Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hickman v. Gaetz

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

October 18, 2013

TONY HICKMAN, # B87476, Plaintiff,
v.
DONALD D. GAETZ, SGT. MCGUIRE, C/O SWALLERS, C/O FLATT, SGT. MCELYEA, C/O BELFORD, STACY BROWN, KAREN DEEN, TERRI ANDERSON, and SALVADOR A. GODINEZ, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Tony Hickman, currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1). Plaintiff claims that while the prison was on lockdown April 18-22, 2012, before he could commence his dietary job each day he was strip searched in open view of others (including females and a homosexual) and in plain view of cameras. It is alleged that all defendants, except Counselor Stacy Brown, Grievance Officer Karen Deen, Administrative Review Board member Terri Anderson, and Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador A. Godinez, "were all at one time or another present during one of the five strip searches" (Doc. 1, p. 6). "Plaintiff also claims that he was subsequently terminated from his dietary job for allegedly stealing three packets of ketchup, which he contends is not grounds for termination. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, an injunction and other equitable relief, such as an investigation and the suspension or termination of the defendants.

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

Standard of Review

In pertinent part, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 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. 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. 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).

The Complaint

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into two 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: Defendants Warden Gaetz, Sgt. McGuire, C/O Swallers, C/O Flatt, Sgt. McElyea and C/O Belfore were present while Plaintiff was strip searched in an unreasonable and demeaning ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.