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Abel Lucio, #R15681 v. Doctor Santos

August 9, 2012

ABEL LUCIO, #R15681, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DOCTOR SANTOS, DOCTOR AARON, ASSISTANT WARDEN FLAGG, OFFICER J. STEWART, OFFICER J. LOERA, OFFICER WALKER, OFFICER MEYER, JOHN DOE 1, JOHN DOE 2, JOHN DOE 3, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Abel Lucio, an inmate in Hill Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a 30- year sentence for home invasion concurrently with a 15-year sentence for armed robbery. 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, 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 following is an overview of the allegations in Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1). On May 5, 2010, Plaintiff was transferred to Centralia Correctional Center ("Centralia") from Danville Correctional Center ("Danville") for safety concerns after he, working with the Internal Affairs Unit as an informant, reported Latin King gang members' contraband. The incidents complained of occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated in Centralia.

On July 1, 2010, Plaintiff was approached by two inmates, Rosado and Mata, who accused him of having been a confidential informant at Danville and of giving information on the Latin Kings there. Rosado and Mata, who were also Latin King members, told Plaintiff that he was "going to pay for snitching on [the Danville Latin Kings]" (Doc. 1, p. 4). The inmates then grabbed him. Rosado pulled down Plaintiff's underwear while Mata held Plaintiff. At this point, Plaintiff felt a "hard, foreign object poking his rectum." After the assault, Rosado showed Plaintiff an envelope listing Plaintiff's family's addresses and told him that he was going to find and kill them.

Plaintiff wrote an emergency note requesting help at 5:20 a.m. on July 2, 2010, the day following the assault by Rosado and Mata. He gave the note to Defendant John Doe 1, correctional officer, but no staff member spoke to him or otherwise investigated his safety concerns. The same day, at 7:45 p.m., Plaintiff wrote another emergency note which contained a detailed account of the sexual assault he suffered.

Rosado noticed Plaintiff's second emergency note and asked to see it. When Plaintiff refused, Rosado began "poking Plaintiff in the head real hard" (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff tried to get away from Rosado, but Rosado grabbed the back of his shirt. Plaintiff was "extremely terrified," and struck Rosado in the face with a Bible before running out of the cell. Plaintiff ran to two correctional officers who protected Plaintiff from Rosado but failed to tell Internal Affairs that Rosado had threatened to kill Plaintiff during the altercation.

Around 10:00 p.m. on July 2, 2010, Plaintiff was in the healthcare unit, where he told the nurse that he was sexually assaulted by two inmates. Defendant Santos came into the room wearing rubber gloves and carrying a large object in his hand. Plaintiff told Santos that he believed Rosado and Mata had used something other than their penises or fingers to sexually assault him. Additionally, Plaintiff told Santos that because of the sexual assault he had suffered, he was not comfortable with Santos putting his fingers into his rectum. However, Santos gave Plaintiff a direct order to lie down. When Plaintiff tried to refuse, Defendants John Doe 2 and John Doe 3 threatened to spray Plaintiff with mace and write him a disciplinary ticket if he did not comply. Plaintiff, therefore, complied with Santos' order, allowing Santos to penetrate his rectum with his fingers and with the large object that had been in his hand upon entering the room. After the examination, Plaintiff felt "violated all over again," and would never forget how Santos violated him after he had just been assaulted by Rosado and Mata (Doc. 1, p. 7).

Following the exam, Plaintiff was placed on investigation status and moved to segregation. On July 3, 2010, while Plaintiff was in segregation, Defendants Loera, Walker and Meyer (Correctional Officers) came to his cell, joking and laughing about his sexual assault. Plaintiff, who had believed that the information would be kept confidential, was so upset about this that he attempted suicide by overdosing on Tylenol on the night of July 3, 2010. Plaintiff was transferred to Saint Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital following the suicide attempt.

On July 5, 2010, Plaintiff returned to Centralia from the hospital. He was placed in a cell with no clothes, sheets, blanket or mattress. The entire cell was filthy and the light was never turned off. Despite Plaintiff's requests for clothing and to be removed from the cell, he remained there for three days. The cell's "filthy hard bunk" aggravated Plaintiff's pre-existing injury, a separated shoulder, and although Plaintiff asked Santos for pain medication, Santos refused to provide it for 80 days (Doc. 1, p. 8).

Thinking it was the only way to receive help, Plaintiff began a hunger strike on July 8, 2010. Plaintiff also sent a letter to his previous attorney and asked him to send a copy of the letter to anyone who might help his situation.

On July 9, 2010, Correctional Officer Stewart convinced Plaintiff to sign a document that authorized a lie detector test. After signing the document, Plaintiff was returned to his cell, where the harassment from Loera, Walker and Meyer worsened. These Defendants beat Plaintiff's cell door, joked about his sexual assault, spit at him and called him a "sissy." Defendant Aaron, a psychologist, met with Plaintiff, though Plaintiff does not specify the date on which this occurred. Plaintiff hoped Aaron would stop Loera, Walker and Meyer from harassing him, but Aaron did not do so.

Plaintiff took the lie detector test on July 13, 2010. On July 14, 2010, an Internal Affairs Officer and a Lieutenant told Plaintiff him that he did well on the test and that the investigation was over. However, Plaintiff was not removed from segregation or from investigation status, and the harassment continued. As a result, he began another hunger strike on July 28, 2010, which lasted until the night of July 29, 2010.

Plaintiff began filing grievances after July 28, 2010. He sent copies of the grievances to the Counselor's Office, Internal Affairs, Stewart and Assistant Warden Flagg, but received no response. Instead, Plaintiff was retaliated against as a result of filing the grievances. Stewart retaliated by writing him a disciplinary ticket for insolence and for assaulting Rosado. Plaintiff, in turn, filed a grievance with his counselor and with Flagg regarding the allegedly retaliatory disciplinary ticket.

Plaintiff was found guilty of all disciplinary charges despite the facts that he "passed" the lie detector test and that another inmate, a confidential informant, told Internal Affairs that Rosado and Mata had threatened Plaintiff's life. Plaintiff was placed in segregation for six months and was demoted to C grade for six months. Additionally, he was transferred to a maximum security facility and six months' good-time credit was taken from him.

Plaintiff seeks an injunction ordering the Illinois Department of Corrections to refrain from any retaliation resulting from the filing of this Complaint. He also seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Discussion

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into seven counts. The parties and the Court will use the Court's designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The ...


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