals. Defendant Gulash told Plaintiff that no
exceptions would be made.
A detainee's right to exercise his religion "does not evaporate
entirely when he enters a jail." See Tarpley v. Allen County,
Indiana, 312 F.3d 895, 898 (7th Cir. 2002) (citing Cruz v.
Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 322 n. 2 (1972)). However, the detainee's
right "is not unfettered." Tarpley, 312 F.3d at 898. Prison
restrictions that infringe on an inmate's exercise of his
religion are permissible if they are reasonably related to a
legitimate penological objective. See Turner v. Safley,
482 U.S. 78, 89-91 (1987); O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz,
482 U.S. 342, 348-49 (1987). Based on these standards, Plaintiff's claim
that Defendants violated his first amendment rights cannot be
dismissed at this point in the litigation. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Plaintiff states that on October 7, 2002, he was out of his
cell in the disciplinary segregation unit, cleaning the cellblock
and passing out cleaning supplies to other detainees. He got into
a verbal altercation with inmate Anthony Turner who was locked in
his cell at the time. Defendant Lemarr witnessed this argument. A
short time later, Defendant Lemarr, against jail policy regarding
how many detainees may be out of their cell at the same time, let
Turner out of his cell. Turner attacked Plaintiff, who was still
out of his cell cleaning, and struck him with a mop wringer and a
piece of wood. Plaintiff states that Defendant Lemarr allowed the
fight to continue for five minutes before attempting to
intervene. After several more minutes Defendant Hill came to the
scene and sprayed a chemical agent in an attempt to break up the
fight. Plaintiff also states that Defendants Churchich, Hertz, Gulash, and Madison County are liable for
violating Plaintiff's rights because they did not follow Illinois
state law in keeping detainees (Plaintiff) separated from inmates
In Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994), the Supreme Court
held that "prison officials have a duty . . . to protect
prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners." Id.
at 833 (internal citations omitted); see also Luttrell v.
Nickel, 129 F.3d 933, 935 (7th Cir. 1997). However, not
every harm caused by another inmate translates into
constitutional liability for the corrections officers responsible
for the prisoner's safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834. In order
for a plaintiff to succeed on a claim for failure to protect, he
must show that he is incarcerated under conditions posing a
substantial risk of serious harm, and that the Defendants acted
with "deliberate indifference" to that danger. Id.; Reed v.
McBride, 178 F.3d 849, 852 (7th Cir. 1999). A plaintiff also
must prove that prison officials were aware of a specific,
impending, and substantial threat to his safety, often by showing
that he complained to prison officials about a specific threat
to his safety. Pope v. Shafer, 86 F.3d 90, 92 (7th Cir.
1996). In other words, defendants had to know that there was a
substantial risk that those who attacked Plaintiff would do so,
yet failed to take any action. Sanville v. McCaughtry,
266 F.3d 724, 733-34 (7th Cir. 2001). Based on these standards, the
Court is unable to dismiss any portion of the complaint at this
point in the litigation. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Plaintiff states that as a result of the above-noted fight with
another inmate, he suffered numerous injuries to his face, mouth,
head, hands, and back. His eyes, nose, and mouth were irritated
from the chemical spray, and he had difficulty breathing.
Plaintiff states that immediately after the fight, he was taken
to "the hole," a small concrete cell without running water and
inadequate ventilation. Plaintiff made numerous requests to
Defendants Hill and Lemarr to be allowed to shower to rid himself of the chemical spray, but ...