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Manskey v. Wiggs

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 11, 2017

JASON MANSKEY, #B-37012, Plaintiff,
v.
C/O WIGGS, C/O JONES, and C/O STALLING, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Jason Manskey, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Dixon Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). (Doc. 1). According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was repeatedly subjected to the unauthorized use of force by three correctional officers (C/O Wiggs, C/O Jones, and C/O Stalling) at Shawnee in 2014. (Doc. 1, p. 5). The same officers failed to ensure that Plaintiff received medical treatment for his resulting injuries. Id. Plaintiff claims that these officers violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment and his right to due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. He seeks monetary damages. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint (Doc. 1) 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 in the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and supporting exhibits, the Court deems it appropriate to dismiss certain portions of this action. The Complaint otherwise survives screening under § 1915A.

         The Complaint

         During his incarceration at Shawnee in 2014, Plaintiff claims that he was repeatedly beaten by three prison guards, i.e., C/O Wiggs, C/O Jones, and C/O Stalling. (Doc. 1, p. 5). The first incident occurred on November 14, 2014, when Plaintiff was taken from his cell to segregation processing. Id. Once there, Sergeant Hobbs and C/O Wiggs threw him to the ground and stepped on his forehead. Id. C/O Jones then pinned Plaintiff down by his arms, while Sergeant Hobbs punched him in the chest. Id. The officers threatened Plaintiff with far worse consequences, if he told anyone what occurred. Id. C/O Kauffman, a control room officer, allegedly witnessed the incident. Id.

         Plaintiff told Mrs. Destman in mental health what happened. (Doc. 1, p. 5). She asked Plaintiff if he wanted to report his claim of staff misconduct to internal affairs. Id. Plaintiff declined to do so because he feared a second assault. Id. He declined to file a grievance for the same reason. Id.

         On December 26, 2014, Plaintiff returned to segregation for reasons that are not disclosed in the Complaint. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Around 9:00 p.m., Sergeant Hicks, C/O Wiggs, C/O Bone, and Nurse Williams entered his cell and threatened to beat him. Id. They tried to provoke Plaintiff's cellmate to do the same. Id. Neither the prison guards nor the cellmate made physical contact with Plaintiff during this encounter. Id.

         On December 28, 2014, Plaintiff was taken from his cell around 9:45 p.m. (Doc. 1, p. 5). An officer, who was wearing no name tag but was later identified as C/O Stalling, entered Plaintiff's cell and dragged him to segregation processing. Id. There, Plaintiff was beaten in the dark by C/O Wiggs, C/O Jones, C/O Stalling, and possibly a fourth officer. Id. For several minutes, the officers “pummeled” Plaintiff. Id. When Plaintiff's body began convulsing, one of the officers then said that Plaintiff had “had enough, ” and he was dragged back to his cell and thrown on the floor. Id.

         On January 10, 2015, Plaintiff reported the second incident to mental health and filed a grievance to complain about it. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He was interviewed and photographed by internal affairs officers and signed a report prepared by them, but Plaintiff was never offered medical treatment for ...


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