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Montanez v. Trost

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 22, 2016



          MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. Chief District Judge.

         Plaintiff Carlos Montanez, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests equitable relief and monetary damages. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         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). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable person would find meritless. 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. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se Complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff began this case by filing a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, in lieu of an actual Complaint, on December 22, 2015. (Doc. 1). The Court ordered him to file a proper Complaint no later than February 5, 2016 and denied the preliminary injunction. (Doc. 4). On January 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present Complaint. (Doc. 5).

         Before the Court could review it, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint on February 4, 2016, one day prior to the Court's original deadline. (Doc. 12). The Court permitted the amendment, but because Plaintiff did not actually submit a proposed amended complaint in accordance with Local Rule 15.1, the Court gave Plaintiff thirty days to submit an amended complaint containing all claims and defendants that Plaintiff wished to pursue. (Doc. 13). On March 3, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Withdraw his request to file an amended Complaint, which the Court denied as Moot, because Plaintiff had not met the conditions for filing an amended complaint in any event. (Doc. 25). Since that time, Plaintiff has filed numerous “declarations, ” documents not contemplated by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         On June 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed another motion for leave to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 33). Like his previous motion, this motion also failed to include a proposed amended complaint. However, the substance of the motion indicates that Plaintiff only wishes to change the spelling of Defendant “Trust” to Defendant “Trost.” That request is GRANTED. (Doc. 33). Despite Plaintiff's multiple “declarations, ” the Court will abide by its earlier Order and review the Complaint filed on January 21, 2016. The Court does not construe any of the declarations to be a proper amended complaint and does not consider them as part of its threshold review.

         Another inmate assaulted Plaintiff on October 7, 2015. (Doc. 5, p. 27). As a result of the assault, Plaintiff suffered head injuries, specifically the bones of his skull around the eyes, forehead, and nose were cracked, and he further suffered from lacerations and a concussion. (Doc. 5, p. 27). A surgeon at Barnes Jewish Hospital told Plaintiff he needed surgery to repair the damage. (Doc. 5, p. 27). However, due to the swelling around Plaintiff's face, the surgery could not be performed immediately. (Doc. 5, p. 27).

         Instead of getting the surgery, Plaintiff was transferred back to Menard on October 9, 2015. (Doc. 5, p. 27). Plaintiff was told by Harrington, Quadt, and Defendant Skidmore that he needed to sign for protective custody on October 13, 2015 because he was being released from health care. (Doc. 5, p. 28). Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Trost never performed an examination or provided him with any pain medication, and deliberately ignored the recommendations of the Barnes Jewish doctors. (Doc. 5, p. 28). Plaintiff asked Ms. Hill to intervene. (Doc. 5, p. 28). She spoke to Skidmore, and reported to Plaintiff that he was not going to get surgery, but would be permitted to stay in the health care unit until his injuries healed. (Doc. 5, p. 28). Plaintiff suffered ...

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