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Quinton Beasley, #B-69081 v. Gladyse Taylor

May 23, 2012


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


Plaintiff Quinton Beasley, who at the time he filed this action was incarcerated in Lawrence Correctional Center ("Lawrence"), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Since the case was filed, Plaintiff has been released on parole. 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.*fn1

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

Prior to filing the instant action, Plaintiff brought another civil rights case in this Court, Beasley v. Stephens, et. al, No. 10-cv-895-GPM (S.D. Ill., filed Nov. 9, 2010). In that case, he sued Lawrence Warden Lee Ryker, Randy Stephens, the Prisoner Review Board, Administrative Review Board, and the Illinois Department of Corrections, claiming that he was improperly charged with a parole violation, and as a result was put into a higher risk security level during his incarceration at Lawrence. That case was dismissed on July 7, 2011, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. In the instant case, Plaintiff alleges that various actions were taken against him by the named Defendants, all in retaliation for his filing of the prior lawsuit described above, and for pursuing other grievances over prison conditions.

In his complaint, Plaintiff references several instances that are described with particularity only in his attached grievances and other documents. On January 10, 2011, he was placed in segregation on investigative status (he does not explain why) (Doc. 1-1, pp. 4-5; 17). He claims that during the initial 30 days of his segregation, in violation of the Illinois Administrative Code, he was never interviewed by the reviewing officer, nor was any investigation conducted regarding the reasons for his placement in that status. Defendant Warden Ryker and Defendant Stafford then extended Plaintiff's stay in segregation for a total of 90 days (Doc. 1-1, pp. 5, 18; Doc. 1, p. 8). The response to Plaintiff's grievance of April 10, 2011, states that after his initial placement on investigative status, Plaintiff's status was changed to administrative detention as of February 10, 2011. Plaintiff apparently remained in administrative detention for the final 60 days of his confinement in segregation (Doc. 1-1, p. 17).

Plaintiff further complains that Defendant Moran (the grievance officer) failed to investigate or address Plaintiff's claims of staff misconduct after he filed a grievance over his placement in investigative segregation (Doc. 1., p. 8; Doc. 1-1, pp. 13-24). Defendants Benton and Risse allegedly failed to address his grievances or improperly reviewed them (Doc. 1, p. 8).

He claims Defendant Risse informed him that superiors had instructed him not to do anything about Plaintiff's grievances (Doc. 1, p. 8: Doc. 1-1, p. 8).

Plaintiff also alleges that the conditions of his segregation cell were inhumane. He was allowed to shower only once a week, he was denied any yard recreation time, he developed excruciating back pains due to the lack of activity, the water in his cell had a bad taste and turned his clothing brown, and his phone calls to his public defender were restricted (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8; Doc. 1-1, pp. 18-19). In addition, his outgoing mail to the Administrative Review Board was destroyed by Defendant Hoskinson and his incoming mail was delayed. He claims his continued confinement under these conditions was in retaliation for complaints and grievances he had filed.

Finally, he was transferred to another prison, still under administrative detention status. 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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