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Randall S. White, #S-10487 v. White County Jail

August 16, 2011

RANDALL S. WHITE, #S-10487, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WHITE COUNTY JAIL, RANDY COBB, TOM HADLEY AND JOE WISE, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate currently incarcerated in the Pinckneyville Correctional Center, was at all times relevant to this action housed in the White County Jail. 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 amended complaint (Doc. 9). Plaintiff was incarcerated in the White County Jail from January 4, 2010, to April 12, 2010. A substance Plaintiff describes as "sewer water," was backing up in the cell in which Plaintiff was housed. Plaintiff asked Defendants Cobb, Wise, and Hadley for a mop to clean up the water, but this request was refused. Instead, these Defendants verbally harassed Plaintiff for making the request.

Also while incarcerated at White County Jail, Plaintiff began experiencing chest pains and asked to be seen by medical personnel. Correctional officers on duty called Defendant Cobb, who is the jail administrator, but Defendant Cobb denied Plaintiff's request for medical treatment. Discussion:

To facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in this case, and in accordance with the objectives of FED. R. CIV. P. 8(e) and 10(b), the Court finds it appropriate to break the claims in Plaintiff's pro se complaint and other pleadings into numbered counts, as shown below. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as to their merit.

COUNT 1: Cell Conditions

Plaintiff first alleges that he was held in unconstitutional conditions when he was placed in a cell in which sewer water was backing up. Unsanitary conditions similar to those described by Plaintiff here have been found to state a claim under the Eighth Amendment. See Vinning-El v. Long, 482 F.3d 923, 924 (7th Cir. 2007) (prisoner held in cell for three to six days with no working sink or toilet, floor covered with water, and walls smeared with blood and feces); Jackson v. Duckworth, 955 F.2d 21, 22 (7th Cir. 1992) (summary judgment improper where inmate alleged ...


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