Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Minerly v. Nalley

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 10, 2016

ROBERT MINERLY, #K63470, Plaintiff
v.
NICK NALLEY, CATHERINE HUTCHISON, CINDY MILLER, ROBERT GADDIS, ZACKARY ROECKEMAN, and JASON GARNETT, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Robert Minerly, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Big Muddy River Correctional Center (“Big Muddy”), brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against six officials at Big Muddy. According to the complaint, these officials allegedly conspired to retaliate against Plaintiff for filing a grievance in March 2015 to complain about the prison’s “orange crush” tactical team by terminating his employment in the prison’s law library, among other things (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9). In connection with these events, Plaintiff sues the following defendants for monetary damages and/or injunctive relief: Jason Garnett (current warden), Zackary Roeckeman (former warden), Nick Nalley (internal affairs officer), Catherine Hutchison (correctional counselor), Robert Gaddis (correctional counselor), and Cindy Miller (correctional counselor).

         The complaint is now subject to review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Under Section 1915A, the Court is required to promptly screen prisoner complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court is required to 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. The complaint survives preliminary review under this standard.

         The Complaint

         On March 29, 2015, Plaintiff filed a grievance to complain about the “orange crush” tactical team at Big Muddy (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9). The grievance was denied as untimely (id. at 7). Plaintiff sent an appeal to the former director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (id.).

         While the appeal was pending in late May, Officer Nalley called Plaintiff’s coworker, Charles Dent, into his office to question Inmate Dent about the grievance. Officer Nalley is an internal affairs officer, as well as a member of the prison’s “orange crush” tactical team. At the end of their conversation, Officer Nalley instructed Inmate Dent to inform the rest of the prison’s law clerks “that they better stop with the Orange Crush stuff” (id. at 8).

         On June 2, 2015, Plaintiff lost his job as a prison law clerk, despite the fact that he had held the position since December 2014. The same week, Officer Nalley also denied Plaintiff’s request to work as a literacy tutor after citing “I.A. Concerns” (id.). Plaintiff’s subsequent requests for enrollment in college classes and a therapeutic program were denied.

         On June 22, 2015, Elijah Manuel, an inmate who Plaintiff assisted while working as a law clerk, was taken to segregation for allegedly committing “some kind of forgery” (id.). Plaintiff grew concerned about the situation and wrote a letter to Uptown People’s Law Center. Five days later, Plaintiff was “green-passed” over to Officer Nalley’s office. The officer accused him of “playing God behind the typewriter at the law library” (id. at 9). He badgered Plaintiff about writing the grievance to complain about the prison’s tactical team. He also accused Plaintiff of assisting Inmate Manuel. The officer became irate when discussing “some 3 page report” that referred to him “a number of times” (id. at 8). In the process, Officer Nalley told Plaintiff that he would never work again because of his role in preparing a letter that inmates used to communicate with a Chicago-based civil rights law firm (id. at 9).

         Plaintiff claims that Officer Nalley retaliated against him for filing the grievance to complain about the prison’s “orange crush” tactical team by terminating his employment as a clerk in the prison’s law library and denying his access to work opportunities, college classes, and therapeutic programs at Big Muddy (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9). He also asserts that Warden Roeckeman, Counselor Hutchison, Counselor Gaddis, and Counselor Miller conspired with Officer Nalley to “feign an investigation” into the grievance (id. at 7). Plaintiff seeks monetary relief against them, including lost wages of $360.00 (id. at 10). He also seeks reinstatement of his employment in the prison’s law library and placement in the prison’s therapeutic program. In connection with his request for injunctive relief, Plaintiff names Warden Garnett, the prison’s current warden, in his official capacity (id.).

         Merits Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

         To facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(e) and 10(b), the Court deems it appropriate to organize the claims in Plaintiff’s pro se complaint into the following enumerated 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 regarding their merit.

Count 1:Defendant Nalley retaliated against Plaintiff for filing a grievance to complain about the “orange crush” tactical team by terminating his employment in the prison’s law library in June 2015 and denying his access to other work opportunities, college classes, and therapeutic programs at Big Muddy (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9).
Count 2:Defendants Roeckeman, Gaddis, Miller, and Hutchison entered into a conspiracy with Defendant Nalley to violate his constitutional rights by “feign[ing] an investigation” into his grievance (Doc. 1, p. 7).

         As discussed in more detail below, Count 1 shall receive further review against Defendant Nalley, and this claim shall be dismissed without prejudice against the remaining defendants. Count 2 shall be dismissed without prejudice against all of the defendants for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Warden Garnett shall remain named as a defendant, in his official capacity only, for the sole purpose of carrying out any injunctive relief that is ordered. See Gonzalez v. Feinerman, 663 F.3d 311, 315 (7th Cir. 2011) (when injunctive relief is sought, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.