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Henry v. Cox

July 2, 2010

STANLEY HENRY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN COX, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

REAGAN, District Judge

Plaintiff, an inmate currently confined at the Logan 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, 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).

THE COMPLAINT

In September 2008, while Plaintiff was confined at the Vienna Correctional Center (Vienna), he wrote a letter to Defendant Suit requesting transfer "to another unit or even to seg[regation]" because Plaintiff was "depressed over loss of [his] family." Defendant Suit denied Plaintiff's request and told him to write to Defendant Cox (the Warden at Vienna).Plaintiff contends that he did, in fact, write Defendant Cox a letter, but it appears that the letter did not result in any change to Plaintiff's confinement. Plaintiff continued to try to obtain relief from Defendant Suit. When those failed, Plaintiff states that he approached Suit and, in frustration, told Suit that if Plaintiff had been a snitch, he would have been moved to a different cell and it was only due to Suit's "personal petty prejudices" against Plaintiff that he had not been moved.

Plaintiff states that Defendant Suit became "enraged" upon being confronted by Plaintiff and, thereafter, "sought revenge" against him. Specifically, Plaintiff charges that Defendant Suit "orchestrated" two attacks against him. The first attack allegedly took place on November 2008. The other attack - which is the primary subject of this lawsuit - allegedly took place on June 27, 2009.

Plaintiff claims that on June 27, 2009, he was attacked and beaten by his cell mate (inmate McClintock). Liberally construing the complaint, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants Howard, Soliday, Stevens, Kern, Woolridge, Taylor, and Buchmyer, knew about the attack beforehand, facilitated attack or helped cover-up the incident so as not to implicate Defendant Suit. In addition to the June attack, Plaintiff further claims that Defendant Nurse Maryann and Harrison engaged in additional acts of retaliation by pushing and/or hitting him.

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide Plaintiff's pro se action into two counts. 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. The ...


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