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Hill v. Samples

September 29, 2008

RICHIE HILL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LT. SAMPLES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, currently an inmate in the ADX in Florence, Colorado, brings this action for alleged violations of his constitutional rights by persons acting under the color of federal authority. See Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). 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; this action is legally frivolous and thus subject to summary dismissal.

The complaint and the numerous supplements are barely legible. It seems Plaintiff believes that various staff members in the Bureau of Prisons have conspired to kill him, and he wishes to bring criminal charges against these individuals. Despite his complaints, he alleges that the FBI has not investigated his allegations of conspiracy. He further alleges that Defendants have implanted a device in the back of his brain listen to his thoughts. Woven throughout his pleadings are references to the murder of James Curtis Martin; it is unclear who he is, or who allegedly killed him.

Among these ramblings, the Court has extracted two separate allegations of excessive force (see Doc. 1, pp. 4-5). In the first, Plaintiff alleges that while he was in the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, Defendant Samples stomped on his neck; it seems this incident might have occurred in early July of 2006.*fn1 On or about the same day, he alleges that Defendant Lockridge directed Defendant Hughes to break Plaintiff's finger, which allegedly was done.

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' punishment necessarily excludes from constitutional recognition de minimis uses of physical force, provided that the use of force is not of a sort 'repugnant to the conscience of mankind.'" Id. at 9-10; see also Outlaw v. Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833, 837-38 (7th Cir. 2001).

Based on the vague, brief allegations in the complaint, the Court is unable to dismiss these two excessive force claims at this point in the litigation. However, all other claims that might be present in the complaint and supplements are dismissed as illegible, incoherent, unspecific, and/or delusional. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989); Gladney v. Pendleton Correctional Facility, 302 F.3d 773, 774 (7th Cir. 2002).

DISPOSITION

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants BRYMER, LYEL, FOZZARD, DAVIS, and BUREAU OF PRISONS are DISMISSED from this action with prejudice. Dismissal of these individuals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A constitutes one of Plaintiff's three allotted strikes. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g); see George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607-08 (7th Cir. 2007); Boriboune v. Berge, 391 F.3d 852, 855 (7th Cir. 2004)

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall complete and submit a USM-285 form for the UNITED STATES ATTORNEY for the SOUTHERN DISTRICT of ILLINOIS and the ATTORNEY GENERAL of the UNITED STATES within THIRTY (30) DAYS of the date of entry of this Memorandum and Order. The Clerk is DIRECTED to send Plaintiff TWO (2) USM-285 forms with Plaintiff's copy of this Memorandum and Order. Plaintiff is advised that service ...


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