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Gregory Turley, #N-08083 v. Donald Gaetz

February 11, 2011


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


Introduction and Procedural History:

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Menard Correctional Center, filed the above-captioned lawsuit in this Court on October 7, 2009. On this same date Plaintiff moved for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ifp) herein. On November 12, 2009 the Court denied Plaintiff's ifp request after determining that he already had "three strikes" under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). That determination was made using the method of assessing strikes which was employed at that time (counting dismissed claims as well as dismissed actions as strikes). In the Order denying Plaintiff's ifp status, the Court directed Plaintiff to pay the $350 filing fee within 15 days or face dismissal of his suit. Plaintiff did not do so.

Instead, he appealed the November 2009 Order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Plaintiff prevailed on appeal. The Seventh Circuit reversed this Court's ifp ruling and remanded the case, relying on an opinion holding that strikes should be assessed only where the entire action is dismissed under 1915A, instead of when a part of the action is dismissed. See Turley v. Gaetz, 625 F.3d 1005 (7th Cir. 2010). Because Plaintiff did not have three strikes, he was not precluded from bringing this lawsuit.

Upon remand, the Court is reconsidering Plaintiff's ifp motion.. Filed under 42 U.S.C. §1983, this action for deprivations of constitutional rights comes now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915A. That statute provides, in pertinent part:

(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). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds that some of the claims in the complaint may be dismissed at this point in the litigation.


Plaintiff filed grievances on the 21st and 30th of July, 2009 regarding acts of harassment and abusive conditions at the Menard Correctional Center. On August 6th Defendants D. Rednour, J. Cowan, and Spiller retaliated against Plaintiff for filing grievances by placing him in protective custody, where all his personal property was confiscated. Plaintiff made Defendants Gaetz and Hartline aware of the retaliation, but they did nothing.

While in protective custody, Plaintiff was further retaliated against when he was issued a disciplinary report by Defendants Quillman and Schnicker, which falsely stated that Plaintiff had threatened an officer. A disciplinary hearing was held on August 13th, wherein Defendants Gilbert and Lee refused to call Plaintiff's witnesses before finding Plaintiff guilty. Plaintiff made Defendant R. Cowan aware that he had witnesses who would testify that he was innocent, but she did not contact these witnesses.

Plaintiff was then removed to segregation, where he asked Defendant Owens to put a stop to the actions of the other prison staff. Defendant Owens gave Plaintiff the appropriate forms to fill out requesting protective custody, but did nothing further. Plaintiff sent a copy of these completed forms to Defendant Thomas, who then called Plaintiff to an interview. Defendant Lindenburg made unspecified threatening statements to Plaintiff on his way to the interview.

Defendant Lindenburg then took Plaintiff to the bull pen to await an escort back to his cell. Plaintiff was standing in close proximity to a steel gate, which Defendant Lindenburg slammed shut a number of times while Plaintiff was standing next to it, causing his ear drum to pop which resulted in head pain and temporary hearing difficulties. Plaintiff then informed Defendants Gaetz and Thomas that he needed protection from Defendant Lindenburg, but both Defendants failed to do anything to protect Plaintiff. Plaintiff also sent grievances to Defendants J. Cowan and Cartwright, but these grievances were not answered and could not be located.

Plaintiff lastly alleges that Defendants Lawrence, Hamilton, and Spiller all worked to ensure that he was denied a job assignment in ...

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