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Jeremy M. Wright v. Guy D. Pierce

April 15, 2011


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



Plaintiff Jeremy M. Wright, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based in part on incidents that occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Pontiac Correctional Center. Plaintiff is serving a 100 year sentence for murder. 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, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Conversely, 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. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

Upon careful review of the complaint, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under Section 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal. The Complaint Plaintiff's complaint seeks relief against several Defendants at two different institutions in two different judicial districts, Pontiac Correctional Center and Menard Correctional Center, in connection with their respective denials of his request to remain in protective custody status.

Plaintiff is not seeking money damages, but instead prays for injunctive relief. He asks to be placed back into permanent protective custody status because, as a former member of the Latin Kings gang and a bisexual, he fears for his life and safety if he must remain in general population. Plaintiff alleges that in the past, he had cooperated with internal affairs in a gang renunciation process, had burned off his teardrop gang tattoo, and had disclosed names of ranking members in the gang as well as other information on the Latin Kings (LK). He had been in protective custody status since March 30, 1999. Plaintiff claims that LK members had witnessed him with the gang investigators, and that he was threatened by a top LK member while he was previously housed in Stateville Correctional Center.

Plaintiff was placed in segregation on November 11, 2009, for impeding an investigation over sexual misconduct involving Plaintiff and another male inmate. Until recently, Plaintiff had been housed in Pontiac Correctional Center. On August 6, 2010, he was informed by Defendant Flex that his request to remain in protective custody (apparently Plaintiff's segregation status had ended) had been denied. Plaintiff filed a grievance, but it was denied by Defendant Pierce (Pontiac Warden). Defendant Taylor (IDOC Director), and Defendant Miller (Administrative Review Board) approved the final denial of that grievance on December 15, 2010. (Doc. 1-1, p. 4)

At some point thereafter, Plaintiff was transferred to Menard Correctional Center, where he again requested protective custody. His request was denied on February 16, 2011, by Defendant Hendricks, despite this Defendant's statement to Plaintiff that "the Kings were no sissys [sic] and would stab*fn1 my ass up for being gay." (Doc. 1, p. 5) Defendant "Menard Warden" concurred in the denial. Plaintiff's complaint ...

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