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Summy v. Davis

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

August 30, 2013

KYLE SUMMY, # R-47788, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDY DAVIS, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Vienna Correctional Center ("Vienna"), where he is serving a three-year sentence for theft. He brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking damages for violations of his rights which he claims have occurred during his confinement at Vienna. He also invokes the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671-2680 (Doc. 1, p. 1).

Plaintiff states that he was sent to Vienna on June 11, 2013, and has been housed in Building 19 since that time (Doc. 1, p. 5). He was initially placed on the second floor, and was moved to the third floor on July 1, 2013. Other than these dates, the first paragraph of his statement of claim consists of nothing but legalese and nonsensical statements, such as "Verosity [sic], perpensity, Mental Anguish, Torque Claim, Criminal Malfeasance with harmfull Intent...." Id. This gibberish is identical to statements found in a number of other Vienna prisoner complaints filed recently in this Court, and does nothing to advance his claims.

However, Plaintiff goes on to allege that Building 19 provides only two toilets for 100 inmates on the second floor, has overhead pipes in the ceiling above the toilets that drip water on his head, and lacks ventilation in the restrooms. Furthermore, there is black mold as well as overhead pipes containing asbestos in both the restrooms and living quarters. The housing area is infested with bugs and spiders which crawl on Plaintiff and bite him at night. Mice and rats run around him, and eat his food and tear up his clothes. These portions of Plaintiff's claim shall be designated as Count 1.

Plaintiff also complains that the third shift guards sleep outside the dorm at night while inmates are locked in. This claim shall be designated as Count 2. Finally, he states that rival gang members are housed together, and that mental health patients are mixed with the regular inmate population. These allegations shall be designated as Count 3.

Plaintiff asserts that these conditions put his health and safety at risk. He wrote a grievance complaining about the conditions in Building 19 to Defendant Warden Davis, but got no response (Doc. 1, p. 4).

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

Under § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt threshold review of the complaint, and to dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from an immune defendant.

Accepting Plaintiff's allegations as true, the Court finds that Count 1 of the complaint articulates a colorable Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Davis for housing Plaintiff in unsanitary conditions which place his health at risk.

However, Plaintiff's remaining allegations fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Those claims (Counts 2-3), as well as the FTCA claim (Count 4) shall be dismissed for the following reasons.

Dismissal of Count 2

Plaintiff does not claim to have been harmed in any way by the habit of the night-shift guards to sleep outside his housing unit, nor does he explain how this practice may present a risk to his safety.

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). Conversely, 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.

Plaintiff's brief statement regarding the sleeping guards does not indicate any violation of a constitutional right. Count 2 ...


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