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Travis Williams, #B67417 v. Sherry Benton

August 16, 2012


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


Plaintiff Williams brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on incidents that occurred while he was housed at Centralia Correctional Center ("Centralia"). At the time his complaint was filed, Plaintiff was serving a six year sentence for burglary and vehicle theft, and three years for assault of a correctional officer.*fn1 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; this action is subject to summary dismissal. The Complaint

The following allegations are taken from Plaintiff's pro se complaint (Doc. 1). Defendant Dr. Venerio Santos prescribed Plaintiff high blood pressure medication, Enaril, which caused side effects such as constipation, coughing, and headaches. Dr. Santos also prescribed high blood pressure medication hydrodiuril, which gave Plaintiff headaches, an upset stomach, and as a result required Plaintiff to take Prilosec regularly. Finally, Dr. Santos prescribed cholesterol medication that caused Plaintiff to experience excessive gas, dizziness, upset stomach, occasional high fever, and weakness.

Plaintiff asked Dr. Santos to prescribe vitamins and A & D ointment. Dr. Santos refused, informing Plaintiff these items could be purchased at the commissary. Plaintiff had several rashes while he was housed at Centralia. While Plaintiff was at Dixon Correctional Center, Plaintiff had a prescription for the ointment. Plaintiff's medication caused vomiting, which is why Plaintiff needed the vitamins.

Plaintiff experienced foot pain in October 2009 and underwent surgery on his right foot to remove a growth. Dr. Santos prescribed only ibuprofen for the pain. He refused to order an insole to alleviate Plaintiff's pain.

Plaintiff also injured his shoulder, left bicep, and left elbow while working out. Dr. Santos informed Plaintiff he had a torn tendon. Plaintiff "was forced to come back and forth" from the infirmary due to the pain in his arm for ninety days (Doc. 1, p. 4). Finally, after filing a grievance, Plaintiff saw an orthopedic specialist who told Plaintiff he needed surgery the next day. Yet due to "another process which [Plaintiff did not] know of," Plaintiff did not receive surgery for another week(Doc. 1, p. 4).

After the surgery, Plaintiff learned his tendon had been two inches too short and the surgeon had stretched the tendon to reattach it. Plaintiff required physical therapy, but never received any therapy. When Plaintiff returned to the orthopedic surgeon, the surgeon advised Plaintiff to try working out and doing two arm exercises. However, the exercises caused Plaintiff's arm and shoulder to hurt. Unnamed staff prevented Plaintiff from returning to the orthopedic surgeon.

Plaintiff entered into a "false contractual agreement" with Defendant Gina Feazel, which hindered Plaintiff's ability to file grievances (Doc. 1, p. 4). Feazel told Plaintiff if he did not proceed with a lawsuit about law library supplies for indigent inmates, she would provide Plaintiff a television, a hot pot, and a fan. In October 2010, Feazel and Defendant Warden Robert Hilliard told Plaintiff if he withdrew several grievances, then the issues complained of would improve. Warden Hilliard left Centralia after making the agreement.

Feazel also threatened Plaintiff, wrote false interdisciplinary report (IDR) tickets on Plaintiff, and took his television. Plaintiff had to refrain from filing grievances for six months to recover the television. Plaintiff appealed to Defendant Brad J. Robert, and asked for his grievances be assigned to a different officer. However, Robert instead assigned Feazel as Plaintiff's counselor, giving her access to all of Plaintiff's grievances.

Defendant Sherry Benton, who oversees and investigates inmate grievances, failed to grant Plaintiff's requested relief. Defendant Kim Marlow also hindered Plaintiff's ability to file grievances.

Defendant Dewayne Edler is employed as part of the clothing room service, and handles the issuance of indigent bag contents. Edler failed to provide adequate hygiene products to Plaintiff, which forced Plaintiff to sell items from his food tray to acquire certain products.

Plaintiff is indigent and thus exempt from paying medical and dental co-payments, but Defendant Mark Beckman charged Plaintiff's account for these payments. Beckman also charged a total of $260.00 to Plaintiff's trust fund account over a period of fourteen months for a ...

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