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Williams v. Blagojevich

February 14, 2008


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


Plaintiff, an inmate in the Stateville 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 review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Also before the Court is Plaintiff's "Motion to Borrow the Record" (Doc. 12).


Plaintiff asserts that he has injuries which make it extremely difficult (if not impossible) for him to place his hands behind is back with his palms facing outward. While confined in the Stateville Correctional Center ("SCC"), Dr. Partha Ghosh issued instructions directing that Plaintiff be handcuffed in a different manner than the "palms out" position. On or about February 17, 2004, however, Plaintiff was transferred from SCC to Menard Correctional Center (MCC). The transfer occurred approximately six days after Plaintiff had a kidney biopsy. Plaintiff alleges that he showed Defendants Murray and Essray the instructions issued by Dr. Ghosh, but was told that "we don't give a dam [sic] this is Menard not Stateville." Specifically, Plaintiff was informed that he could not be taken to the shower at Menard unless he complied with the "palms out" procedure.

Plaintiff claims that on March 11, 2004, he saw Defendant Ahmed, a medical doctor at Menard, concerning the "palms out" procedure. Defendant Ahmed told Plaintiff that he would receive no treatment for his injuries, that he did not appear to be in pain, and to leave his office. Defendant Inman later informed Plaintiff that the "palms out" handcuff position was the policy of the Illinois Department of Corrections. On May 26, 2004, Plaintiff filed a grievance against Defendants Murray, Ahmed, and Inman concerning the "palms out" handcuff policy.

Plaintiff asserts that in June 2004, Defendant Murray confronted him about the grievance and verbally harassed him. Plaintiff alleges that this confrontation was in retaliation for Plaintiff having filed the grievance in May. Plaintiff states that he wrote to Defendants Hensley and Inman about this incident. Despite this, Plaintiff contends that Defendant Murray - along with Defendants Robinson and Essary - kept up the harassment with verbal abuse and racial slurs. Plaintiff wrote letters to Defendants Hensley, Inman, and Uchtman concerning these incidents.

Plaintiff states that on or about August 2, 2004, he was taken to see Defendant Ahmed. At first, Defendant Ahmed wrote instructions that Plaintiff be handcuffed with his palms inward and with two sets of handcuffs linked together. It appears, however, that these instructions were later modified (possibly by Defendant Ahmed) to provide only that two sets of handcuffs be used (the "palms inward" provision having been deleted).

Plaintiff alleges that on August 6, 2004, he showed Ahmed's instructions to Defendant Essary. Plaintiff claims that shortly thereafter he was beaten by Defendants Whithoft,*fn1 Essary, Robinson, Carter, and Kishier.*fn2 Plaintiff claims that this attack was in retaliation for the prior grievances he had filed concerning the handcuff policy. After the attack, it appears that Plaintiff was taken to Defendant Ahmed. Plaintiff contends that Ahmed refused to document his injuries and did nothing more than take an EKG.

Plaintiff was then placed in a strip cell for several days. During this time, Plaintiff was issued a disciplinary report charging him with damaging or misusing property (i.e., destruction of a handcuff key). Plaintiff alleges that the charge is false and was issued to cover-up the attack on him. On or about August 12, 2004, Plaintiff appeared before an Adjustment Committee - of which Defendant Hasslmeyer was a member. Plaintiff was found guilty of the violation and received the following sanctions: 3 months "C" grade; 3 months yard restriction; and 3 months commissary denial. Plaintiff was also directed to pay $6 for the destroyed key. Plaintiff asserts that over the next few days he requested medical treatment from Defendants Robinson and John Doe, but these requests went unanswered. Plaintiff contends that in the months that followed he was served food trays with dirt and spit on them, that he was verbally harassed and manhandled by Defendants Essary, Murray, Robinson, Fritz, and Withoft all in retaliation for filing the May (and other) grievances.

Plaintiff contends that Defendants Blagojevich, Meek, Walker, Hensley, Uchtman, Spiller, Ahmed, Hasselmeyer, and Inman actually knew about the risks to Plaintiff's safety while at Menard, but refused to do anything about them. Furthermore, Plaintiff claims that Defendants Inman and Uchtman gave Defendants Murray, Withoft, and Essary "carte blanche" to beat and harass inmates - especially black inmates - and to implement their own policies.

Finally, Plaintiff contends that he contacted Defendant Ranck, identified as an FBI agent, concerning the alleged attacks and harassments. It appears that Defendant Ranck has taken no action on Plaintiff's allegations.


After reviewing the complaint, the Court finds it appropriate to rearrange Plaintiff's allegations into five counts, as stated 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 Robinson, Essary, Withoft, Carter, and Kishier, for using excessive force on Plaintiff in ...

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