Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. Sangamon County Sheriff's Dep't

June 18, 2008

JIMMY E. SMITH, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
SANGAMON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, NEIL WILLIAMSON, TERRY DURR, WILLIAM STRAYER, LT. ENOS BRENTZ, FICTITIOUS PARTIES A THROUGH M, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jeanne E. Scott, U.S. District Judge

OPINION

This cause is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (d/e 9). Plaintiff Jimmy E. Smith filed a Response (d/e 19) to Defendants' Motion. For the reasons stated below, the Motion to Dismiss is allowed in part and denied in part.

FACTS

In this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, Smith alleges that Defendants violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to be free of cruel and unusual punishment and to be afforded the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States. As Defendants he names: the Sangamon County Sheriff's Department; the Sheriff of Sangamon County, Neil Williamson; the Superintendent of the Sangamon County Detention Facility (the Detention Facility), Terry Durr; the Assistant Superintendent of the Detention Facility, William Strayer; Lieutenant Brentz, an officer with the Sangamon County Sheriff's Department; and 13 unnamed individuals -- Fictitious Parties A-M.

For purposes of a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in a complaint and draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Hager v. City of West Peoria, 84 F.3d 865, 868-69 (7th Cir. 1996); Covington Court Ltd. v. Village of Oak Brook, 77 F.3d 177, 178 (7th Cir. 1996). Here, for the purpose of ruling on the pending Motion, the Court accepts as true the allegations in Smith's Complaint (d/e 1).

According to the Complaint, Smith suffered a severe beating from a fellow inmate on June 8, 2005. Smith was incarcerated at the Detention Facility for a nonviolent crime. He was housed in a cellblock with Jason Newell, an inmate whom Defendants knew to be violent. On June 8, 2005, without provocation, Newell attacked Smith. He threw Smith on his head, stomped on his back, and knocked him unconscious. Smith suffered multiple fractures, herniated discs, nerve damage, post traumatic stress disorder, and brain swelling and bleeding.

After the attack, two correctional officers -- Fictitious Parties A and B -- found Smith unconscious on the floor. The other inmates had retreated. Despite Smith's obvious head injuries, the two officers tried to make him stand up and walk; when they were unsuccessful, they dragged him to a wheelchair and placed him upright in the chair. They then wheeled him to a police car and drove him to the hospital. When Smith returned from the hospital, Detention Facility nursing staff -- Defendants C through M --denied Smith adequate pain medication and bedding.

According to Smith, Defendants Williamson, Durr, Strayer, Brentz (collectively, the Supervisory Defendants), and the Sangamon County Sheriff's Department failed to provide Fictitious Parties A-M adequate medical training. They also failed to inform Smith's immediate family members of his injuries and to investigate the beating properly or provide Smith with information he requested regarding the attack. Additionally, Smith alleges that they failed to discipline "the wrongdoers." Complaint, ¶ 19. Finally, Smith alleges that all Defendants participated in retaliatory acts against him after he filed grievances regarding the attack and attempted to contact his attorney, Defendant Williamson, and others to obtain information and resolve the issue. Specifically, Defendants subjected Smith to constant verbal and physical harassment, confiscated his personal property, denied him pain medication, placed him in cellblocks with other known violent inmates, and refused to provide him information.

Smith's Complaint, filed June 8, 2007, includes five counts alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. In Count I, Smith alleges that all Defendants violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, he alleges that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment and his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process when they placed Newell in a cellblock with him and then failed to protect him from Newell.

In Count II, Smith alleges that Fictitious Parties A and B's handling of him immediately following the beating amounted to a failure to protect his health and safety. Additionally, Smith charges Fictitious Parties C-M with refusing to provide proper medical treatment after he returned from the hospital and, thus, failing to protect his health and safety.

In Count III, Smith raises allegations against the Sangamon County Sheriff's Department and the Supervisory Defendants. He alleges that these Defendants failed to train Fictitious Parties A-M adequately.

Count IV also is directed at the Sangamon County Sheriff's Department and the Supervisory Defendants. It alleges that these parties had supervisory authority and facilitated, condoned, and turned a blind eye toward the conduct alleged in Counts I-III.

Finally, in Count V, Smith alleges that all Defendants retaliated against him for filing grievances and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.