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Davis v. Chester Mental Health Center

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 9, 2014

CHRISTOPHER NOVUS DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CHESTER MENTAL HEALTH CENTER, LUCAS NANNY, TOM NORDMAN, JOSH RACKLEY, and TERRY STEWART, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Christopher Novus Davis, a detainee in Chester Mental Health Center ("CMHC"), brings this action through court-appointed counsel, for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on an alleged beating at the hands of CMHC employees on December 26, 2011.

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the amended 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. The Complaint

According to the amended complaint, Plaintiff Davis was admitted to CMHC on December 22, 2011. Unfamiliar with the rules and procedures for patients, on December 26, 2011, Davis stood up mid-meal in violation of the rules. When Davis refused to sit down, he was placed in full leather restraints and removed from the cafeteria. In transit, CMHC employees Lucas Nanny, Tom Nordsman, Josh Rackley and Terry Stewart physically attacked Plaintiff without provocation or justification. The attack occurred in an area referred to as the "stem, " where there are no cameras to record the incident. Plaintiff further notes that the CMHC Unit Manager, Gary Hand, was away from work on the day of the attack.

The amended complaint contains three counts which are summarized as follows:[1]

Count 1: Defendants Lucas Nanny, Tom Nordsman, Josh Rackley and Terry Stewart used excessive force against Plaintiff Davis in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments;
Count 2: Defendants Lucas Nanny, Tom Nordsman, Josh Rackley and Terry Stewart were all present while Plaintiff Davis was physically attacked and had an opportunity to intervene, but they deliberately did not do so, in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments; and
Count 3: The physical attack upon Plaintiff Davis was a direct and proximate result of negligent supervision of and by Defendants Lucas Nanny, Tom Nordsman, Josh Rackley, Terry Stewart and Chester Mental Health Center, amounting to punishment without due process of law, in violation of Fourteenth Amendment.

Count 1 also references the denial of Plaintiff's right to life and liberty under the Fourteenth Amendment. No due process claim has been recognized in Count 1 because, reading the claim as a whole, it appears that Plaintiff is actually only referring to the use of excessive force, not to procedural due process. Any ...


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