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.

Jones v. Godinez

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

December 20, 2013

SHANE JONES, #S-12829, and ANDRE COWANS, #M-06116, Plaintiffs,
v.
S.A. GODINEZ, ALLEN E. MARTIN, SGT. CAMPBELL, SGT. JOHNSON, OFFICER REED, and CHAPLAIN M. WILLIAMS, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Jones and Cowans are both prisoners incarcerated at the Shawnee Correctional Center ("Shawnee"). On September 6, 2013, they jointly filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, together with two other inmate-Plaintiffs (Timothy Headrick and Kendall Brewer) who have now been dismissed from this case (see Docs. 23 and 29).

This matter is now before the Court for a merits review of the complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 1915A, the Court is required 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.

The Complaint

The first allegation is that on February 1 and August 21, 2013, and on an illegible date in October 2012, Defendant Officer Reed conducted a strip search of Plaintiff Jones and the two dismissed former Plaintiffs (Doc. 1, p. 2). The searches were done in front of Shawnee nursing staff. By claiming that inmates have a right not to be strip searched "in front of the opposite gender, " the allegation implies that at least one of the nursing staff was female (Doc. 1, p. 3). The complaint does not state that Plaintiff Cowans was subjected to any of these strip searches.

Next, Plaintiffs complain about several conditions of their confinement. They are not given proper equipment ("broom, mop, etc.") to "maintain a clean and healthy living environment" (Doc. 1, p. 3). The water from the cold water tap is the same temperature as the hot, forcing Plaintiffs to drink hot or warm water in the summertime. They were housed in segregation cell(s) where they were exposed to dangerous heat indexes. The window was broken, preventing it from being closed to block out the summer heat. Plaintiffs complained about the heat to Defendant Campbell, but he did nothing and told them to "just lay still." Id.

On one specific date (August 31, 2013), Plaintiffs were exposed to extremely hot temperatures while on the recreation yard, and were given no water to stay adequately hydrated. They alerted Defendant Johnson to the problem, but he refused to do anything. Also on this date, Plaintiff Jones urinated on himself while on the yard, because he had no access to a toilet for the two-and-one-half hours he was outside. He was unable to alert Defendant Johnson to his need for a bathroom, because the door to the yard was locked. Defendant Johnson would not allow Plaintiff Jones to have a new jumpsuit after this incident (Doc. 1, p. 3). When Plaintiffs were back in the segregation cell(s) at 3:00 p.m. on August 31, they were not given any ice when it was passed out to inmates in general population. Defendant Johnson was notified that Plaintiffs were hot and dehydrated, but he did not provide them with any ice (Doc. 1, p. 4). They note that this problem is "still ongoing." Id.

Plaintiff Jones, who is Caucasian, was not allowed by Defendant Williams to have a Qur'an. Defendant Williams stated the reason he was denied this religious text was because he was "neither Arab nor African-American" (Doc. 1, p. 3).

Finally, Plaintiffs complain that because they are in segregation, they are no longer provided with the $10.00/month stipend that they received while in general population (Doc. 1, p. 4). "Some Plaintiffs are indigent" and without this stipend they cannot afford to purchase hygiene materials "to stay well groomed." Id.

Plaintiffs seek monetary damages, declaratory relief, and unspecified injunctive relief (Doc. 1, p. 5).

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

Accepting the factual allegations as true, the Court finds that Plaintiffs jointly have stated the following cognizable claims for relief, which shall receive further review:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Campbell, for subjecting Plaintiffs to excessively hot conditions in their segregation cell(s), which had no cold water and a broken window;

Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Johnson, for denying Plaintiffs access to water during extremely hot conditions on the recreation yard (on August 31, 2013), and for subjecting them to excessively hot conditions in their segregation cells(s) while refusing to provide them with ice (on an ongoing basis).

In addition, Plaintiff Jones may proceed on the following individual constitutional claims:

Count 3: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Johnson, for denying Plaintiff Jones access to toilet facilities on August 31, 2013, causing him to urinate on himself, then denying him a change of clothing;

Count 4: Claims under the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment/Equal Protection Clause, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1(a)) ("RLUIPA")[1] against Defendant Williams, for denying ...


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.