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Milton Pope, #B-17802 v. Donald Gaetz

February 15, 2011

MILTON POPE, #B-17802, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DONALD GAETZ, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Reagan U. S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REAGAN, District Judge:

Plaintiff, an inmate currently in the Stateville Correctional Center, was at all times relevant to this action in the Menard Correctional Center. Plaintiff 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, 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.

Facts:

The following version of the facts of this case are gleaned from Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1). Plaintiff arrived at Menard Correctional Center on April 9, 2009 after being transferred back to the prison*fn1 . By the time Plaintiff arrived, Defendant Quinely had reported to the Menard staff that Plaintiff had a history of assaulting prison staff. As a result, Defendant Gaetz ordered that Plaintiff be shackled and cuffed from behind, and that other precautions be taken while Plaintiff was out of his cell.

Defendants Swiney and Ross learned that Plaintiff had been accused of assaulting a Menard correctional officer in 1996, and took revenge against Plaintiff by filing a false disciplinary report on June 20, 2009, claiming that Plaintiff made threats and was insolent. Seven days later Plaintiff was sent to an adjustment committee hearing, where Defendants Ashby and Lee found Plaintiff guilty and sent him to segregation.

Plaintiff was then placed in segregation, where he was denied running water for three days and an adequate mattress for 90 days. Plaintiff wrote grievances regarding this mistreatment, but these grievances kept disappearing.

On August 4, 2010 while Plaintiff and his fellow inmates were being escorted back to their cells, Defendants Swiney and Vasquez left the inmates unsecured and unattended so as to allow the inmates to assault one another. One inmate did in fact assault another inmate, and as Plaintiff witnessed the incident, he wrote a grievance regarding the dereliction of duty by Defendants Swiney and Vasquez.

Defendants Swiney, Vasquez, and Schnickers intercepted Plaintiff's grievance and destroyed it. Defendant Vasquez then harassed Plaintiff by calling him names and opening his cell door and coming in close contact. Defendant Swiney also called Plaintiff names, and informed other inmates that Plaintiff was "dropping kites on them as well." (Doc. 1). Defendant Schnickers threatened to send Plaintiff to segregation for filing grievances, and ...


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