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Darryl Conway, # M-01100 v. Warden Rednour

June 25, 2012

DARRYL CONWAY, # M-01100, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WARDEN REDNOUR, WARDEN STILER, DR. CRAIG, AND UNKNOWN DIETARY SUPERVISORS, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Darryl Conway, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc. Plaintiff‟s claims are, based on two incidents that occurred while he was housed at Menard. 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 any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

The following summary of facts is drawn from Plaintiff‟s first amended complaint, filed on January 11, 2012. Plaintiff alleges that on November 8, 2010, he was written a disciplinary ticket in reference to an incident that occurred while Defendant Craig (dental surgeon) was performing a tooth extraction on Plaintiff at an undisclosed time. When Plaintiff arrived at his appointment, he alleges that Defendant Craig "was going to start drilling in my mouth with no novacaine" and Plaintiff then asked to be anesthetized (Doc. 18, p. 5). Plaintiff claims that Defendant Craig "purposely made mistakes" while operating on Plaintiff (Doc. 18, p. 5). Plaintiff lists these mistakes as: (a) "drilled holes in my lip", (b) "dropped a scalpel in my mouth", and (c) "almost put my eye out" (Doc. 18, p. 5). During the extraction, Plaintiff states that Defendant Craig‟s mistakes caused him pain, which led to Plaintiff pushing Defendant Craig away (Doc. 18, p. 5). Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages for pain and suffering resulting from the holes drilled in his lip and subsequent "oral infections" (Doc. 18, p. 6).

Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that sometime after April 24, 2011, he was denied Kosher meals, and thus deprived of his First Amendment right to practice his religion. Plaintiff claims that after April 24, 2011, he was given vegan trays with a "Kosher" sticker on them (Doc. 18, p. 4). Instead of "black frozen Kosher trays," Plaintiff alleges he was served "food that was spoiled like fruits and lettuce" (Doc. 18, p. 5). In response to Plaintiff‟s requests to be served Kosher meals, he was told by the Menard chaplain that he would have to "jump through hoops" to prove his sincerity (Doc. 18, p. 5). Plaintiff was further told by an unnamed official that he was not sincere in his beliefs because he missed days of "coming to chow" (Doc. 18, p. 5). Plaintiff claims that he has paperwork allowing him to miss three days of "chow" per week due to seasonal allergies (Doc. 18, p. 5). Plaintiff also cites Deuteronomy 14 and Leviticus 11 as a means of proving the sincerity of his beliefs, but does not elaborate on if or when he gave this information to a prison official (Doc. 18, p. 5). Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages for deprivation of Kosher meals and subsequent weight loss. Plaintiff requests a jury trial in addition to compensatory and punitive damages totaling $275,000.

Discussion

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into two (2) 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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