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Tolentino v. Butler

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 18, 2015

EDWIN E. TOLENTINO, # K-84528, Plaintiff,
v.
KIMBERLY BUTLER, RICK HARRINGTON, JEANETT C. HECHT, M. BAKER, K. REICHERT, and UNKNOWN PARTY, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STACI M. YANDLE, District Judge.

Plaintiff, currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"), has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a 48-year sentence for attempted murder as well as two 20-year sentences and a seven-year sentence for other offenses. He claims that several officers used excessive force against him, and he was then denied medical care for his injuries.

The incident which gave rise to this claim dates back to March 14, 2013. On that day, Plaintiff was handcuffed and escorted from his cell to the chapel by two unnamed "tact officers" (Doc. 1, p. 5). One of them placed his hand on the back of Plaintiff's head and jerked it downward, causing severe pain. The two officers then slammed Plaintiff on top of a food crate, and punched him in his legs and body, causing him to lose his breath.

After this assault, Defendant Officer Baker took Plaintiff to segregation. Plaintiff remarked to him, "I hate those officers for what they did to me." Id. When Defendant Baker placed Plaintiff in the cell, he kicked Plaintiff in the thigh, causing him to drop to one knee. Defendant Baker then grabbed Plaintiff by the hair and said, "Well, we hate you too[, ] retard" (Doc. 1, p. 5). Finally, Defendant Baker kicked Plaintiff on the back, causing severe pain and damaging his spinal cord.

Plaintiff told Defendant Reichert that he needed medical attention because of the assaults, but apparently nothing was done. Plaintiff also claims that he advised all the other named parties about the officers' assaults on him.

Plaintiff was transferred from Menard to Lawrence Correctional Center on the same day as these incidents (Doc. 1, pp. 7, 9). Upon his arrival at Lawrence, he again asked for medical care, but none was provided.

Over a year later, on April 23, 2014, Plaintiff was transferred back to Menard. Defendants Butler (current Menard Warden), Hecht (Intel Unit), and Reichert (Internal Affairs), all knew about the assaults committed by Defendant Baker and the Unknown Officers. He asserts that all of the Defendants violated his constitutional rights.

As relief, Plaintiff requests a transfer away from Menard because Defendant Baker is "still harassing" him (Doc. 1, p. 6). Further, he seeks a court order for an MRI to be performed on his back/spinal cord. Finally, he wants the Defendants to be fired or suspended without pay. He does not include a request for money 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. 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 Defendant Baker and the Unknown (John Doe) Tactical Officers, for jerking, slamming, punching, kicking, and grabbing Plaintiff on March 14, 2013;
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to medical needs against Defendant Reichert, Defendant Baker, and the Unknown (John Doe) Tactical Officers, for failing to obtain medical care for Plaintiff following the assault described in Count 1.

Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted against Defendants Butler, Harrington, and Hecht. Because Plaintiff has requested injunctive relief, Defendant Butler shall remain in the action in her official capacity only in connection with that request. All individual-capacity claims against Defendant Butler ...


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