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Marc Norfleet v. Roger E. Walker

March 8, 2011


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



Plaintiff, an inmate currently in the Lawrence Correctional Center, was at the time relevant to this complaint in the Pinckneyville Correctional Center. He 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, and others are subject to severance.


The following version of the facts of this case are gleaned from Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1). Plaintiff arrived at Pinckneyville on August 27, 2007, and was housed with other inmates who had disabilities. Pursuant to policy, Plaintiff and the other inmates with disabilities were allowed to shower once daily, either in the first or second shift, while other non-disabled inmates were permitted 3 separate opportunities to shower. Plaintiff wrote a grievance asking to be given equal shower opportunities as the non-disabled inmates, and as a result Defendant Wilson retaliated by creating a more restrictive ADA shower schedule, so that inmates with disabilities could only shower during a 45 minute period on the morning. Defendants Austin, Walker, and Benton signed off on this policy.

At some unspecified time later, Plaintiff wrote more grievances for unspecified offenses. Defendants Wingerter, Heck, Kisro, and Austin failed to answer these grievances in a timely fashion, so that Plaintiff had to wait nearly 4 months to receive responses to his grievances.

At some unspecified time later, Defendants Hill and David allowed Plaintiff's medications to expire, and Plaintiff wrote a grievance relating this incident. To retaliate, Defendants Hill and David charged Plaintiff a $2.00 co-pay, though inmates with chronic illnesses are exempt from such co-pays.Plaintiff filed a grievance concerning this conduct, but Defendants Wingerter and Heck withheld the grievance until it became untimely.

Plaintiff's medication was renewed on December 24, 2007. Defendant Hill, who is in charge of administering medications, began altering Plaintiff's medication by crushing the time-release medications together, so that Plaintiff had to take the medication in a powder form all at once. Plaintiff wrote various grievances regarding this conduct, but Defendants Wingerter and Heck ignored them.

Plaintiff wrote another grievance in February 2008 regarding his treatment, and as a result was given a disciplinary ticket by an unnamed party. At Plaintiff's disciplinary hearing, Defendants Blades and Jordan refused to call Plaintiff's witnesses who would testify to the treatment. Plaintiff was found guilty at this hearing, and was sentenced by Defendants Blades and Jordan to six months segregation.

Defendants Austin and Hulick conspired to have Plaintiff transferred to Menard where he served 'significant hardship' solitary confinement in retaliation for the filing of grievances. While in Menard, Plaintiff complained about the conditions of his cell, stating that he had no hot water until August 2008, and that the doors lacked ventilation.

Plaintiff further complained that Defendants Austin, Durham, Cushman, and GoForth utilized an arbitrary policy denying Plaintiff access to outdoor basketball exercise because not enough ADA inmates wanted to attend yard. Plaintiff wrote a grievance regarding this policy, and Defendant GoForth refused to provide a detailed answer other than providing ...

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