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Rodney Dees v. Cierra Simpson

August 27, 2012

RODNEY DEES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CIERRA SIMPSON, DANIELLE GOODWIN, ERIC FORT, CURTIS MOORE, MICHAEL MCCLELLAND, ERIC PLOTT, AND CHRISTOPHER PHEMISTER,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, currently incarcerated at Tamms Correctional Center, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Plaintiff alleges several claims, all stemming from retaliation against plaintiff for a grievance he filed against Simpson. First, he alleges that he confronted Simpson about withholding meals from another inmate. Plaintiff also informed McClelland, Simpson's supervisor, of Simpson's actions. In retaliation for "snitching" on Simpson, she withheld meals from plaintiff. Plaintiff filed a grievance against Simpson for withholding his meals. Thereafter, plaintiff alleges that Simpson, McClelland, and Fort retaliated against him for filing the grievance by withholding his meals.

Plaintiff became angry that his meals were being withheld and attempted to remove his black food box from his cell door. As a result of his actions, Plott, Moore, and Phemister moved plaintiff to another pod. During this move, while plaintiff was cuffed and in leg irons, plaintiff alleges that Plott instructed Moore and Phemister to take plaintiff to the multi-purpose room. While in the multi-purpose room, plaintiff alleges that Moore and Phemister held him while Simpson kneed him in the groin several times and punched him in the stomach. Further, plaintiff alleges that Plott stood and observed the attack, but failed to intervene to protect plaintiff. Thereafter, plaintiff pleaded with these defendants for medical care. However, the defendants refused to seek medical care for plaintiff.

After being moved to another pod, Simpson's friend, Goodwin, continued to withhold meals from plaintiff in retaliation for the grievances plaintiff had filed against Simpson. In fact, Goodwin went to the extent of placing empty cereal and milk containers in Dees' food tray, and tampering with his breakfast cakes. One day, while he reached to retrieve his food from the food box, Goodwin slammed the food box on plaintiff's hand, causing his finger to swell. Plaintiff asked for medical attention for his cut hand, but Goodwin refused to seek medical care for plaintiff. Goodwin reminded plaintiff that if he would stop filing grievances against Simpson, she would leave him alone.

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 as follows:

Count 1: A claim against defendants Simpson, McClelland, and Fort for retaliation against plaintiff for exercising his constitutionally protected right of access to the courts. Count 2: A claim against defendants Simpson, Moore, and Phemister for excessive force in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Count 3: A claim against defendants Simpson, Plott, Moore, and Phemister for deliberate indifference to medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Count 4: A claim against defendant Plott for failure to protect plaintiff in violation of the

Eighth Amendment.

Count 5: A claim against defendant Goodwin for retaliation against plaintiff for exercising his constitutionally protected right of access to the courts.

Count 6: A claim against defendant Goodwin for excessive force in violation of the Eighth

Amendment.

Count 7: A claim against defendant Goodwin for deliberate indifference to medical needs in ...


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