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Tillmon v. McAdory

February 1, 2007

FREDRICK TILLMON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EUGENE MCADORY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, Chief District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, formerly an inmate in the Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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 governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal.-- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(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 dismissal.

FACTS ALLEGED

Plaintiff states that on March 6, 2003, he declared a hunger strike because he was afraid his cell mate was going to harm him. Defendants Holder and Bookman*fn1 directed Plaintiff to cuff up while they fed his cell mate. It appears that Plaintiff then refused to cooperate when they wanted to remove the cuffs, so instead they directed his cell mate, Henry Barrow, to cuff up. Once Barrow was also in cuffs, Bookman and Holder entered the cell. Plaintiff claims that Holder pushed him up against the wall, while Bookman put his hand around Plaintiff's throat and banged his head against the wall. Defendants then moved Plaintiff to another cell.

After being placed in the new cell, Plaintiff complained to Holder and Bookman about a knot on his head that was causing him pain, but they ignored his request for medical attention. Later that day, Plaintiff complained in turn to Defendants Lockhead, Welborn, Robertson, Petherick, and McDaniey about the incident. He was told to fill out a sick call request, and he was subsequently provided with pain medication later than day.

Almost three weeks later, on March 25, Plaintiff told Defendant Nurse Moore*fn2 that he wished to see a doctor. Moore quickly looked at Plaintiff's head and decided that a doctor visit was unnecessary, as Plaintiff "looked fine." Plaintiff also wrote to Defendants Grubman, McAdory, Captain Moore, and Maue regarding this incident, but he received no response to his letters and grievances.

Out of this scenario, Plaintiff presents two separate claims.

COUNT 1

Plaintiff first asserts that Holder and Bookman subjected him to the use of excessive force in violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment. The intentional use of excessive force by prison guards against an inmate without penological justification constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and is actionable under Section 1983. Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6-7 (1992); DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 619 (7th Cir. 2000). "[W]henever prison officials stand accused of using excessive physical force in violation of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, the core judicial inquiry is . whether force was applied in a good-faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or maliciously and sadistically to cause harm." Hudson, 503 U.S. at 6-7. An inmate seeking damages for the use of excessive force need not establish serious bodily injury to make a claim, but not "every malevolent touch by a prison guard gives rise to a federal cause of action. . . . [the] prohibition of 'cruel and unusual' ...


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