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Ellison v. Minnear

December 29, 2009

GARY ELLISON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL MINNEAR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Gary Ellison, currently an inmate in the Menard 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 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 any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

THE COMPLAINT

Ellison alleges that in 2002, while he was incarcerated in the Illinois River Correctional Center, Defendant Minnear (a detective with the Illinois State Police) asked Defendant Curie (in the Intelligence unit of the Illinois Department of Corrections) to solicit inmates to act as informants to interrogate Ellison. Ellison was then housed with two homosexual inmates (one of whom was Tommie Armstrong), who began to sexually harass him, eventually provoking him into a fist-fight. A blood sample was then taken from Ellison, ostensibly to test for any blood-borne diseases he may have contracted from one of the other inmates involved in the fight.

In July 2003, again at the request of Minnear, Armstrong was housed with Ellison in an attempt to intercept Ellison's communications. Because Ellison had attempted to avoid Armstrong, Defendant John Doe 1 filed a false disciplinary report against Ellison and placed him in segregation, where he was subjected to sexual harassment by Armstrong.

At some point, Ellison was released on parole.*fn1 He alleges that Minnear asked his parole officer (Truillio) to issue a parole violation, but Truillio refused. Curie then had Ellison placed on electronic home monitoring, even though it was not a condition of his parole. Later Ellison obtained a job that required an exception from home monitoring, with Truillio approved.

In late 2003 or early 2004, Ellison was later arrested by Minnear, allegedly without probable cause or warrant, and taken to the Cook County Jail. While there, Ellison was severely beaten by Defendants John Doe 2, John Doe 3, and John Doe 4. Ellison was then handcuffed in the lobby of the jail's medical unit for several hours, as Defendant John Doe 5 refused to request medical attention for Ellison's injuries.

During Ellison's criminal trial in 2004,*fn2 he learned of the actions taken by Minnear and Curie with respect to the inmate informants at Illinois River. Based on the allegedly false testimony provided by Armstrong, Ellison was convicted and returned to I.D.O.C. custody. He alleges that Curie and Minnear contacted John Doe 6 (an officer at Menard) and asked his cooperation in thwarting Ellison's attempts to pursue his criminal appeal as well as any possible civil action he might instigate against them. When Ellison did not stop his litigation, he asserts that he was deliberately issued a MapQuest printout showing directions from Menard to Riverdale, Illinois, and an unauthorized identification card. Possession of these items led to a higher "escape risk" category for his classification; he was also sent to segregation in October 2007 for possession of those items. While in ...


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