United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
currently incarcerated at Robinson Correctional Center
("Robinson"), has brought this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His
claims arose while he was incarcerated at Pinckneyville
Correctional Center ("Pinckneyville"). He seeks
compensation for having been wrongfully confined in
disciplinary segregation on a misconduct charge that has
since been expunged. The Complaint is now before the Court
for a preliminary review 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.
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).
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
plaintiffs 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 some of Plaintiffs
claims survive threshold review under § 1915 A.
to Plaintiff, he was on the yard at
Pinckneyville when a fight began (Doc. 1, p. 5). Later
on, after Plaintiff had returned to his cell, he was
"picked up" by Internal Affairs and charged with
disciplinary infractions connected to the fight. Despite the
lack of evidence connecting Plaintiff to the incident, he was
found guilty by the disciplinary committee and punished with
one year in segregation as well as the revocation of one year
of good conduct credits. The Director later reduced the loss
of good time credits to three months (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 9).
spent the entire year in segregation as originally ordered,
but pursued his grievance over the disciplinary action.
Ultimately, on August 1, 2014, the ticket was expunged by the
Administrative Review Board, which found the charges to be
unsubstantiated (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 11). Plaintiffs lost good
conduct credits were fully restored (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 12).
However, Plaintiff claims that due to the "unjust
atrocities" he suffered during his segregation time, he
is under a doctor's care for "mental
imbalances" (Doc. 1, p. 5). He requests unspecified
monetary compensation (Doc. 1, p. 6).
to the Complaint, Defendant Furlow was the officer who wrote
Plaintiffs disciplinary ticket and Defendant Spiller signed
off on the ticket charging Plaintiff with the offenses (Doc.
1, pp. 2, 8). Defendant Godines is sued because he was the
Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections at the
time (Doc. 1, p. 1).
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: Fourteenth Amendment claim against
Defendants Godines, Furlow, and Spiller, for depriving
Plaintiff of a liberty interest without due process by
confining him in punitive segregation for one year based ...