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Jose L. Sanchez, # R-64344 v. S.A. Godinez

July 9, 2012


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


Plaintiff Jose L. Sanchez, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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

Plaintiff alleges that on March 4, 2011, he fought with his cellmate at Menard, Inmate Pace (Doc. 1, p. 6). Following the fight, Plaintiff was moved to a new cell on the same gallery. Id. Nevertheless, on that same day (March 4), Inmate Pace threatened to beat and kill Plaintiff or have Inmate Basemore beat and kill Plaintiff. Id.

Later in the day, Plaintiff submitted a request for protection to Internal Affairs concerning Inmate Pace's threat, but he received no response (Doc. 1-1, p. 1). Throughout March 2011, Plaintiff contacted Defendants Rednour, Benton and Godinez, similarly reporting the threat and requesting protection, but Plaintiff received no responses (Doc. 1-1, pp. 2-4).

On April 8, 2011, Defendant Hood took Plaintiff to his building's segregation yard, where Plaintiff asked to speak with Defendant Westerman (Doc. 1, p. 7). Defendant Hood refused Plaintiff's request, but Plaintiff called Defendant Westerman over and expressed concerns about being placed in the same segregation yard as Inmate Basemore, because of the threat against him. Id. Defendant Westerman told Plaintiff, "be a man[.] [G]et your ass in there," and then "shoved" Plaintiff into the caged segregation yard. Id. Plaintiff then implored Defendant Durham, who was standing next to Defendant Westerman, to do something, to which Defendant Durham responded, "you heard my Lieutenant, be a man." Id. While in the yard, Plaintiff was assaulted by Inmate Basemore and suffered a fracture of his nose (Doc. 1, p. 8; Doc. 1-1, pp. 6, 9).

While Plaintiff was being treated in the Menard Health Care Unit, Defendant Hasemeyer showed Plaintiff a note that had been intercepted suggesting "a hit was put out on Plaintiff" (Doc. 1, p. 8). In a later interview with Defendant Hasemeyer (on September 9, 2009), Plaintiff discovered that this note was intercepted prior to April 8, 2011 (Doc. 1, p. 11). On July 26, 2011, Plaintiff received a note containing an anonymous death threat (Doc. 1, p. 9). A day later (July 27), Plaintiff sent in another request for protective custody. Id. Subsequently, Plaintiff was told by Defendant Phelps that the "hit" put out on Plaintiff ...

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