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James L. Sanders, #A-10008 v. Randy J. Davis

January 9, 2012


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


Plaintiff James L. Sanders, an inmate in Stateville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on events that occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Plaintiff is serving sentences of twenty, thirty, and thirty-five years for armed robberies, and six years for attempted armed robbery. 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 and supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

On December 16, 2010, Defendant Arvi (a correctional officer) caused Plaintiff to be moved to a different housing unit. Defendant Arvi then told another inmate (Nolan) that Plaintiff had "spread rumors that inflamed him" (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 5). Plaintiff claims that Inmate Nolan had a history of assaulting other inmates. As a result of Defendant Arvi's comments to Inmate Nolan, Nolan attacked Plaintiff on December 18, 2010, and injured his right eye. Plaintiff was then moved back to his original housing unit.

After the attack on Plaintiff, Defendant Olmsted (a correctional officer) falsely reported that Plaintiff had fought with the other inmate (Doc. 1, p. 5; Doc. 1-1, p. 1). Plaintiff claims that due to a medical condition, he was unable to make a fist or throw punches, and in fact he was blindsided by Inmate Nolan's attack and did not hit back. Defendant Lawrence (a correctional officer) conspired with Defendant Olmsted to lie about the incident and co-sign the report stating that Plaintiff and Inmate Nolan struck each other in the face (Doc. 1-1, p. 1).

A disciplinary hearing was held, and Plaintiff was given thirty days in segregation and a thirty-day demotion to C grade (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff states that he was not given copies of the officers' incident reports prior to his hearing, and without them he could not adequately defend himself against the charges (Doc. 1, p. 5).

Plaintiff requests compensatory damages and a transfer to another institution for his safety, as well as other injunctive relief. Approximately two months after Plaintiff filed the instant complaint, he was transferred to Stateville, where he remains.


Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into three (3) 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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