United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.
Gregory Conway, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”), brings this pro se
action for alleged violations of his constitutional rights
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff brings
claims against officials at both Western Illinois
Correctional Center (“Western Illinois”) and
Pinckneyville under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth
Amendments. In connection with these claims, Plaintiff names
9 known defendants and 3 unknown “Doe”
defendants, one of which has since been identified. Plaintiff
requests monetary compensation and a declaratory judgment.
(Doc. 1, pp. 30-35). He has since moved for a temporary
restraining order and a preliminary injunction requiring him
“to be kept separate from Defendants Lieutenant Pearce,
Correctional Officer Walla, Correctional Officer Meracle
[and] Correctional Officer Estes” and ordering
Plaintiff's transfer to a different correctional
institution “as soon as possible.” (Doc. 10, p.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
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).
part of screening, the Court is also allowed to sever
unrelated claims against different defendants into separate
lawsuits. See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607
(7th Cir. 2007). The practice of severance is important,
“not only to prevent the sort of morass” produced
by multi-claim, multi-defendant suits “but also to
ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees”
under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Id.
Consistent with George, unrelated claims will be
severed into new cases, given new case numbers, and assessed
separate filing fees.
to the Complaint, Plaintiff was sexually assaulted by a
Western Illinois corrections officer who is not identified as
a defendant in this action. When Plaintiff reported the
assault, the Western Illinois staff “began engaging in
acts of retaliation.” (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). Defendant Qury
allegedly conducted an internal affairs investigation after
Plaintiff was attacked by his cellmate on April 13, 2015.
(Doc. 1, pp. 7-8). During his interview with Plaintiff, Qury
called Plaintiff a troublemaker. Qury made it clear that he
was referring to “all the grievances” Plaintiff
filed to complain about the corrections officer who allegedly
sexually assaulted him and not the fighting for which
Plaintiff was under investigation. Id. Qury asked
Plaintiff: “Do you really want to go down this road?
Keep it up I guarantee your [sic] going to lose,
because once your [sic] labeled a trouble maker its
[sic] all downhill from there.” (Doc. 1, p.
Plaintiff and his cellmate were both punished for fighting,
Plaintiff was given 90 days of segregation and a disciplinary
transfer while his cellmate received only 30 days in
segregation for the same offense. Id. Plaintiff
claims this was an act of retaliation by Qury. (Doc. 1, pp.
8-9). Plaintiff also claims that his medically prescribed
eyeglasses were taken away from him at Western Illinois
“as retaliation, ” and that he was forced to live
in inhumane living conditions for 38 days before being
transferred. (Doc. 1, p. 9).
further alleges that while he was getting on the transfer bus
at Western Illinois on May 21, 2015, Defendant Gooden said to
him: “I hope you don't think your [sic]
getting away do you? Trouble-maker because something is
waiting on you. . . . Grievances are not going to help
you.” (Doc. 1, pp. 9-10). Gooden then told Defendant
Johnson: “This is inmate Conway here[.] [H]e is a
trouble-maker[.] [Y]ou guys show him how we deal with trouble
makers.” (Doc. 1, p. 10). In response, Johnson
allegedly told Plaintiff that “we got a way of dealing
with trouble-makers at Pinckneyville.” (Doc. 1, p. 11).
Plaintiff claims that these statements by Gooden constitute
acts of retaliation. (Doc. 1, p. 10).
his arrival at Pinckneyville, “Plaintiff was written a
disciplinary report for Dangerous Disturbance and Disobeying
a Direct Order by C/O Johnson.” (Doc. 1, p. 11).
Plaintiff claims that both of these charges were false and
were issued in retaliation for Plaintiff's grievances and
sexual assault allegations at Western Illinois. Id.
When Plaintiff received the disciplinary report on May 22,
2015, he sought to include several inmates as witnesses at
his adjustment committee hearing by writing their names and
inmate numbers on the relevant form. (Doc. 1, pp. 12-13).
was called to the adjustment committee for a hearing on May
24, 2015, the hearing officers, Defendants Lieutenant John
Doe and Myers, refused to call the witnesses, claiming it was
too late. (Doc. 1, pp. 13-14). Lieutenant John Doe then
allegedly said: “Their [sic] right you are a
trouble-maker. Guilty as charged now get out of here.”
(Doc. 1, p. 14). Plaintiff received 30 days in segregation
for these allegedly fabricated charges. (Doc. 1, p. 12).
Plaintiff alleges these acts by Lieutenant John Doe and Myers
were retaliatory and violated Plaintiff's due process
rights. (Doc. 1, p. 14).
May 28, 2015 until July 29, 2015, Plaintiff sent 8 request
slips to Defendant Brummel, an eye doctor, for his medically
prescribed eyeglasses. (Doc. 1, pp. 15-16). Brummel ignored
the requests. Plaintiff alleges that Brummel acted with
deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical
needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment when he
disregarded Plaintiff's need for eyeglasses. (Doc. 1, p.
14, 2015, Plaintiff was allegedly attacked, punched in the
head and face and stabbed in the neck, chest, back, arm, and
leg by his mentally unstable cellmate. Prior to the attack,
Plaintiff told Defendant Estes that his cellmate “was
constantly threatening to kill” him. (Doc. 1, pp.
16-17, 23). On the day of the attack, Plaintiff told Estes
that his cellmate had brandished an object that looked like a
knife and told Plaintiff he planned to kill him that day.
Id. In response, Estes mocked Plaintiff, saying
“[t]he Trouble-Maker needs help, write a
grievance.” (Doc. 1, pp. 17-18).
also told Defendant Pearce of his cellmate's threats and
weapon. Before walking away, Pearce stated: “The big
bad trouble-maker is not worried about this little crazy guy
is [sic] you? You should've thought about that
before you started slinging all that ink all over those
grievances.” (Doc. 1, p. 19). Plaintiff also claims he
repeatedly told Defendants Walla and Meracle that his
cellmate was suffering from mental illness and “was
constantly threatening to kill the Plaintiff.” (Doc. 1,
p. 21). According to Plaintiff, in response Walla would
typically say something akin to “we don't help
trouble-makers.” Id. Similarly, Meracle would
call him a trouble-maker and “make an obscene comment
then walk away.” (Doc. 1, p. 22). Plaintiff claims
these actions by Estes, Pearce, Walla and Meracle were taken
in retaliation and demonstrated deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's personal health and safety. (Doc. 1, pp.
was seen by Defendant Assistant Nurse Jane Doe on the day of
the attack and given some ointment for his stab wounds. (Doc.
1, pp. 23-24, 25-26). Assistant Nurse Jane Doe then
“tried to render medical services she [wa]s unqualified
to give” and “never followed the procedures
required for the Plaintiff to receive the correct examination
and treatment.” Plaintiff maintains that this
constitutes deliberate indifference. (Doc. 1, pp. 25-26).
was also informed that he would be called the next day to see
a doctor. (Doc. 1, p. 26). Despite his swollen face,
blackened and bruised eyes, swollen lip, severe migraine,
body soreness, dizzy spells, “mental and physical
trauma” and “constantly bleeding” stab
wound, Plaintiff was not seen by a doctor as promised. (Doc.
1, pp. 24, 26). Plaintiff submitted request slips to see a
doctor for 11 days straight after the attack and was denied
all treatment. Id.
to the Complaint, Defendant Pinckneyville Correctional Center
Healthcare Administrator John Doe exhibits deliberate
indifference to prisoners' serious medical needs by
allowing “systemic deficiencies in staffing or
procedures” to make “unnecessary suffering
happen.” (Doc. 1, p. 25). Plaintiff also alleges that,
under Health Care Administrator John Doe, “prisoners
are unable to make their medical problems known to medical
staff” and that“[d]isorganization and dysfunction
in a medical program can amount to deliberate indifference if
it prevents prisoners from receiving necessary care.”
now claims that “[a]ll the defendants except for Eye
Doctor Alan Trummel, Nurses Assistant Jane Doe and Health
Care Administrator John Doe referred to the Plaintiff as a
‘Trouble-Maker' before they engaged in violations
of the Plaintiff's constitutional rights.” (Doc. 1,
pp. 26-27). He was never referred to in this manner until
Qury conducted the Internal Affairs investigation into the
fight Plaintiff had with his cellmate at Western Illinois.
Id. This is allegedly evidence that the defendants
were “engaging in a conspiracy to inflict punishment on
[him] for being sexually assaulted . . . and writing
grievances.” Id. This “campaign of
harassment” has allegedly “lasted for two years
and continues to this day.” (Doc. 1, p. 28).
on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to divide
the pro se Complaint into the following enumerated
claims. 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. ...