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Moore v. Ziegler

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 28, 2016

SHUNG MOORE, Plaintiff,


          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Shung Moore, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests declarative relief, along with compensatory and punitive damages.

         The case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

         (a) Screening - The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

         (b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-

         (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

         (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         An 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 any reasonable person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). 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. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         On July 27, 2014, Ziegler handcuffed Plaintiff to escort him to the medical unit to receive insulin. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff told Ziegler the handcuffs were on too tight; Ziegler tested them, found them fine, and refused to loosen them. Id. Plaintiff called Ziegler a jackass when they reached medical. Id. When it came time to escort Plaintiff back to his cell, Ziegler then radioed for assistance, and Newcomb came to assist Ziegler. Id. When they reached Plaintiff's cell, Ziegler shoved Plaintiff into the cell, and then pulled the lead cuff-a short chain extending from a pair of handcuffs used to maintain control of a prisoner-through the chuck hole. (Doc. 1, p. 12). Plaintiff was still handcuffed at this time. Id. Ziegler then began to pull and release the lead cuff in a manner that exerted an extreme downward pressure on Plaintiff's wrists, arms, and shoulders, causing him intense pain. Id. Ziegler also un-cuffed Plaintiff abruptly, causing him to fall. Id. Ziegler threatened Plaintiff and left. Id. Newcomb failed to intervene at any time during this sequence of events. Id.

         Plaintiff submitted a sick call slip on July 26, 2014, [1] requesting treatment for the injuries he received as a result of the assault. Id. The next day, July 27, 2014, Plaintiff filed an emergency grievance to Butler describing the assault. Id. Plaintiff also sent a letter to internal affairs (“IA”) regarding the assault and requesting that they preserve video tape evidence. (Doc. 1, p. 13). Spiller and Phelps interviewed Plaintiff regarding the alleged assault on July 29, 2014. Id. Plaintiff showed them his swollen, lacerated, and bleeding wrists. Id. He requested that Spiller and Phelps take pictures of his injuries, but they refused. Id.

         On July 30, 2014, Loucks came to Plaintiff's cell to escort him to the health care unit for insulin. Id. Loucks waited for Harris to arrive; Harris then cuffed Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Harris cuffed Plaintiff to the “crushing point, ” causing him to experience intense throbbing pain in his wrists. Id. Harris then thanked Loucks for allowing him to cuff Plaintiff. Id. Loucks escorted Plaintiff past Ziegler, who mocked Plaintiff. Id.

         Plaintiff saw Watkins and asked to speak to him. Id. Plaintiff told Watkins that Loucks, Harris, and Ziegler had worked together to put extremely tight handcuffs on him and then taunted him about them. (Doc. 1, p. 14). Plaintiff showed Watkins the handcuffs. Id. Watkins asked Plaintiff some questions, but did not address Plaintiff's handcuffs. Id. Plaintiff asked Loucks to loosen his handcuffs after he was placed in the medical bullpen, and two minutes later, Loucks did so. Id. Plaintiff submitted a grievance on this issue on August 3, 2014, which his counselor returned to him as “unable to resolve.” (Doc. 1, p. 15) Watkins then came to talk to Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 13). Watkins asked Plaintiff whether he had threatened to kill officers. Id. Plaintiff denied it. Id.

         On July 30, 2014, Butler denied that Plaintiff's grievance was an emergency; the next day Plaintiff submitted the grievance to his counselor. Id. Plaintiff also submitted another medical request slip regarding his wrist injuries on July 31, 2014. (Doc. 1, p. 15). On August 3, 2014, Plaintiff was once again escorted to the health care unit for insulin. Id. On that day, Plaintiff suffered from hypoglycemia and was feeling lethargic and incoherent. Id. Harris appeared escorting another inmate and said, “You gonna keep fucking staring at me?” Id. Harris then told Plaintiff to turn around and face the wall, which Plaintiff did. Id. Plaintiff felt humiliated by this incident. Id.

         On August 11, 2014, Dr. Trost and Nurse Smith examined Plaintiff's injuries. (Doc. 1, p. 16). Plaintiff told Trost that he had been denied this medical treatment for two weeks and he believed that Lang was responsible for the failure to treat him because he had written a grievance about her. Id. Plaintiff also believes that Lang conspired with Ziegler and Newcomb. Id. Plaintiff told Trost that his injuries had healed or did not hurt as much. Id. Trost ordered an x-ray, which came back negative. (Doc. 1, pp. 16-17).

         On August 12, Monje interviewed Plaintiff regarding the alleged assault by Ziegler and Newcomb. Id. Monje looked at Plaintiff's wrists. Id. He also told him that a review of the video surveillance would be conducted. Id. Later, C/O Berry told Plaintiff that he had actually watched video footage of the assault. (Doc. 1, p. 18).

         On August 20, 2014, Harris and Weaver came to Plaintiff's cell and ordered Plaintiff to cuff up so that they could take his cellmate to the shower. (Doc. 1, p. 17). Harris placed handcuffs on Plaintiff to the “crushing point.” Id. Harris then mocked Plaintiff for filing grievances. Id. He then un-cuffed Plaintiff “roughly.” Id. On August 27, 2014, Harris scowled at Plaintiff. Id.

         On December 2, 2014, Plaintiff sent an appeal of his grievance complaining that Ziegler and Newcomb assaulted him to the ARB. (Doc. 1, p. 19). On December 9, 2014, he asked Newcomb for another dietary tray, and Newcomb replied that Plaintiff had filed grievances against him. Id. Plaintiff submitted an affidavit form Michael Reyes stating that Newcomb gave Plaintiff another tray. (Doc. 1-2, p. 14).


         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the prose action into ten counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, ...

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