United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge United States District Court.
matter is before the Court to review Plaintiff’s First
Amended Complaint (Doc. 17), filed on May 16, 2016, at the
direction of the Court. Plaintiff also filed several
documents as exhibits to the complaint (Doc. 19). Since this
action was filed, Plaintiff was transferred from Vandalia
Correctional Center (“Vandalia”) to Shawnee
Correctional Center (“Shawnee”).
sealed order dated May 2, 2016, the Court dismissed a number
of Plaintiff’s claims, and severed others into four
separate cases (Doc. 16). The dismissed claims included Count 1
against Defendants Foster, Harter, and Pierce, for
mishandling and denying Plaintiff’s grievances; and
Count 2 against Defendant Foster for refusing to place
Plaintiff in a drug treatment program. Both Count 1 and Count
2 were dismissed from this action with prejudice, and
Defendants Harter and Pierce (who were included as parties
only with reference to Counts 1 and 2) were also dismissed
from the action with prejudice. The only claim remaining in
this action is Count 3 against Defendant Foster, which was
described in the original threshold order as follows:
Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Foster for failing
to mitigate the spider infestation in the prison.
was ordered to submit an amended complaint if he wished to
further pursue Count 3 against Defendant Foster. His amended
pleading (Doc. 17) was timely filed.
First Amended Complaint is now subject to preliminary review
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 17)
states that while he was incarcerated at Vandalia, from
August 15 through November 5, 2015, he submitted grievances
(including emergency grievances) to Defendants Foster and
Fatheree, as well as to dismissed Defendants Harter and
Pierce, about the conditions in his cell. Plaintiff had
observed spider webs above his bunk, and in the corners of
the area surrounding his bunk. He saw spiders crawling on the
walls and on his bed. He informed the individual Defendants
both verbally and in writing about these conditions. However,
they failed to implement a plan to exterminate the spider
infestation (Doc. 17, p. 6).
the time he was lodging these complaints, Plaintiff was
bitten by a brown recluse spider. His exhibits show that he
was treated by medical staff for the bite on October 25, 2015
(Doc. 19, pp. 1-2). He was treated for MRSA, and suffered
pain as a result of the bite. He also suffered psychological
harm from the infestation conditions. He seeks monetary
noted above, Count 3 as delineated in the original complaint
was against only Defendant Foster, the Vandalia warden. In
the amended complaint, Plaintiff adds a new Defendant,
Counselor Fatheree. The amended pleading also adds new
allegations against previously dismissed Defendants Counselor
Harter and Counselor Pierce, stating specifically that they
received his complaints about the spider infestation but took
no action to remedy the problem.
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
1915A requires the Court to screen prisoner complaints to
filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion of the
complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for
money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
on the allegations in the First Amended Complaint, the Court
shall recharacterize ...