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Hughes v. Moore

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 25, 2015

DEXTER HUGHES, # M-11136, Plaintiff,


MICHAEL J. REAGAN, Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center ("Lawrence"), where he is serving a 19-year sentence. He filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on December 24, 2014.

On January 8, 2015 (Doc. 8), this Court denied Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order ("TRO"). That motion sought relief against individuals who were not included as Defendants when Plaintiff filed this action, and included allegations that were not set forth in the complaint. Plaintiff was instructed that if he wished to submit an amended complaint to include his new claims and additional Defendants, he should do so no later than February 12, 2015. Plaintiff has not filed an amended pleading. Therefore, his original complaint (Doc. 1) is now ripe for review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.[1]

According to the complaint, on December 5, 2014, officers came to Plaintiff's cell to conduct their weekly shakedown. Plaintiff was told to take his television off the bed. He complained to Defendant Dellinger about the T.V. being confiscated. Defendant Dellinger then placed Plaintiff in handcuffs and took him away.

In the corridor, Defendant Ginder grabbed Plaintiff by the hair and slammed him to the concrete floor face-first, giving him a severe headache (Doc. 1, p. 6; Doc. 1-1, p. 2). Plaintiff was then yanked back up, and Defendant Ginder tightened his handcuffs to the point of cutting off the circulation to Plaintiff's hands. These two Defendants took Plaintiff to segregation, making him walk outside in the cold rain with no shirt, coat, or shoes. When Plaintiff asked for clothing and shoes, the Defendants slammed him face-first down on the wet pavement. Plaintiff states that he never resisted or presented any threat to the officers, as his hands were cuffed behind his back the entire time.

Upon his arrival in segregation, Plaintiff found that his wrists were bleeding from having been yanked and pulled while in the tight handcuffs. He told Defendant Lt. Dallas what had been done to him. Defendant Dallas summoned Defendants Jennings (Major) and Moore (Assistant Warden), and Plaintiff told them about the incident. They in turn had Plaintiff talk to Defendant Freeman of Internal Affairs. Defendant Freeman took pictures of Plaintiff's injuries (Doc. 1-1, p. 3). He told Plaintiff that he had reviewed the video recordings of the incident, and he knew Defendants Ginder and Dellinger were wrong for assaulting Plaintiff (Doc. 1, p. 6).

Plaintiff asked segregation officer Defendant Erwin to get a nurse to examine his injuries, but this request was refused. He also includes Defendants Moore, Ginder, Dellinger, Dallas, Freeman, and Jennings in his claim for denial of access to medical care (Doc. 1, p. 5).

Also on December 5, 2014, Plaintiff wrote three grievances over the incident and gave them to Defendant Ray (segregation counselor) (Doc. 1-1, pp. 6-9). Defendant Ray read over the grievances, but then handed them back, telling Plaintiff that the grievances would not go anywhere (Doc. 1, pp. 4, 7; Doc. 1-1, p. 3).

Finally, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Jennings, Moore, and Freeman all acknowledged they were aware of "a continuing pattern of violent assaults by staff on inmates, " yet they have failed to take any action to stop the practice (Doc. 1, p. 7). He also includes Defendant Dallas among the group of all wardens, lieutenants, and majors at Lawrence who are aware of the repeated assaults by guards on inmates, yet have done nothing to protect their safety (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6).

Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Merits Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

Under § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt threshold review of the complaint, and to dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from an immune defendant.

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into the following counts, which correspond to Plaintiff's description of his claims (Doc. 1, p. 5). 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: Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Defendants Dellinger and Ginder, for assaulting ...

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