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Anthony Mcclure, N-00370 v. Menard Correctional Center

July 26, 2012


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


Plaintiff Anthony McClure, an inmate at Hill 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 incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"). Plaintiff is serving a thirty-five year sentence for murder. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of Plaintiff's First Amended 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (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

The following summary of facts is drawn from Plaintiff's pro se first amended complaint (Doc. 12). He names Menard Correctional Center, Correctional Officer Johnson, Personal Property Supervisor, and John Doe Officers as parties who each violated his constitutional rights.

On June 22, 2009, an unknown person assaulted Plaintiff in his cell at Menard. Defendants Johnson and John Doe Officers were assigned to monitor Plaintiff's housing unit that day. Around noon, prison staff opened the cell doors to allow the inmates returning from lunch to re-enter their cells. Plaintiff did not attend lunch that day and was washing his face in his cell when the other inmates returned. Once the doors opened, an unknown party struck Plaintiff in the face. Plaintiff became unconscious and suffered severe trauma to his face and head. Following the incident, staff transferred Plaintiff to Chester Hospital where medical staff tended to his injuries.

On June 27, 2009, Plaintiff transferred to another housing unit at Menard. As part of his housing reassignment, Defendant Personal Property Supervisor transferred Plaintiff's property to his new cell. On June 29, 2009, Plaintiff received his property, only to discover that Defendant Personal Property Supervisor had not inventoried his property and that some of his things had been stolen.

Plaintiff requests monetary damages for the loss of his property and pain and suffering. Discussion Count 1 - Failure to Protect

Plaintiff claims that Defendants Johnson and John Doe Correctional Officers failed to protect him from the June 22, 2009 assault. In Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994), the Supreme Court held that "prison officials have a duty . . . to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners." Id. at 833 (internal citations omitted); see also Pinkston v. Madry, 440 F.3d 879, 889 (7th Cir. 2006). However, not every harm caused by another inmate translates into constitutional liability for the corrections officers responsible for the prisoner's safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834. In order for a plaintiff to succeed on a claim for failure to protect, he must show that he is ...

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