United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court for a merits review of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10), filed on September 3, 2014. This pleading was timely filed at the direction of the Court (Doc. 7). Plaintiff had originally brought his retaliation claims against Defendants Hathaway, Collier, Rockwell, and Russell in Case No. 09-cv-807-MJR-SCW (also captioned Haywood v. Hathaway, which shall be referred to herein as Haywood I ), but they were dismissed without prejudice pursuant to the doctrine of Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 480-81 (1994). The Heck bar was removed when Plaintiff's good conduct credits were restored in July 2012 ( See Docs. 3, 7).
The First Amended Complaint
Plaintiff's claims arose on January 9, 2009, while he was incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center ("Shawnee"). He was attending an auto mechanics class taught by Defendant Odum, and states that Defendant Odum assaulted him during the class (Doc. 10, pp. 5-6). Before the alleged assault, Plaintiff had spoken to another inmate who had asked a question. Defendant Odum then placed his hands on Plaintiff's shoulder and pushed him with enough force so that he "had to take a couple of steps sideways to keep from going down" (Doc. 10, p. 12). After shoving Plaintiff, Defendant Odum told him to "get the f**k out" of the classroom. Id. When Defendant Odum was interviewed about the incident, he admitted placing his hand on Plaintiff's shoulder and ordering him to leave the classroom, but denied using any force (Doc. 10, pp. 5, 12). Defendant Odum said Plaintiff became disrespectful to him when Odum ordered Plaintiff to refrain from talking to other inmates in the classroom, thus he ordered Plaintiff out. Defendant Odum did not charge Plaintiff with any disciplinary infraction.
Immediately after this incident, Plaintiff reported the assault to a correctional officer (Followell, who is not a defendant). He was interviewed about his report by Internal Affairs Officer Defendant Helm, who placed Plaintiff in segregation (Doc. 10, p. 6-7). Later in the day on January 9, 2009, Defendant Collier charged Plaintiff with a disciplinary infraction of "303 Giving False Information to an Employee" for claiming that he was assaulted by Defendant Odum (Doc. 10, pp. 11-12). According to that disciplinary report, seven inmates who were in the classroom during the incident were interviewed, and none of them substantiated Plaintiff's claim that Defendant Odum used force against him. As stated above, Defendant Odum also denied using any force, but admitted that he put his hand on Plaintiff.
The hearing on Plaintiff's charge was conducted on January 21, 2009, by Defendants Rockwell and Russell (Doc. 10, pp. 5-6, 13-14). They found Plaintiff guilty and recommended punishment of two months in disciplinary segregation and C-grade status, and revocation of one month of good conduct credits. This punishment was approved by Defendant Warden Hathaway, even though Plaintiff wrote him an emergency letter explaining that the disciplinary charge was false because Defendant Odum had placed his hands on Plaintiff inappropriately and had "admitted to the assault" (Doc. 10, pp. 6, 15).
Plaintiff organizes his claims into seven counts:
Count 1: First Amendment claim against Defendant Collier, for issuing Plaintiff a false disciplinary charge in retaliation against Plaintiff for accusing Collier's co-worker Odum of assault;
Count 2: First Amendment claim against Defendant Rockwell, for finding Plaintiff guilty and punishing him with segregation in retaliation against Plaintiff for accusing Rockwell's co-worker Odum of assault;
Count 3: First Amendment claim against Defendant Russell, for finding Plaintiff guilty and punishing him with segregation in retaliation against Plaintiff for accusing Russell's co-worker Odum of assault;
Count 4: First Amendment claim against Defendant Hathaway, for approving and imposing Plaintiff's punishments, and allowing him to remain in segregation for 60 days, in retaliation against Plaintiff for accusing Hathaway's co-worker Odum of assault;
Count 5: First Amendment claim and Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Odum, for pushing Plaintiff with his hands without any provocation;
Count 6: Fourteenth Amendment due process claim against Defendant Helm, for unjustly placing Plaintiff in segregation after he reported Odum's assault, even though Plaintiff had not been accused of any wrongdoing;
Count 7: First Amendment claim against Defendant Helm, for unjustly placing Plaintiff in segregation in retaliation against Plaintiff for ...