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Robert Chencinski, # B-75443 v. Michael Reeder

August 23, 2012


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


Plaintiff Robert Chencinski, currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center ("Pontiac"), has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's initial claims arose while he was incarcerated in the Shawnee Correctional Center. Plaintiff was transferred to Pontiac on June 9, 2011 (Doc. 1, p. 10), and his medical claim arose after that transfer. Plaintiff asserts that he was subjected to retaliation, was found guilty of false disciplinary charges, and was denied medical care for a serious illness (blepharospasm).*fn1

More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Lt. Berkley and C/O Reeder retaliated against him because he had filed grievances against Shawnee staff, and pursued a lawsuit in this Court (Chencinski v. Walker, No. 09-cv-658-SCW, filed Aug. 25, 2009). This retaliation consisted of Defendant Berkley causing Plaintiff to lose two prison jobs, and failing to investigate Plaintiff's grievance (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). Further, Defendant Reeder issued Plaintiff a false disciplinary ticket. He then instructed Defendant Quigley, chairman of the Adjustment Committee, to "max" Plaintiff in the disciplinary hearing over that false charge, after which Plaintiff was punished with one year in segregation, a transfer to Pontiac, loss of one year of good conduct credits,*fn2 and other sanctions (Doc. 1, p. 9). Previously, Defendant Reeder had retaliated against Plaintiff by falsely claiming Plaintiff had received a gang letter and threatened to beat up another inmate (Doc. 1, p. 9-10). Defendants Quigley and Marvin conducted the disciplinary hearing, in which Plaintiff was not allowed an opportunity to present a defense or call witnesses (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8).

Finally, Defendant Dr. Tilden (the medical director at Pontiac) stopped Plaintiff from receiving his previously-authorized botox injections, which is the only effective treatment for his eye and facial spasms (Doc. 1, pp. 9-13).

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt threshold review of the complaint. Accepting Plaintiff's allegations as true, the Court finds that Plaintiff has articulated a colorable federal cause of action against Defendants Berkley, Reeder, and Quigley for retaliation (Count 1); against Defendants Quigley and Marvin for deprivation of a liberty interest without due process (Count 2); and against Defendant Tilden for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need (Count 3).

In George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007), the Seventh Circuit emphasized that unrelated claims against different defendants belong in separate lawsuits, "not only to prevent the sort of morass" produced by multi-claim, multi-defendant suits "but also to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees" under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. George, 507 F.3d at 607 (citing28 U.S.C. § 1915(b), (g)). Plaintiff's complaint contains two unrelated claims against different Defendants: Retaliation and due process claims against Defendants Berkley, Reeder, Quigley, and Marvin, and deliberate indifference to medical needs against Defendant Tilden. Consistent with the George decision and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 21, the Court shall SEVER Count 3 of Plaintiff's complaint into a new case, according to the instructions below.


IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim against DEFENDANT TILDEN for deliberate indifference to medical needs (COUNT 3) is SEVERED into a new case. The new case SHALL BE ASSIGNED to the undersigned District Judge for further proceedings. In the new case, the Clerk is DIRECTED to file the following documents:

(1) This Memorandum and Order

(2) The Original Complaint (Doc. 1)

(3) Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2)

Plaintiff is ADVISED that if, for any reason, he does not wish to proceed with the newly opened case, he must notify the Court in writing on or before September 21, 2012. Unless Plaintiff notifies the Court that he does not wish to pursue the newly opened action, he will be responsible for an additional filing fee in the new case. Furthermore, because the claim against Defendant Tilden, who is employed at Pontiac, arose in the Central District of Illinois, if Plaintiff elects to proceed, the new case shall be transferred to the District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Service shall not be ordered on Defendant Tilden at this time.

Plaintiff is further ADVISED that unless Plaintiff notifies the Court that he does not wish to proceed with one of these actions, he will be responsible for a separate filing fee in each case.

As to COUNTS 1 and 2, which remain in the instant case, the Clerk of Court shall prepare for Defendants REEDER, BERKLEY, QUIGLEY and MARVIN (1) Form 5 (Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of a Summons), and (2) Form 6 (Waiver of Service of Summons). The Clerk is DIRECTED to mail these forms, a copy of the complaint, and this Memorandum and Order to each Defendant's place of employment as identified by Plaintiff. If a Defendant fails to sign and return the Waiver of Service of Summons (Form 6) to the Clerk within 30 days from the date the forms were sent, the Clerk shall take appropriate steps to effect formal service on ...

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