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Floyd v. Harrington

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 9, 2014

EDWARD FLOYD, No. M18688, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD MOORE, LT. SMOLAK, and RICHARD HARRINGTON, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MICHAEL J. REAGAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff Edward Floyd, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on the alleged failure of Major Richard Moore and Lieutenant Smolak to protect Plaintiff from sexual assault.

This case is now before the Court for 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.

The Complaint

According to the complaint, Plaintiff Floyd was sexually assaulted by his cellmate in February 2014, after which Plaintiff had to spend 12 days in the medical unit because of the resulting psychiatric trauma. When Plaintiff was released from the health care unit on February 25, 2014, he informed Major Moore and Lieutenant Smolak about the sexual assault, but the officers said they had no sympathy for him because he was a convicted child molester. They ordered Plaintiff to return to the cell with his assailant.

On March 4, 2014, Warden Richard Harrington approved Plaintiff's request for protective custody. When Plaintiff presented the approval to Major Moore and Lieutenant Smolak and requested that he be moved, Moore and Smolak again ordered Plaintiff to return to the cell with his assailant. Plaintiff was then threatened by his cellmate and forced to repeatedly perform oral sex over a four-day period. Plaintiff was finally moved to protective custody on March 9, 2014.

Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment, compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction prohibiting prison officials from celling Plaintiff with any "predators and violent prisoners." Warden Harrington is named as a defendant only for purposes of injunctive relief ( see Doc. 1, p. 2). The defendants are sued in their official and individual capacities.

Based on the allegations in the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to frame the pro se action as a single count:

Count 1: Major Moore and Lieutenant Smolak violated the Eighth Amendment when they failed to protect ...

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