United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.
Plaintiff John White, an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights while he was housed at Shawnee Correctional Center ("Shawnee"). Plaintiff's original complaint was dismissed without prejudice (Doc. 8). Plaintiff's amended complaint (Doc. 9) is now before the Court for preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which 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).
I. The Amended Complaint
Plaintiff White was convicted in 2011 of violating an order of protection; he was sentenced to an 18-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by mandatory supervised release ("MSR"), including a one-year period under GPS monitoring. Plaintiff was slated to be released from prison on April 20, 2012, but because he has been unable to secure an approved release site, he has, in effect, been forced to serve his MSR term in prison. Plaintiff's principal contentions are that, by ignoring his many requests for assistance in securing appropriate post-release placement, and by not performing their duty as prescribed under 730 ILCS 5/3-14-2(b), the defendant prison officials have violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and subjected him to continued incarceration in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The defendants are characterized as being deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's situation. It is also alleged that Plaintiff has been incorrectly labeled a "sex offender, " which has put him in physical danger. White seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief in the form of a transfer from Shawnee.
The named defendants are: Warden Allan Martin; Field Services Representative Scott Rhine; Clinical Services Supervisor Karen Jaimet; Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"), S.A. Godinez; Illinois Department of Corrections Placement Resource Unit Supervisor, Ed Ortega; Harry Allard; and Administrative Review Board ("ARB") member Jackie Miller.
Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into three 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: All Defendants have ignored Plaintiff's requests and grievances and have otherwise not assisted Plaintiff in finding a post-release placement site, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment;
Count 2: All Defendants have ignored Plaintiff's requests and grievances and have otherwise not assisted Plaintiff in finding a post-release placement site, in violation of the Eighth Amendment; and
Count 3: Defendants Godinez and Miller labeled Plaintiff a "sex offender, " thereby placing him in physical danger, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
"Section 1983 creates a federal remedy against anyone who, under color of state law, deprives any citizen of the United States... of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws.'" Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc. v. Commissioner of Indiana State Dept. Health, 699 F.3d 962, 972 (7th Cir. 2012) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). In terms of the basic elements of a Section 1983 action, it is clear that at all relevant times the defendants were acting under color of state law.
A. Counts 1 & 2
The amended complaint indicates that Counts 1 and 2 regarding Plaintiff's blocked release are asserted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and habeas corpus relief is not sought. Of course, the undercurrent of the complaint is a desire for prison officials-now officials at Stateville-to assist Plaintiff in securing an approved placement location so that he can ...