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Redmond v. Evans

March 11, 2010


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


Plaintiff, an inmate formerly confined at the Big Muddy Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At the time Plaintiff submitted this complaint, he was still confined at Big Muddy Correctional Center and, therefore, the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A apply to his complaint. See Robbins v. Switzer, 104 F.3d 895, 897-98 (7th Cir. 1997). 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, 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 claims that in June 2009, he was moved from cell 7 to cell 34. Plaintiff states that cell 34 is not properly ventilated and that the heat in the cell "became over 110 degrees." Plaintiff alleges that the excessive heat caused his asthma to become worse leading to an increase in the use of his inhaler and other asthma medications. Plaintiff asked for a fan to help with the heat and to reduce his asthma attacks, but this request was refused. Liberally construing the complaint, it appears that Plaintiff claims that the conditions in cell 34 violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment.

In addition to his claims concerning the medical problems caused by being confined in a hot cell, Plaintiff alleges that he has been denied grievance forms; that his release date was improperly calculated; that the conditions to be imposed upon him by parole violate an order from a state court judge; that legal mail has been improperly handled; and that his crutches were taken from him forcing him to hobble to various activities (e.g., shower, etc.).


Before proceeding to an analysis of Plaintiff's claims under 28 U.S.C § 1915A the Court notes that the instant complaint appears to be the type of multi-defendant, multi-claim action to which the principles enunciated by the Seventh Circuit in George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607-08 (7th Cir. 2007), apply. Specifically, George directs a district court to"evaluate each claim for the purpose of § 1915(g)." Id. at 607.Any claims dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, results in a "strike" being assessed against Plaintiff. Id. at 607-08. Any remaining claims must still be examined to see whether the complaint complies with Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. at 607.

A. Conditions in Cell 34

The Eighth Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment is applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. As the Supreme Court noted in Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 346 (1981), the amendment reaches beyond barbarous physical punishment to prohibit the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain and punishment grossly disproportionate to the severity of the crime .Id., (quoting Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 173 (1976)). The ...

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