United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief District Judge United States District
Denzel Jordan, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”), brings this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He
challenges the decision of several officials in the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) to serve
inmates a soy-based diet while denying them medical care for
the adverse side effects they suffer (Doc. 1, p. 5). In
connection with these claims, Plaintiff names John Baldwin
(IDOC director), Jacqueline Lashbrook (Pinckneyville warden),
Betsy Spiller (assistant warden of operations), LaRue Love
(assistant warden of programs), and Suzann Bailey (food
service administrator) for conspiring to violate his rights
under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments (id. at
5). Plaintiff seeks monetary relief against them
(id. at 6).
Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
case is now 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).
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 does not survive preliminary
review under this standard and shall therefore be dismissed.
allegations in the complaint are set forth in a single
paragraph (Doc. 1, p. 5). There, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants Baldwin, Lashbrook, Spiller, Love, and Bailey
conspired with Doctor Vipen Shah to violate Plaintiff's
rights by serving him a soy-based diet and “almost
never” serving him fresh fruit (id.).
Plaintiff has consumed the diet since November 19, 2015, and
he claims that Doctor Shah has refused to provide inmates
with “adequate medical care” for their
“soy-related/complaints” since that time
(id.). Instead, the defendants have “poket[ed]
(sic) the millions of dollars that they save[d]” by
serving this diet (id.).
on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to divide
the pro se complaint into the following enumerated
Count 1:Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for
endangering Plaintiff's health by serving him a soy diet
and denying him adequate access to fresh fruit.
Count 2:Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim
against Doctor Shah for denying Plaintiff adequate medical
care for his soy-related health complaints.
Count 3:Conspiracy claim against Defendants for depriving
Plaintiff of a nutritionally adequate diet in an effort to
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