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Lavin v. Hulick

May 27, 2010


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


Plaintiff John Lavin, currently an inmate in the Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.


After filing his original complaint (Doc. 1), Lavin filed a motion to amend (Doc. 7), which was granted, and his amended complaint was filed (Doc. 11). Upon careful review of this pleading, it appears that this "amended complaint" is not actually a full complaint; rather, it is a supplement in which he merely provides more detailed address information for Defendants Priddy, Hulick, Krause, Snyder, King, Ho, Grubman, Walker, Bendinger, Summers, and Wexford Health Services.

Still pending before the Court is another motion for leave to amend the complaint (Doc. 10). In this motion, he seeks just correction of the record to reflect those corrected addresses. He also seeks to supplement his in forma pauperis motion with the updated trust-fund account statement that was submitted with his first motion to amend (see Docs. 7, 11). The Court construes this pleading as simply a motion to supplement the record and, as such, it is GRANTED. The Clerk is DIRECTED to update the docket of this action to include the updated address information provided in the "amended complaint" (Doc. 11). The Clerk is FURTHER DIRECTED to designate this "amended complaint (Doc. 11) as a SUPPLEMENT TO THE COMPLAINT.

This action now stands on the original complaint (Doc. 1), which is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A:

(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; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.


In 2003, Lavin filed a lawsuit in this District against 16 defendants regarding use of excessive force and denial of medical treatment at Menard. See Lavin v. Hulick, Case No. 03-cv-503-DGW (S.D. Ill., filed Aug. 5, 2003). In June 2007, Lavin was transferred from Western Illinois Correctional Center to Menard due to a trial date set for June 25, 2007. When he arrived at Menard on June 20, 2007, Lavin was strip-searched and allowed to dress. Lavin states that Prange placed him in handcuffs, squeezing the cuffs tightly into his wrist. Prange then threw him against a wall, causing Lavin's glasses to fly off his face. Lavin asked for his glasses back but was refused. Lavin also asked to be taken to the medical unit for injuries sustained from his collision with the wall; this request was denied by Prange, Best and Priddy. While escorting Lavin to his cell, Best and Priddy refused to loosen his cuffs, and Best clamped them tighter. Krause then grabbed his cuffs and pushed downward on Lavin's upper back, holding him in that position as Krause took him to segregation. Lavin asked for the cuffs to be loosened, and to be taken to the medical unit; Krause refused these requests.

On June 20, 2007, Lavin received disciplinary tickets from Prange and Best for insolence and disobeying a direct order. A hearing was held on July 4; Defendants Graig and Johnson found him guilty, and he was punished with two months in segregation, two months at C-grade, and two months commissary restriction.

Lavin alleges that the conditions in segregation were unbearable. He specifically states that his window would not open, and thus it got extremely warm in his cell. He also complains about defective plumbing and general sanitation, and that he was not provided with cleaning supplies.

Lavin's civil trial in federal court concluded on June 28, 2007. That same day, he alleges that he was assaulted by Bedinger, one of the defendants in that action. Lavin states that Bedinger kneed him in the testicles.

Lavin also complains about his medical treatment, or lack thereof, with regard to two different conditions. His primary complaint is the denial of medical treatment with regard to the assault by Prange on June 20. His other medical complaint involves replacement of his eyeglasses, which were broken on June 20 when he was assaulted by Prange.

Lavin states that he was scheduled to return to Western CC on June 29, following completion of his federal court trial. However, he was kept at Menard until July 11.

In the complaint, Lavin presents eight separate, enumerated claims that are actually contained in 58 pages of attachments (Docs. 1-1, 1-2), supplemented by over 50 pages of exhibits (Docs. 1-3, 1-4, 1-5) and a 73-page supplement (Doc. 2). Many of these claims overlap. To facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(f) and 10(b), the Court finds it appropriate to separate these claims, as discussed below, following Lavin's organization as much as possible. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court.


Lavin's first claim involves the use of excessive force by Prange, Krause, Best and Priddy on June 20. As summarized above, Lavin alleges that Prange through him against a wall, then handcuffed him. Best and Priddy refused to loosen the cuffs and, in fact, squeezed them tighter. Krause ...

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