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William Holland, Inmate # N02898 v. Dave Rednour

June 21, 2012


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


Plaintiff Holland, an inmate in Stateville 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 Menard Correctional Center. Plaintiff is serving a life sentence for murder. 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.

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 any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A. Portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

A. The Complaint

In Plaintiff's pro se complaint in this case, he alleges that on March 8, 2011, he was sent to his cell during chow time for being improperly dressed (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff told Defendant Correctional Officer (C/O) Burns at his cell that he was diabetic and needed a food tray. Defendant Burns asked if Plaintiff was demanding a food tray, which Plaintiff denied. Plaintiff asked again, and Defendant Burns reached into Plaintiff's cell and shoved him. In return, Plaintiff struck Defendant Burns in the face. Defendant C/O Maure ran into the cell, put Plaintiff into a choke hold, and beat Plaintiff's face and head. Defendant Burns repeatedly kneed Plaintiff in the kidney area. Defendant Maure and Defendant C/O Brasher handcuffed Plaintiff and dragged him to the health unit with his pants down.

Next, Defendant Lieutenant Westerman and Defendant C/O John Doe #1 dragged Plaintiff from the health unit to the North cellhouse. Defendant Warden Dave Rednour watched the others drag him. Plaintiff called out to Defendant Rednour, who stated that he didn't want to hear it. Defendant Rednour later conducted the investigation.

On the second floor of the North cellhouse, Defendants C/O John Doe #2 and John Doe #3 beat Plaintiff about the body repeatedly until being told to stop by a superior. Plaintiff was taken to a holding cell in an interrogation room. Defendants C/O John Doe #4 and John Doe #5 questioned him. When Plaintiff was allowed to leave the holding cell they said "This is what you get when you hit an officer," whereupon one Defendant kicked Plaintiff in the ribs, and both began to beat him about his head.

Afterwards, Plaintiff was moved to another holding cell, where Defendant Major Durham called Plaintiff degrading names while discussing Plaintiff's pending transfer to Pontiac Correctional Center ("Pontiac"). Plaintiff responded in kind. Defendant Durham refused to allow Plaintiff to bring his shoes or any of his clothing to Pontiac, and instead provided him a thin jumpsuit. An officer gave Plaintiff shower shoes to wear during the transfer. Defendant Durham pushed Plaintiff down the stairs and when the shower shoes fell off, Defendant Durham did not allow another officer to give the shoes back to Plaintiff. Plaintiff departed for Pontiac immediately. Defendants C/O Pritty and C/O Porter, who transported Plaintiff to Pontiac, dragged him through Menard's parking lot to the van. Plaintiff scraped two of his toes as a result of being dragged. Plaintiff rode four and a half hours to Pontiac "in a cold van" with nothing on but a thin jumpsuit (Doc. 1, p. 8).

Due to the incident and the subsequent transfer, Plaintiff, a diabetic, was not fed for twelve hours. His blood sugar rose to 196 after the beatings, and four and a half hours later it had risen to 255. Plaintiff notes that though he was photographed upon his arrival at Pontiac, the staff had to retake the picture at a later date due to the disfigurement of his face. Finally, Plaintiff states that Defendant C/O Mott wrote a disciplinary report but failed to report the true facts of the matter. He adds that no minority staff members were present during this entire episode (Doc. 1, p. 9).

Plaintiff seeks as relief both compensatory and punitive damages.

B. Discussion

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into six 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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