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Davis v. Hulick

September 22, 2008

MATTHEW A. DAVIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WARDEN DONALD HULICK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Stateville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks injunctive and damages relief for alleged violations of his constitutional rights. 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). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007).

THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff alleges that on October 18, 2006, while confined at the Menard Correctional Center (Menard), Defendants Richards, Witthoft, and Carter slammed his head against a concrete wall, punched him in the stomach, twisted his arms while they were handcuffed behind his back, and stepped on his leg shackles causing cuts in his ankles. Plaintiff claims that these Defendants used excessive force against him in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Plaintiff further alleges that on October 18, 2006, Defendant Hulick classified him as a "Level E Extreme High Escape Risk." As a result of this classification, Plaintiff was subject to more restrictions and limitations than inmates in general population. Plaintiff contends that his classification was based on an allegation - later proved to be false - that Plaintiff had participated with two other prisoners in an escape scheme in June 2006. Plaintiff asserts that one of the other prisoners alleged to be involved in the escape - inmate Alsup - is also confined at Menard, but is not classified as a "Level E Extreme High Escape Risk." Plaintiff contends that the second inmate alleged to have been involved in the escape - who is not named - is also not classified as a "Level E" inmate. Because the other prisoners allegedly involved in the escape scheme are not classified as "Level E" inmates, Plaintiff claims that his classification as a "Level E" inmate violates the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection clause.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants Richards, Witthoft, and Carter survive review under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915A and ...


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