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McElroy v. Parties

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 22, 2014

JEREMIAH McELROY, No. R09511, Plaintiff,
v.
UNKNOWN PARTIES, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Jeremiah McElroy, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on an August 2013 assault upon Plaintiff by nine unidentified correctional officers at Big Muddy River Correctional Center.

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.

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, on August 15, 2013, nine unidentified correctional officers handcuffed Plaintiff and then assaulted him in a "brutal, malicious" manner, "intentionally... to inflict pain and injuries, " in violation of Illinois law and Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") policy. Plaintiff contends that the assault was in retaliation for Plaintiff restraining one of the defendant officers after that officer attempted to use "excessive force" against Plaintiff, who was, admittedly in "emotional distress" at the time of the incident. As a result, Plaintiff incurred bruises, abrasions, and cuts, as well as emotional distress. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages against each defendant, restoration of good conduct credits, and transfer to a lower security prison.

Based on the allegations in 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: John Doe # 1 used excessive force against Plaintiff in restraining him when he was in emotional distress, in violation of the Eighth Amendment;
Count 2: John Does # 1-9 assaulted Plaintiff in violation of the Eighth Amendment, Illinois ...

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