United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge.
before the Court for consideration is the First Amended
Complaint (“amended complaint”) (Doc. 19) filed
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by Plaintiff Benard
McKinley, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Stateville Correctional Center (“Stateville”). In
the amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that fifteen
officials at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”) were responsible for the decision to
hold him in administrative detention for 1, 096 days or more from
2012-15 (Doc. 19, pp. 9-30). Plaintiff maintains that his
prolonged placement in administrative detention gives rise to
claims against the defendants under the First, Eighth, and
Fourteenth Amendments (id. at 9). In connection with
these claims, he seeks declaratory judgment, monetary
damages, and expungement of his administrative detention
records (id. at 31).
Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
matter is before the Court for preliminary review of the
amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under
Section 1915A, the Court is required to promptly screen
prisoner complaints, including amended complaints, to filter
out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court must dismiss any portion of the amended 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). The amended complaint survives preliminary
review under this standard.
to the allegations in the amended complaint, Plaintiff was
incarcerated at Menard from 2004-16 (Doc. 9, p. 11). The
events giving rise to this action occurred from 2012-15, when
Plaintiff was held in administrative detention continuously
for nearly 1, 100 days (id. at 9-30). He claims that
all fifteen defendants were directly involved in the three
constitutional violations described in his amended complaint
18, 2012, Plaintiff was called to Menard's internal
affairs office for an interview in an ongoing investigation
(id. at 18). When several unidentified internal
affairs officers asked him to answer questions in connection
with the investigation, Plaintiff could not do so. He simply
did not know the answers to their questions. When he
explained this to the officers, they sent him back to his
later on July 25, 2012, Plaintiff was taken from his job
assignment and placed in “investigation confinement
segregation” (id.). On August 2, 2012, he was
interviewed a second time by the internal affairs officers.
When Plaintiff again explained that he lacked the knowledge
necessary to answer their questions, the officers told him
that they could “be his best friend or wors[t]
nightmare” (id.). Plaintiff lost his job on
August 6, 2012.
on August 24, 2012, Plaintiff returned to
“investigation confinement segregation” for
approximately one month (id.). He was interviewed a
third time on October 16, 2012. Once again, he could not
answer the questions posed by the internal affairs officers.
Atchinson made the decision to place Plaintiff in
administrative detention on October 25, 2012. Joshua
Schoenbeck carried out the order by placing him in the North
Two Segregation Unit, where Plaintiff remained until October
27, 2015. During this time, Plaintiff progressed from Phase I
through Phase III of the program and, in doing so, slowly
regained some privileges (id.).
repeatedly accused Warden Atchinson of retaliating against
him by placing him in administrative detention. The warden
admitted that he was responsible for the placement decision
(id. at 19). Plaintiff had no way to challenge it.
He filed grievances, but they were denied. Placement
decisions were deemed to be administrative in nature and
subject to the discretion of Wardens Atchinson, Butler, and
Harrington. Until July 2014, Plaintiff received no hearing to
address his continued placement in administrative detention
approximately ten separate occasions between October 2012 and
October 2015, the wardens decided that Plaintiff's
continued confinement in administrative detention was
appropriate. At four hearings that took place between July
2014 and October 2015, the other twelve defendants, who were
each members of Menard's Administrative Detention Review
Committee (“ADRC”), affirmed these decisions
(id. at 20-21). At the ADRC hearings, Plaintiff
accused the ADRC members of retaliating against him because
he was unable to serve as an informant. The defendants
responded by telling Plaintiff that his continued placement
in administrative detention was clearly warranted
describes each of the ADRC hearings as a “sham”
(id. at 12, 16). He was given no notice regarding
the hearings or the “potential charges against
him” (id.). The defendants withheld the
reasons for his placement in administrative detention at each
hearing. Plaintiff's placement term was repeatedly
extended for reasons unknown to him.
remained in administrative detention for at least 1, 096
days. He characterizes his time spent there as “three
years in extreme isolation” (id. at 15, 26).
He was allegedly treated the “same” as ...