United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Jacob Ingersoll, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Sheridan Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Officer David Phelps (internal
affairs officer) and Officer John/Jane Doe (unknown
correctional officer) for violating his constitutional rights
at Menard Correctional Center in 2015. (Doc. 1). According to
the Complaint, Officer Doe allowed two masked inmates to
enter Plaintiff's cell at Menard and attack him on April
17, 2015. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Officer Phelps investigated the
assault but ultimately took disciplinary action against
Plaintiff. Id. In addition to the assault, Plaintiff
endured 30 days in administrative segregation, 90 days in
disciplinary segregation, and a delayed prison transfer.
Id. During this same time period, he was denied
access to mental health services at the prison. Id.
Plaintiff now seeks monetary damages against Officers Doe and
Phelps for violating Plaintiff's rights under the Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(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 in the pro se complaint are to be
liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
April 17, 2015, an unknown officer at Menard (“Officer
Doe”) allowed two masked inmates to enter
Plaintiff's cell and assault him. (Doc. 1, p. 5). The
inmates beat Plaintiff until he nearly lost consciousness.
Id. He sustained severe head injuries during the
attack. Id. Plaintiff was immediately taken to
Menard's Health Care Unit (“HCU”) for
treatment and photographs of his injuries. Id. He
remained there until he recovered, and he complains of no
lingering injuries. Id.
in the HCU, Officer Phelps interviewed Plaintiff about the
assault. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff was then placed in
administrative segregation on investigative status for 30
days, while Officer Phelps continued to investigate the
matter. Id. During several interviews with
Plaintiff, Officer Phelps suggested that Plaintiff was
involved in prison tattoo work and that a dispute over this
work resulted in his attack. Id. Plaintiff denied
any involvement in tattoo work. Id.
Phelps nevertheless issued Plaintiff a disciplinary ticket
for undisclosed rule violations. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff
was found guilty of the violations and punished with 90 days
in disciplinary segregation. Id. His transfer to
Sheridan was also “terminated” as part of his
the four months he spent in segregation, Plaintiff was denied
access to mental health professionals at the prison. (Doc. 1,
p. 5). He filed several grievances to complain about this
deprivation, but those grievances were either destroyed or
now claims that the conduct of Officers Doe and Phelps
violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment under the Eighth Amendment and his due process
rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
Plaintiff seeks monetary relief against these individuals.
(Doc. 1, p. 6).
facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in
this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 8(e) and 10(b), the Court has
organized the claims in Plaintiff's pro se
Complaint into the following enumerated counts:
Count 1 - Eighth Amendment claim against Officer Doe for
failing to protect Plaintiff from the inmate attack that
occurred on April 17, 2015.
Count 2 - Fourteenth Amendment claim against Officer Phelps
for depriving Plaintiff of a protected liberty interest
without due process of law by issuing him a false
disciplinary ticket that resulted in his punishment with
segregation and a delayed prison transfer.
Count 3 - Eighth Amendment claim against both defendants for
denying Plaintiff mental health treatment during his four