United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MICHAEL A. J. MAYS, Plaintiff,
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, and S. EVANS Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
Michael A. J. Mays, an inmate in Pontiac Correctional Center,
brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for events that
allegedly occurred at Menard Correctional Center. Plaintiff
seeks injunctive relief and damages. This 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
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.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority
under § 1915A. Portions of this Complaint are subject to
December 14, 2015, after Plaintiff finished a visit with his
mother, Defendant Evans began making derogatory comments to
Plaintiff and repeatedly referred to him as “boy,
” which Plaintiff took to have racial connotations.
(Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff took offense and requested
grievance forms. Id. He also attempted to speak to
the lieutenant in Evans' presence, but the sergeant told
Plaintiff to return to his cell. Id. After Plaintiff
was returned to his cell, Evans came to the cell and tried to
goad Plaintiff into fighting him. Id. Evans then
gave Plaintiff a direct order to come to the front of the
cell, at which time Evans physically assaulted Plaintiff by
punching him, slamming his head against the bars and
scratching him. Id.
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to combine the pro se action into 1 count. The
parties and the Court will use this designation in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial
officer of this Court. The following claim survives threshold
Count 1 - Evans used excessive force against Plaintiff in
violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel
and unusual punishment.
intentional use of excessive force by prison guards against
an inmate without penological justification constitutes cruel
and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment
and is actionable under § 1983. See Wilkins v.
Gaddy, 559 U.S. 34 (2010); DeWalt v. Carter,
224 F.3d 607, 619 (7th Cir. 2000). An inmate must show that
an assault occurred, and that “it was carried out
‘maliciously and sadistically' rather than as part
of ‘a good-faith effort to maintain or restore
discipline.'” Wilkins, 559 U.S. at 40
(citing Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6 (1992)).
An inmate seeking damages for the use of excessive force need
not establish serious bodily injury to make a claim, but not
“every malevolent touch by a prison guard gives rise to