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Robert Williams, # N-03588 v. C/O M. Baker

August 9, 2012

ROBERT WILLIAMS, # N-03588 PLAINTIFF,
v.
C/O M. BAKER, C/O CHEATAM, BARBARA MUELLER, JEANETTE COWAN, WARDEN GAETZ, AND MICHAEL RANDLE, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Robert Williams, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a twenty-five year sentence for sexual assault. 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, 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 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 description below is taken from the facts alleged by Plaintiff in his Amended Complaint.

On December 3, 2009, Plaintiff, while handcuffed, attempted to kick another inmate in self-defense. Defendants Baker and Cheatam immediately grabbed Plaintiff, took him down a flight of stairs, and threw him on his back at the bottom of the stairs. Defendant Baker then kneed Plaintiff in his jaw, damaging Plaintiff's lower back tooth. This incident was in retaliation for prior complaints Plaintiff had lodged against Defendant Baker and other correctional officers.

On December 6, 2009, Plaintiff submitted an emergency grievance concerning this incident to Defendant Gaetz, but received no response. Plaintiff waited another month before filing another grievance with Gaetz. Defendant Mueller tampered with this second grievance, falsifying the date so that it would appear to be filed one day beyond the filing deadline. Defendants Cowan and Randle have refused to process or return his original grievance in a conspiracy to cover up the actions of Defendants Baker, Cheatam, Gaetz and Mueller.

Plaintiff requests a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, in addition to compensatory and punitive ...


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