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Noble v. Davis

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

November 12, 2013

DESMOND NOBLE, #M-36909, Plaintiff,
RANDY DAVIS, Defendant.


G. PATRICK MURPHY, District Judge.

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Big Muddy River Correctional Center ("Big Muddy"), where he is serving a three-year sentence for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon ( See Doc. 8). 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 Correctional Center. 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 May 26, 2013, and was housed in Building 19 (Doc. 1, p. 5). He was initially placed on the second floor. He states that he was moved to the third floor on August 20, 2013, after he got out of segregation, where he had spent 30 days. He also states that he is currently back in segregation, implying that he is no longer housed in Building 19.

The remainder of the first paragraph of Plaintiff's statement of claim consists of nothing but legalese and nonsensical statements, such as "Versity [sic], perpesity[sic], Mental Anguish, Torque Claim, Criminal Malfeasance with harmful 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 then goes on to list eight claims which include some specific factual allegations regarding the conditions under which he was housed at Vienna. In paragraphs 2, 6, and 7, Plaintiff states that the building where he was housed contained asbestos insulation, cracked pipes, and fibers floating in the air; the building lacked ventilation, the roof leaked, there were too few toilets for the number of inmates, urinals overflowed onto the floor, there was mold in the shower, mold on bread, and rodent droppings in the kitchen and living quarters (Doc. 1, p.

5). He also claims that a bird flew into the chow hall, hit the ceiling fan and died while inmates were eating. Id. It is not clear from the complaint whether this was a repeated or a one-time occurrence. These portions of Plaintiff's claim shall be designated as Count 1.

Plaintiff also complains that fire alarms went off on a random basis while living units were locked and staff did not check for danger; inmates were housed with rival gang members and with mental health patients; guards slept on the night shift and fail to make rounds; inmates were denied grievance forms, and legal mail was improperly opened by staff outside the presence of the inmate (Doc. 1, p. 5, paragraphs 1, 3, 4, 5, and 8). These claims shall be designated as Counts 2-5, as discussed below.

Plaintiff asserts that he has filed multiple grievances complaining about the conditions in Building 19, but has received 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 the combination of conditions designated as Count 1 herein states a colorable Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Davis for housing Plaintiff in unsanitary conditions which placed his health at risk. It appears that Plaintiff was confined in Building 19 for approximately two months.

However, Plaintiff's remaining allegations fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Those claims (Counts 2-5), as well as the FTCA claim (Count 6) shall be dismissed, as discussed below.

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, ...

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