United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
GILBERT EVANS, No. B06117, Plaintiff,
CITY OF BELLEVILLE, IL, ST. CLAIR COUNTY JAIL, MEDICAL STAFF, and RICK WATSON, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STACI M. YANDLE, District Judge.
Plaintiff Gilbert Evans, an inmate in Graham Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on the conditions of his confinement and medical care while a pretrial detainee in the St. Clair County Jail.
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).
According to the complaint, between August 13, 2013, and January 17, 2014, Plaintiff Evans was held in the St. Clair Jail as a pretrial detainee. Due to overcrowding, Evans was housed along with 40 or 50 other prisoners in the Jail's gymnasium. There were no cots, tables or chairs, so prisoners had to sleep and eat on the floor. They were not given cleaning supplies, and there was only one toilet. Prisoners were generally permitted two showers per week, but only when there was sufficient staff on duty.
Evans must take medication on a daily basis for epilepsy and depression. According to the complaint, nurses did dispense his medication in the gymnasium. Whether there is any perceived connection between how the medication was dispensed is unclear, but after a month in the gym Plaintiff broke out with large red circles all over his body. He was immediately taken to the infirmary and a nurse issued Benadryl, which cleared up the skin condition. However, when the Benadryl prescription was exhausted the skin condition returned. The allergy persisted after Plaintiff was transferred to Graham Correctional Center-Benadryl was again prescribed. Plaintiff now asserts that the jail staff treated him "more like a nuisance then [sic] a patient." He describes feeling "humiliated and embarrassed." He also takes issue with the "lack of proper administration of medical services and general disorganization of nursing services."
Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages and the termination of the fine and court costs imposed as part of his criminal sentence. Attached to the complaint, and noted within the narrative, are news articles regarding three other detainees settling a conditions of confinement suit against St. Clair County relative to the conditions of the jail, and Sheriff Watson's comments lamenting that the overcrowding and conditions of confinement will persist if a new jail is not built.
Based on the allegations in the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into the following 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 ...