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Frank Vincent Thomas, #M-17318 v. John Cox

July 27, 2011

FRANK VINCENT THOMAS, #M-17318, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN COX, GLADYSE TAYLOR, AND PAT QUINN, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Frank Vincent Thomas, an inmate in Dixon Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on incidents that occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Vienna Correctional Center. Plaintiff is serving a three year sentence for burglary. 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 and supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A and shall dismiss this action.

The Complaint

Soon after his burglary conviction, Plaintiff was transferred to the Vienna Correctional Center, on November 17, 2010, and placed on the second floor of Building 19. He alleges that the section where he was housed was a storage unit being used as living quarters, and had numerous deficiencies which, along with the overcrowded conditions, made it unsafe and unsanitary. He also claims he obtained documents showing that the building had been condemned.

Plaintiff's housing area had only two toilets for 90-100 prisoners, had no showers, was cold, and had standing water on the floors. It also had leaks in the bathroom ceiling where water allegedly contaminated with lead paint, asbestos, urine, and waste water from the upstairs showers leaked down onto Plaintiff and others using the restroom. Plaintiff also complains that the restroom was too small, so that inmates were unable to reach the sinks to spit out toothpaste when brushing and had to spit on the floor. Because of the overcrowding, Plaintiff was forced to wait so long to use the toilets that he developed constipation and chronic stomach pain. In addition, although the restroom was cleaned once a day, within thirty minutes it became filthy, smelly, and contaminated with body fluids and waste because of constant use, and no cleaning supplies were provided for the inmates to clean it themselves.

On December 1, 2010, Plaintiff was moved to the third floor of the building, which apparently had similar problems as the second floor. In addition, Plaintiff claims the third floor, like the second floor, had no forced air ventilation. Thus, the shower area on the third floor was constantly wet, and black mold had grown over 80-90% of the ...


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