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Flores v. Harrington

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 2, 2014

CHRISTOPHER FLORES, No. M36286, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD HARRINGTON, SGT. PELKER, C/O HOLLAND, C/O MEZO, and JOHN DOES, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Christopher Flores, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on prison officials broadcasting that Plaintiff is a child molester, thereby causing Plaintiff to be harassed, threatened and physically attacked by other inmates. It is also alleged that an unidentified prison guard "saturated" Plaintiff with a chemical agent as Plaintiff lay injured.

Plaintiff asserts that his life is in imminent danger and he prays for injunctive relief as soon as possible, and any other relief deemed appropriate. The Court construes the complaint as including a motion for a temporary restraining order ("TRO").

The complaint was drafted with the assistance of another inmate and contains a request for counsel. The complaint explains that Plaintiff is incapable of pursuing any relief on his own; Plaintiff is taking psychotropic medication and he recently attempted suicide.

The Court will simultaneously consider Plaintiff's motion for a TRO and perform a preliminary review of the complaint 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). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers to a claim that "no reasonable person could suppose to have any merit." Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). 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. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

The Complaint

According to the complaint, Plaintiff, who is a convicted child molester, was sexually attacked while housed at Pinckneyville Correctional Center and subsequently transferred to Menard Correctional Center in March 2014.

All defendants, Warden Richard Harrington[1], Sgt. Pelker, C/O Holland, C/O Mezo and "John Does" allegedly publicized that Plaintiff is a child molester, thereby inviting inmates to assault Plaintiff.

More specifically, it is alleged that on April 22, 2014, C/O Holland and C/O Mezo told inmate Carney that Plaintiff is a child molester. That same day, Carney beat Plaintiff. As Plaintiff lay injured, "John Doe" defendants "saturated" Plaintiff with a chemical agent.

On April 30, Sgt. Pelker and C/O Mezo appeared at Plaintiff's cell and announced that they were moving him to a different cell. Plaintiff asked to speak to the Crisis Team. Plaintiff then attempted to hang himself with a bed sheet, right in front of Pelker and Menzo. Pelker and Mezo proceeded to move Plaintiff from 4 Gallery to 2 Gallery, announcing for all to hear that they ...


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