United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge.
Rodney Black, a pretrial detainee at the Saline County Jail
in Illinois, brings this pro se action for alleged
violations of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (Doc. 15). Black's allegations relate to his
10-hour placement in a holding cell without adequate
resources and his placement in segregation without due
process. In connection with his claims, Black names defendant
Brian Bennett, a captain at the Saline County Jail. This case
is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
§ 1915A, the Court is required 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).
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). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir.
2000). 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 Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that Black fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, and thus, his
Complaint is dismissed in its entirety.
alleges that on September 26, 2015, defendant Bennett placed
him in a “drunk tank” holding cell wearing only
his boxers (Doc. 15 at 5). Black alleges that he was forced
to remain in the cell without a bathroom, hygiene items,
personal items, or legal materials (Id.). He also
claims that he was emotionally traumatized and he was denied
medical care (Id.). He indicates that there was a
hole in the floor for a bathroom, but that for some reason he
was forced to urinate on himself (Id.).
from the “drunk tank” incident, Black alleges
that Bennett placed him in solitary confinement from April to
September 15th without due process such as a
charge, a hearing, or an out date (Id.). In
connection with is claims, Black seeks monetary compensation
(Id. at 6).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
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. Any other claim that is mentioned in the
complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice.
Count 1: Conditions of confinement claim for
being placed in a holding tank cell for 10 hours without
clothing, hygiene materials, or legal materials;
Count 2: Conditions of confinement claim for
being deprived of psychiatric care while in the holding tank
for 10 hours; and,
Count 3: Due process deprivation for
placement in solitary confinement from April through
September with no charges, hearing, or end date.
initial matter, Black is a pretrial detainee, so he is not
yet eligible to bring claims under the Eighth Amendment.
However, the Seventh Circuit has found that claims by
pretrial detainees may be assessed under the Fourteenth
Amendment, and that it is “convenient and entirely
appropriate to apply the same standard to claims arising
under the Fourteenth Amendment (detainees) and the Eighth
Amendment (convicted prisoners) without
differentiation.” See Board v. Farnham, 394
F.3d 469, 478 (7th Cir. 2005) (internal citation ...