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Wallace v. Hallam

February 23, 2010


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


Plaintiff, an inmate at the Tamms Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A 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, 590 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A complaint is plausible on its face "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true, some factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts "should not accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of action or conclusory legal statements." Id. At the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Service, 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).


Plaintiff's complaint is difficult to review. The body of the complaint consists of 65 separately numbered, handwritten paragraphs. Nearly every paragraph of the complaint refers to and incorporates an exhibit or exhibits. These exhibits, however, are not attached to the complaint.*fn1

Indeed, the Court's records indicate that the proposed exhibits have never been filed with the Court. In the absence of the exhibits, the Court is left only with the allegations set forth in the complaint.

According to the complaint, Plaintiff is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for murdering a 21-year old woman. Additionally, Plaintiff is serving two consecutive 25-year sentences for attempted murder and for armed violence committed against a 31-year old woman.

On December 1, 2007, after Plaintiff became incarcerated, Plaintiff submitted a request to be seen by a male mental health professional after "experiencing recurrent nightmares (images of the blood-soaked bodies of . . . [his] female victims), resentment of [his] mother (anger and rage towards women), anti-social thinking . . . and narcissism (the twisted belief that [his] past wrongs were righteous)." Complaint ¶ F5.

On December 13 and December 19, 2007, Plaintiff was seen by Rocky Peppers, a licensed clinical social worker. Plaintiff contends that despite requesting help, he "found it difficult to focus" during the sessions with Peppers because of "an unrelated medical issue that . . . was causing [Plaintiff] anxiety and depression." Complaint ¶ F9. Plaintiff states that while Peppers did not necessarily agree that the medical issue was preventing Plaintiff from dealing with his other issues, Plaintiff agreed "that [he] would resolve [his] medical issues and afterwards re-request to be seen by mental health." Id. Plaintiff states that Peppers "left IDOC/Tamms" on or about December 31, 2007. Complaint ¶ F10. Plaintiff contends that he was "not assigned to a mental health professional" following Peppers's departure. Id.

On or about June 2, 2008, Plaintiff sent Defendant Monti a letter stating that Plaintiff "was having (thoughts) of committing extreme acts of violence toward females; . . . [and] request[ing] that a security box and shield be placed on [his] cellfront as a precautionary measure; and . . . plac[ement] on "elevated-security" for the duration of . . . [his] crisis." Complaint ¶ F15. Accordingly, Monti "immediately had a security box and shield placed on [Plaintiff's] cell" and arranged for Plaintiff to be seen by Defendant Kachigian, a psychiatrist. Complaint ¶ F16. Plaintiff claims that Defendant Kachigian advised him that she would get Plaintiff "some help" and "arrange for [Plaintiff] to be seen by other mental health staff to determine [his] need, if any, for psychotropic medications." Id. Plaintiff claims, however, that Defendant Kachigian did neither of those things. Despite this, however, Plaintiff states that on July 19, 2008, "he successfully completed" two anger management exercises given by the Mental Health staff at Tamms as a means of resolving his "issues against women." Complaint ¶ F20.

Plaintiff alleges that on August 18, 2008:

I informed defendant Couch that I was having a crisis. I did not go into details. Defendant Couch commented that she would immediately schedule me to be seen by a mental health professional. However ...

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