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William D. Nelson v. Trina Peed

September 20, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED Thursday, 20 September, 2012 08:30:30 AM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD


Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and incarcerated in Danville Correctional Center, pursues claims arising from events during his incarceration in Graham Correctional Center. The case is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.


The Court is required by § 1915A to review a Complaint filed by a prisoner against a governmental entity or officer and, through such process, to identify cognizable claims, dismissing any claim that is "frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." A hearing is held if necessary to assist the Court in this review, but, in this case, the Court concludes that no hearing is necessary. The Complaint and its attachments are clear enough on their own for this Court to perform its merit review of Plaintiff's Complaint.

The review standard under § 1915A is the same as the notice pleading standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Zimmerman v. Tribble, 226 F.3d 568, 571 (7th Cir. 2000). To state a claim, the allegations must set forth a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Factual allegations must give enough detail to give "'fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" EEOC v. Concentra Health Serv., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007)(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)(add'l citation omitted)). The factual "allegations must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a 'speculative level.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged . . . . Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)(citing Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555-56). However, pro se pleadings are liberally construed when applying this standard. Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009).


On July 8, 2011, Defendant Compton, a new librarian at Graham Correctional Center, confiscated Plaintiff's legal work and the legal work Plaintiff was doing for another inmates. Defendant Lutz, a correctional officer, confiscated more legal work from Plaintiff's cell later that day. Defendants Peed, Ussery, and Compton refused to allow Plaintiff the library time or case copies he needed to successfully pursue his post-conviction petition. As a result of all these adverse actions, Plaintiff allegedly lost his post-conviction petition.

Defendants Peed, Ussery, Compton, and Lutz also allegedly retaliated against Plaintiff for his grievances and complaints by engaging in a pattern of harassment which included false disciplinary reports, shake downs, and denial of photocopies.

Defendant Ussery allegedly wrote a false disciplinary ticket on July 23, 2010, accusing Plaintiff of insolent and intimidating behavior. Plaintiff allegedly was denied the right to call witnesses who would have exonerated him. Plaintiff was found guilty by Defendants Teverbaugh and Williams and ultimately received punishment of one month C grade, eight days segregation, and one month commissary restriction. Defendant Ott concurred in the findings.

On July 8, 2011, Defendant Lutz wrote Plaintiff an allegedly false disciplinary report based on items purportedly confiscated during a shake down of Plaintiff's cell. Defendants Clayton and Wright found Plaintiff guilty, and Plaintiff received punishment which included the revocation of six months of good conduct credit. Defendant Ott signed off on the findings.

Defendant Compton wrote a ticket against Plaintiff on July 8, 2011 for possessing another inmate's legal work. Defendants Wright and Clayton found Plaintiff guilty. As punishment, Plaintiff received a disciplinary transfer, one month C grade, one month segregation, and one month yard restriction. Defendant Ott signed off on the findings. Defendant Taylor (former IDOC Director) signed off on the denial of Plaintiff's grievances about these matters.

Plaintiff alleges that he was not allowed to call witnesses or present exonerating evidence at any of ...

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