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Morrow v. Godinez

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

May 3, 2013

PAUL S. MORROW, # N72090, Plaintiff,
v.
S.A. GODINEZ, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

G. PATRICK MURPHY, District Judge.

Plaintiff Paul S. Morrow, currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"), has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against 24 prison officials and health care providers (16 of whom are named, and 8 who have yet to be identified). According to the complaint, Plaintiff was handcuffed and beaten by prison guards in October 2012, and subsequently denied medical treatment for his injuries. Plaintiff's efforts to lodge administrative grievances regarding those events were stifled because his grievances were either not delivered or were ignored-he does not know which because inquiries about whether his grievances were delivered have gone unanswered.

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). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross "the line between possibility and plausibility." Id. at 557. 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 Section 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

The Complaint

Based on the allegations of the complaint (Doc. 1), the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into five 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 designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as to their merit.

Count 1: Against Defendants C/O Aaron Hood, C/O Cheatham and unidentified others for using excessive force against Plaintiff, in violation of the Eighth Amendment;
Count 2: Against Defendants C/O Starkweather, C/O Davis, C/O Mayer, C/O Hepp, C/O Hoffman and unidentified others for failing to protect Plaintiff or otherwise intervene as Plaintiff was assaulted, in violation of the Eighth Amendment;
Count 3: Against Defendants Case Worker Greathouse, Nurse Aimee Lang, an unidentified optometrist and unidentified sick call nurses for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious ...

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