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Dameon Cole, # R-13404 v. Gov. Quinn

August 9, 2012


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


Plaintiff Dameon Cole, an inmate in Pontiac 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 Pinckneyville Correctional Center ("Pinckneyville"). Plaintiff is serving a twelve-year sentence for 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; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

The following summary derives from the allegations stated in Plaintiff's complaint.

Plaintiff self-identifies as a "flamboyant openly-known homosexual, who carries [him]self as a female" (Doc. 1, p. 15). Pickneyville does not segregate inmates based on sexual orientation. Because of this, Plaintiff fears for his safety. Indeed, of the thirty-three Defendants named, twenty-four failed to protect Plaintiff from potential attack by other inmates. On December 12, 2011, Plaintiff's cellmate, Inmate Lara, began pressuring him to engage in a sex act. On December 15, 2011, Plaintiff went on suicide watch as a way to avoid interactions with Inmate Lara and attract prison staff's attention to his housing situation. Plaintiff requested protective custody and "vulnerable" status because of his cellmate's advances, but was denied. On December 19, 2011, an unnamed inmate living in Plaintiff's cell house requested sex from Plaintiff. Plaintiff repeated his previous steps of going on suicide watch and requesting vulnerable status, but was again denied.

On January 16, 2012, Plaintiff was moved to the general population where his new cellmate told him that he could not stay there, and the guards would have to move one of them to a new cell. Plaintiff and his cellmate requested cell changes, but changes were denied by prison staff. On March 9, 2012, Plaintiff was placed in a cell with Inmate Draper, who told Plaintiff that he was homophobic. Plaintiff and his new cellmate both notified several correctional officers that they were unhappy with their housing situation, but to no avail. Since his incarceration at Pinckneyville, Plaintiff has written a litany of letters and grievances to the prison administration regarding his housing conditions and fear of inmate attack. Many of the correctional officers at Pinckneyville have made derogatory and offensive comments about Plaintiff's sexual orientation and self-identification as a female.

Additionally, Plaintiff has suffered from false disciplinary reports and inadequate disciplinary hearings twice during his time at Pinckneyville. On March 23, 2012, Plaintiff was charged with intimidation by Defendant Camp and sentenced to two months of C-grade and segregation. On April 2, 2012, Plaintiff was charged with sexual misconduct by Defendant Harmon and sentenced to six months of C-grade and segregation with six months' good conduct credit revoked. Plaintiff claims that both incidents were fraudulently reported and that a guilty plea was entered for him on both occasions in his absence and without his consent.

Plaintiff seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction mandating segregated housing for homosexuals in Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") facilities. Plaintiff also requests compensatory and punitive damages from each of the thirty-three Defendants named in the complaint.


Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into four 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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