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John A. Hudson, #42809-048 v. Summons

December 15, 2011

JOHN A. HUDSON, #42809-048, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SUMMONS, TURNER AND TAYLOR, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff John A. Hudson, an inmate in the Sandstone Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights by persons acting under the color of federal authority. See Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The alleged unconstitutional actions occurred while Plaintiff was housed in the Federal Prison Camp at Marion, Illinois. 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, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), 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 § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

In the evening of January 16, 2011, Plaintiff and other inmates were ordered to return to their "cubes" for a lockdown, after an altercation between a camp inmate and a guard. While Plaintiff was climbing the stairs to his cube, Defendant Turner "rushed" him, screaming, "you are an 044" and telling Plaintiff to "shut the fuck up" when Plaintiff protested that he was "not an 044"*fn1 (Doc. 1, p. 6). As Plaintiff continued to move up the stairs, Defendant Summons approached him, also screaming and spitting in Plaintiff's face. Summons bumped Plaintiff into the hand rail, causing Plaintiff to strike his right hip against the rail. Defendants then ordered Plaintiff back to his cube, and he complied.

Plaintiff went to sick call the morning of January 18, apparently to request medical attention for the bump to his hip. Ibuprofen was ordered for him; however, he did not receive the medication until six days after the medical visit (January 24). Later in the morning of January 18, Plaintiff was called in to speak with Defendant Taylor and Officer Bird (who is not named as a Defendant). They told Plaintiff he would be locked in the SHU (Special Housing Unit) for 90 days because of his claim that Turner and Summons assaulted him. Plaintiff refused to change his story.

At 3:15 p.m. on January 18, Plaintiff was told to pack his property and report to the main institution on orders of Taylor. Plaintiff was then placed in a one-man cell with another inmate, where Plaintiff was forced to sleep on the floor. Three other cells in the area were empty at the time. Plaintiff alleges he received this treatment because he refused to change his story on the staff assault and because he is African-American.

Plaintiff requests compensatory damages and injunctive relief in the form of disciplinary action against the Defendants.

Discussion

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into five (5) counts. 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 ...


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