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Knight v. Walker

November 10, 2008


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


Plaintiff, an inmate at the Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks monetary and injunctive relief for alleged violations of his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. 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). Upon careful review of the complaint and the supporting exhibits, the Court finds that no claim in the original complaint may dismissed at this point in the litigation.


In Count 1 of the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was housed with another inmate, Dwayne Dykes, from February 4, 2008, until February 20, 2008. Plaintiff states that inmate Dykes is serving a "natural life" sentence and is classified as a "high max" security risk while Plaintiff is classified as a "medium low" security risk. Plaintiff asserts that inmates Dykes told him that if Plaintiff stepped on the floor of their shared cell he would "take [Plaintiff's] life." After being housed with inmate Dykes for sixteen days, Plaintiff was moved to another cell. There is no indication that inmate Dykes actually attacked or harmed Plaintiff. Plaintiff claims that prison officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights by failing to protectfrom inmate Dykes.

In Count 2, Plaintiff asserts that when he and other inmates are issued disciplinary tickets "the Adjustment Committee doesn't give [inmates] a chance to explain . . . they just scream 'Guilty' or 'Not Guilty.'" Plaintiff further alleges that when inmates file a grievance about the way disciplinary tickets are handled, Defendant Goffer "just gets rid of it" because her husband is the chairman of the Adjustment Committee. Plaintiff claims that his right to Due Process of law is violated by these allegations.

For Counts 3 and 4, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Pollen ordered refills for all of Plaintiff's medications in sufficient quantities to cover the period January 17, 2008, until June 2008. Despite this, Plaintiff contends that he has been "completely out of" his Albuterol inhaler, Qvar, Aspirin, HCTZ, and Atentolol since March 9, 2008. Plaintiff states that he needs these medications to treat his breathing problems and to treat high blood pressure. Plaintiff states spoke with Defendant Moore, a medical technician, on four separate occasions in March concerning his medication, but that Moore responded that Plaintiff would get it "when they find time to bring it to him." Plaintiff further alleges that he wrote Defendants Walker, Condor, Maue, Mitchell, Moore and Pollen concerning the fact that he was not getting his medication, but his correspondence went unanswered. Additionally, Plaintiff asserts that he verbally informed Defendant Clovis that he was not receiving his medication and that Clovis responded that "if you lose weight we wouldn't have to give you medication." Plaintiff contends that the Defendants have violated his Eighth Amendment right to receive adequate medical treatment for his serious medical needs.

In Count 5, Plaintiff charges that unnamed correctional staff will cancel "mandatory weekly yard (5hr) for no reason at all other then to say 'we don't feel like taking you out.'" Plaintiff claims that this action violates his Eighth Amendment rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

In Count 6, Plaintiff asserts that he was told that his housing unit was shut down between 1998 and 2004 because it was unfit to live in due to improper ventilation, improper lighting, "asbestos threat, and messed up water pipes." Plaintiff claims that this violates his Eighth Amendment rights.

In Count 7, Plaintiff that all inmates were told by prison staff not to drink the water at MCC because it had high levels of mercury. Plaintiff states that, in addition to being orally informed by prison staff of this hazard, "it was also a notice placed on the Menard C.C. Movie Channel." Plaintiff complains, however, that for inmates who - like him - did not have a television, he would have never known about the mercury issue, unless ...

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