United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, United States District Judge
Antoine Ford, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”), brings this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Menard's warden
(Kimberly Butler) and two members of Menard's Adjustment
Committee (Kent Brookman and Tracey Lee). According to the
Complaint, Plaintiff was denied credit for time he spent in
investigative segregation when he was punished with 30 days
of disciplinary segregation for trafficking and trading.
(Doc. 1, p. 5). As a result, he remained in segregation for a
total of 50 days instead of 30. (Id. at pp. 5, 7).
August 2, 2015, Plaintiff was allegedly placed in
investigative segregation at Stateville Correctional Center.
(Id. at 5). He maintained this status following his
transfer to Menard on August 4, 2015. (Id.).
Plaintiff attended a hearing before Menard's Adjustment
Committee on August 29, 2015. (Id.). The committee
found him guilty of trafficking and trading but dismissed a
charge for impeding an investigation. (Id.). He was
punished with 30 days in disciplinary segregation and
demotion to C-grade status. (Id.).
asked the Adjustment Committee members whether he would
receive credit for the time he had already spent in
segregation. (Id.). Chairman Brookman told Plaintiff
that he would. (Id.). Co-Chair Lee disagreed and
said that Plaintiff's 30-day term of punishment did not
begin to run until he was served with the disciplinary ticket
on August 28, 2015. (Id.).
received credit for his time spent in investigative
segregation, Plaintiff asserts that he would have been
released from segregation on September 2, 2015.
(Id.). Instead, he was released on September 21,
2015. (Id.). He now claims that the Adjustment
Committee's failure to credit him for time spent in
investigative segregation amounted to a deprivation of a
protected liberty interest without due process of law in
violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and a denial
of equal protection of the law in violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment. (Id.) He seeks monetary damages against
the defendants, as well as a prison transfer to avoid any
retaliation that might result from filing this action.
(Id. at 6).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
case is now before the Court for 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).
carefully considering the allegations, the Court finds that
the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted and does not survive screening under § 1915A.
Accordingly, the Complaint shall be dismissed. However,
Plaintiff will be granted leave to re-plead his claims by
filing a First Amended Complaint consistent with the deadline
and instructions set forth in the below disposition.
facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in
this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 8(e) and 10(b), the Court has
organized the claims in Plaintiff's pro se
Complaint into the following enumerated counts:
Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment claim against
the defendants for depriving Plaintiff of a protected liberty
interest without due process of law by failing to credit him
for time he spent in investigative segregation when executing
a 30-day term of disciplinary segregation in August and
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim against the
defendants for subjecting Plaintiff to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement in segregation in August and
Count 3: Fourteenth Amendment equal
protection claim against the defendants for the conduct