United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge
Cory Paige, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Menard
Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings this
pro se action for alleged violations of his
constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. 1).
In an initial threshold screening order, this Court severed a
number of Paige's claims into a separate Complaint. The
claims now before the Court for screening are Counts 1
through 8 of that initial Order.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
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).
Paige alleges that from August 14, 2015 through September 5,
2015, he was housed in a cell at Menard that lacked hot or
cold running water (Doc. 1 at 8-9). He notified Defendants
Karen and Howell of the issue, but was not relocated to a
functional cell (Id. at 9). Instead, they told him
he would have to await maintenance (Id.). Paige
alleges that he was housed in the cell during very hot
weather and had no ability to wash himself or to use water to
regulate his body temperature (Id.). Paige also
lodged at least 3 written grievances with John Doe 3
(lieutenant) about the conditions of the cell, to which he
received no response (Id. at 9-10; Doc. 1-1, 2-4).
addition to the written grievances to John Doe 3
(lieutenant), Paige personally spoke to John Doe 3 on
multiple occasions while en route to chow (Doc. 1 at 10).
John Doe 3 reiterated that plumbing issues were within the
purview of maintenance (Id.). John Doe 3 denied
requests for bottled water or daily showers-solutions Paige
proposed while awaiting maintenance (Id.). Paige
also attempted written and verbal correspondence with John
Doe 4 (major) in an effort to address the water issue
(Id. at 10-11; Doc 1-1 at 5-8). John Doe 4 also
responded that water issues were a problem reserved for
maintenance (Doc. 1 at 11).
decided to take his issue to Warden Butler via written
grievances (Id.; Doc. 1-1 at 9-11). Butler never
responded (Id.). Paige then lodged written
grievances with John Doe 1 (medical director), Dr. Trost and
health care administrator Gail Walls (Doc. 1 at 12; Doc. 1-1
at 12-17). In the letters, Paige stated his belief that IDOC
and Wexford were responsible for providing him with sanitary
living conditions, something that was not being done in his
condemned cell (Doc. 1 at 12; Doc. 1-1 at 12-19).
generally alleges that the Defendants' failure to respond
to his grievances constituted deliberate indifference
because, as a result of the non-response, he was continually
subject to inhumane living conditions (Doc. 1 at 13).
August 31, 2015, Paige resorted to submitting a grievance to
his counselor (Mathis) via the traditional institutional
grievance form (Id. at 13-15; Doc. 1-1 at 21-22).
Responses to the grievance suggest that he was relocated by
September 15, 2015 and that the institution concluded that a
faster response by maintenance either was not required or was
infeasible (Doc. 1 at 13-15; Doc. 1-1 at 20-22). Paige
alleges that counselor Mathis's negative attitude tainted
Defendant Pierce's response and lead her to pass over his
grievances without taking action (Id. at 15).
claims that once he was finally moved out of his condemned
cell (West cell house 1005), he found himself in another cell
with no water or cable plug (East cell house 823) (Doc. 15).
He believes the move was retaliatory (Id.). He aired
the issues about the cell to the gallery officer, a sergeant
and others, but was again told he would have to await
maintenance (Id.). The condemned cell prolonged
Paige's inability to maintain appropriate personal
hygiene (Id. at 16). Paige raised his issues with
cell 823 to Defendant Smolak via written grievance
(Id. at 17; Doc. 1-1 at 23-24).
hygiene issues also interfered with his ability to practice
his religion because he was unable to wash himself daily
before saying his call to prayer-as is typically required by
the Muslim faith (Doc. 1 at 17). Paige alerted Defendants
Karen, Howell, Mathis and Lt. Smolak to this problem and was
told he should change his religion (Id. at 17-18).
also requested and was denied cleaning supplies he felt he
needed to keep his cell sanitary (Id. at 18-19).
Consequently, he was forced to utilize soap he bought at
commissary and water from the toilet to wash himself or his
cell (Id. at 19). Paige alleges that during this
timeframe, several inmates and staff contracted MRSA-giving
rise to the risk of contagion (Id. at 19-20). Paige
himself contracted a rash and was called out for sick call
(Id. at 20).
he was in the waiting area, Defendant Stephanie approached
him and publicly stated “are you the one with the
rash” in violation of inmate privacy (Id.).
Paige protested such treatment which annoyed Stephanie and
led to poor medical care (Id. at 20-21). Stephanie
allegedly told Paige he had a skin irritation without
examining him (Id. at 20-22). Paige alleges this was
due in part to her attitude and in part due to her lack of
adequate training or expertise (Id.). Records Paige
appended to his Complaint suggest that he was prescribed
antibiotics (Doc. 1-1 at 25-28).
generally alleges that the IDOC has a burden to provide
inmates with the basic necessities of life (Id. at
23). He claims that IDOC and John Doe 1 (director) have known
for some time that Menard is an insufficient facility, and
yet they continually have failed take action (Id. at
24). Previous lawsuits as well as reports by organizations
like the John Howard Association serve as evidence of the
inadequacy of Menard (Id. at 24; Doc. 1-1 at 31-58).
on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to divide
the pro se Complaint into the following enumerated
claims. 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 regarding their merit.
Count 1:Eighth Amendment conditions of
confinement claim against Defendants Karen and Howell for
keeping Paige in a cell without running water from August 14,
2015, through September 5, 2015;
Count 2:Eighth Amendment conditions of
confinement claim against John Does 3 and 4 for ignoring
Paige's grievances about his lack of water;
Count 3:Eighth Amendment conditions of
confinement claim against Warden Butler for failing to
address his grievances regarding the lack of running water;
Count 4:Eighth Amendment conditions of
confinement claim against Defendants Mathis and Pierce for
their responses to Paige's grievances about his ...