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Parish v. Clay County Sheriff

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 1, 2016

CECIL PARISH, #S13251, Plaintiff,
v.
CLAY COUNTY SHERIFF and UNKNOWN PARTIES, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, 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 three officials at Clay County Jail (“Jail”) who allegedly violated his constitutional rights in July 2015 (see Doc. 1). Plaintiff claims that the sheriff, an unknown correctional officer (“John Doe 1”), and an unknown medical provider (“John Doe 2”) subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement when they refused to provide him with clothing and forced him to sleep on the concrete floor in his Jail cell for two-and-a-half days (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 8-18). He suffered an infection and was treated at a hospital emergency room. He now sues all three defendants for monetary damages (id. at 6).

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

         This case is before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         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). 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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of action or conclusory legal statements.” Id. At the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009). The complaint is subject to dismissal under this standard.

         The Complaint

         According to the complaint and attached exhibits, Plaintiff was arrested in July 2015, while running naked through the woods in Clay County, Illinois (Doc. 1, p. 11). He was taken into custody by the Clay County Sheriff's Department (id. at 5). For two-and-a-half days, Plaintiff was denied clothing and forced to sleep on the concrete floor in his cell.

         During this same time period, Plaintiff developed a penile lesion, which he attributes to these living conditions. The head of his penis swelled to five times its normal size. A “large whitehead” formed and then burst (id.). He suffered intense pain and sensitivity. Plaintiff rated the pain as a “7” or “8” on a scale of “10, ” with “10” being the most intense pain (id. at 12-14).

         On July 15, 2015, he was taken to Clay County Hospital's emergency room for treatment. There, he was diagnosed with a glans penis papule one centimeter in size. Plaintiff was tested for four sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, syphilis, chancroid, and lymphogranuloma venereum. He tested positive for the latter two STDs, both of which are characterized by genital, anal, or perianal ulcers.[1] Plaintiff was prescribed medication to treat both conditions and complains of no ongoing symptoms.

         He now sues the sheriff, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2 for subjecting him to constitutionally objectionable conditions of confinement at the Jail that allegedly resulted in the development of a painful penile lesion. Plaintiff seeks monetary relief (id. at 6).

         Discussion

         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 finds it appropriate to organize the claims in Plaintiff's pro se complaint into the following enumerated counts:

Count 1: Defendants subjected Plaintiff to unconstitutional conditions of confinement at the Jail, when they refused to provide him with clothing and forced him to sleep on a concrete floor for two-and-a-half days in July 2015.
Count 2: Defendants denied Plaintiff adequate medical care for his glans penis papule in ...

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