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John Waldron, #N-23690 v. Donald Gaetz

June 23, 2011

JOHN WALDRON, #N-23690, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DONALD GAETZ, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate currently in the Stateville Correctional Center, was at all times relevant to this action housed 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). 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). 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 is gleaned from Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1). On April 9, 2009, Defendant Hatley claimed to have found a homemade weapon in Plaintiff's cell after a team was called in to remove a piece of metal from one of the bunk beds with a torch. Plaintiff and his cellmate were taken to segregation, then to internal affairs to be interviewed. Plaintiff was interviewed by Defendant Ashby and John Doe Internal Affairs Correctional Officer, and during the interview Plaintiff requested a polygraph test to prove his innocence. Plaintiff and Defendant Ashby signed a "Deception Detector form," but Plaintiff was denied the polygraph test.

On April 13, 2009, Plaintiff went before the adjustment committee for the offense, and pled not guilty. There Plaintiff told the members of the committee that he had not received a polygraph test as he had requested. Defendant Parnell postponed the hearing and agreed to look into the issue. Plaintiff was never recalled to the hearing, and at Defendant Ashby's instruction, the committee reconvened and found Plaintiff guilty.

Plaintiff complained by filing grievances about his denial of a polygraph test with the adjustment committee, Defendant Mueller, and Defendant Hartline, and was given three different responses regarding the policy governing the use of a polygraph machine. He was first told that only the state police can authorize the test. He was then told that only the director*fn1 can authorize the test. Finally, he was told that the Illinois Department of Corrections no longer employs a polygraph examiner, so the test was unavailable.

Plaintiff then complained to Defendant Hartline, Defendant IDOC Chief of Operations Bard, Defendant Gaetz, and Defendant Ashby that the weapon found in his cell was likely planted there by Defendant Hatley. Plaintiff requested that an investigation be launched, and Defendant Hatley be submitted to a polygraph test. However, no investigation was conducted and Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed.

Plaintiff appealed the denial of the polygraph test to Defendant Administrative Review Board on May 15, 2009. Plaintiff then wrote two more times to Defendant Administrative Review Board, in November 2009 and March ...


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