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Allen Neely Caffey, # B-42191 v. S.A. Godinez

May 13, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: G. Patrick Murphy United States District Judge


Plaintiff, currently incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has filed a First Amended Complaint (Doc. 7), which is now before the Court for a preliminary review pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

Plaintiff is serving a life sentence for murder. His claims arose while he was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center ("Menard") and Pontiac Correctional Center ("Pontiac"). Plaintiff has brought suit against Defendant Godinez, Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, as well as, seven Menard correctional officers and nine prison staff members at Pontiac. Plaintiff claims that while he was incarcerated at Menard, certain Defendants retaliated against him and others subjected him to excessive force. Plaintiff also claims that after he was transferred to Pontiac, he was housed in unconstitutional conditions, his medical needs were ignored, and his property was destroyed.

More specifically, Plaintiff asserts that prior to the events which led to the claims herein, he had brought and settled a lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois, Caffey v. Lake, Case No. 05-C-6803 (filed Apr. 6, 2006). The settlement agreement (Doc. 7-2, pp. 15-20) specified that along with a cash payment to Plaintiff, he would be given a porter job at Menard (Doc. 7, p. 6). Further, he would not "be disciplined or discharged from this position absent a valid penological reason" (Doc. 7-2, p. 16). Plaintiff received the porter job and was assigned to the prison chapel. He was later moved to a clerk position in the prison library.

On June 29, 2011, while Plaintiff was working in the library, another inmate had an altercation with Officer Rose (who is not a Defendant) (Doc. 7, p. 7). Plaintiff and the many other prisoners present were handcuffed and taken to be interviewed about the incident. During the next three hours, all the other prisoners were questioned and released. Defendants Hasemeyer and Henry then interviewed Plaintiff. He maintained he had not been involved in the altercation, did not know the name of the inmate perpetrator, and had no knowledge of why it occurred. However, Plaintiff claims that Defendants Hasemeyer and Henry accused him of lying and trying to cover up an assault on an officer. Id. Plaintiff asked them to bring in Officer Rose as a witness to back up his story, but this request was denied. Plaintiff claims that Defendants Hasemeyer and Henry then told him that if he wanted to keep his job and avoid discipline, he must help the Internal Affairs Unit with an investigation of the Gangster Disciples ("GD's"), by infiltrating the gang's inner circle and becoming an informant. Plaintiff, who had not been associated with the GD's since 1993, refused.

According to Plaintiff, Defendants Hasemeyer and Henry responded that Plaintiff would be confined in "investigative status" for 30 days while he reconsidered their offer (Doc. 7, p. 8). An investigative report was filed against Plaintiff by Defendants Henry and Moore (Doc. 7-1, p. 3). Plaintiff spent the next eight days in the "confinement unit" at Menard, during which he was denied basic toiletries and a change of underwear (Doc. 7, p. 9). Plaintiff filed a grievance over this action and the unprofessional conduct of the Defendants who pressured him to become an informant (Doc. 7, pp. 9, 18-20; Doc. 7-1, pp. 1-2). Plaintiff was released from the confinement unit on July 15, 2011. It does not appear that any formal disciplinary action was taken against Plaintiff.

On July 29, 2011, about 30 days after the library incident, Plaintiff was removed from his cell by Defendant Maue and several other members of a tactical team, to be transferred out of Menard (Doc. 7, pp. 9-10). Plaintiff claims that he was pushed, lost his footing, and was struck in the head on the way to the bus. Plaintiff further claims that while he was being loaded on to the bus, Defendant Scott shackled Plaintiff's ankles tightly, pushed him down, and ignored his request for medical attention (Doc. 7, p. 11).

After several hours, Plaintiff arrived at Pontiac, where he asked for a doctor to attend to his injured head and numb feet. According to Plaintiff, Defendants John Doe #2 (Pontiac medical officer), John Doe #5 (Pontiac correctional officer), and later Defendants Berry, Brown, and Eilts,*fn1 all ignored Plaintiff's requests for medical attention (Doc. 7, pp. 11-12, 14-15).

Plaintiff claims that he was placed in a cell that was flooded, dirty, and smelled of urine. He had no toiletries or cleaning supplies, nor was he given shoes, a change of clothing, or any of his personal property. Defendant John Doe #5 ignored Plaintiff's requests for these items, telling him to file a grievance (Doc. 7, p. 13). Plaintiff had no pen, paper, or grievance form. Defendants Best, Berry, and Eilts also denied Plaintiff's requests for soap and cleaning supplies (Doc. 7, pp. 13-14).

Plaintiff did not receive toiletries, cleaning supplies, or any of his personal property until a month later on August 30, 2011 (Doc. 7, p. 13). His gold chain and cross were missing, and his color television, typewriter, and lamp had been broken. He later received compensation, but only for the broken lamp (Doc. 7, p. 16; Doc. 7-2, pp. 13-14). Defendant Best told Plaintiff that his property had not been inventoried until August 23, 2011, and had been withheld from him and destroyed because Plaintiff "pissed off" Menard officials. Id. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Richard, who was the personal property officer at Pontiac, was responsible for this delay and withheld his property as punishment (Doc. 7, p. 15).

Merits Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

Under § 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 the following colorable federal causes of action:

Count 1: Retaliation claim against Menard Defendants Hasemeyer, Henry, and Moore, for causing Plaintiff to be placed under investigation and transferred, and for allowing or directing the destruction of Plaintiff's property, after Plaintiff filed ...

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