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Legore v. Counselor Allsup

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 12, 2017

NATHANIEL R. LEGORE, # M24396, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNSELOR ALLSUP, SGT KROUSY, COUNSELOR COWAN, DEBBIE KNAUER, OFFICER DEATHROW, and UNKNOWN PARTY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Nathaniel LeGore, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the deprivation of his constitutional rights at Menard. Plaintiff claims he is disabled and is suffering as a result of his medical needs not being appropriately addressed at Menard in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-31). 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 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).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court concludes that the Complaint survives preliminary review.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff is a disabled veteran with a degenerative spinal disease, left shoulder instability, chronic left wrist strain, neck strain, and depressive disorder. (Doc. 1, p. 19). At times, his back “goes out, ” leaving him bedridden for weeks at a time. (Doc. 1, pp. 10-12, 22). According to the Complaint, Plaintiff has difficulty getting into the top bunk, particularly because there is no stepstool or ladder, and his efforts to do so cause stress on his shoulders and back. (Doc. 1, p. 22). Plaintiff possesses a lower bunk permit for his disability. (Doc. 1, p. 7). However, he has not been assigned a lower bunk in conformity with the permit, despite repeated protests to and/or grievances filed with Deathrow, Krousy, Allsup, Cowan, Knauer, and Menard's Medical Director. Id. Plaintiff was instead assigned an upper bunk at Menard on February 1, 2016. Id.

         At times, when his back “goes out, ” Plaintiff alleges that “food is not brought to [him].” (Doc. 1, p. 22). He is forced to eat whatever food may be in his “property box.” Id. In addition, Plaintiff has been denied appropriate pain medication and has instead only been provided with ibuprofen, which is ineffective. Id. Plaintiff has also filed at least one grievance alleging some officers do not double cuff him despite his double cuff permit. Id.

         Plaintiff now sues Deathrow (Peace Officer), Krousy (Sergeant), Allsup (Counselor), Cowan (Counselor Supervisor), Knauer (Administrative Review Board), and Menard's Medical Director for violating his constitutional rights. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief in the form of a court order requiring his transfer to a cell where he can sit up on his bunk and requiring prison staff to adhere to his low-bunk and double cuff permits. (Doc. 1, p. 9).

         Discussion

         The Court finds it convenient to divide the Complaint into the following enumerated counts. The organization of these counts should not be construed as an opinion regarding their merits. 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.

Count 1:Defendants exhibited deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they refused to honor his low bunk permit, assigned him to a top bunk without a ladder or steps beginning February 1, 2016, failed to provide him with appropriate pain medications, and refused to honor his double cuff permit.
Count 2:Defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., and/or Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504, 29 U.S.C. §§ 794-794e, by failing to accommodate Plaintiff's disability-related needs by assigning him to a top bunk without a ladder or steps despite his disability and low bunk permit, refusing to ...

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