United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
CARLOS A. MONTANEZ, B46636, Plaintiff,
SEAN M. WOLTERS, SERGEANT ANTHONY, and KIMBERLY BUTLER, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Carlos A. Montanez, an inmate currently incarcerated at
Pontiac Correctional Center (“Pontiac”), brings
this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 pertaining to events at Menard
Correctional Center (“Menard”). Plaintiff
contends Defendants failed to protect him from an assault by
another inmate and/or instigated the assault, in violation of
the Eighth Amendment. In connection with these claims,
Plaintiff sues Sean M. Wolters (Correctional Officer,
Intelligence Office, Menard), Sergeant Anthony (Internal
Affairs, Menard), and Kimberly Butler (Former Warden, Menard)
in their individual capacities. Plaintiff seeks declaratory
judgment and monetary damages.
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.
August 2010, a Menard corrections officer was assaulted by an
inmate named Jose Garcia. (Doc. 1, p. 2). The intelligence
unit identified Garcia as being a member of the Insane
Unknowns, a Security Threat Group (“STG”)
affiliated with the Latin Kings, a larger STG. Id.
In connection with the investigation into Garcia, another
inmate, Rene Amigon, was identified as a known leader of the
Latin Kings. (Doc. 1, p. 3). At the close of the
investigation, Amigon was the subject of a disciplinary
report authored by Wolters. Id. That report
identified Plaintiff (and several other inmates) as having
been participants in the STG renunciation program at Tamms
Correctional Center (“Tamms”). Id. The
STG renunciation program is a confidential program which
allows gang members to officially renounce their gang
membership. Id. Participation in the program
involved answering questions about the inner workings of the
subject STG during a recorded interview. Id.
Wolters's report indicated that Plaintiff participated in
the STG renunciation program while incarcerated at Tamms and
successfully renounced his affiliation with the Latin Kings.
Department of Corrections officials, particularly officials
such as Wolters who work in the intelligence unit, know the
Latin Kings are a violent STG with their own code of conduct.
Id. This code of conduct includes a strict
prohibition on cooperating with law enforcement. Id.
Additionally, it is well known that anyone who renounces his
membership with the Latin Kings is considered a
“snitch.” Despite having this knowledge,
Wolters's report was provided to Amigon, a known member
of the Latin Kings, without protecting Plaintiff's
identity. (Doc. 1, pp. 3-4). Amigon shared the report with
other inmates. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Accordingly, Amigon and other
inmates knew that Plaintiff had cooperated with law
enforcement and renounced his membership in the Latin Kings.
spoke with Anthony on several occasions regarding his safety
in relation to Wolters's report. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5).
Plaintiff indicated he was particularly concerned because
Menard had recently seen a large influx of Latin King members
previously incarcerated at Tamms. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Anthony
ignored Plaintiff's concerns and told Plaintiff that no
one was going to do anything to him. Id. Plaintiff
also conveyed his concerns, in person, to Butler.
Id. Plaintiff indicated he was concerned one of the
inmates recently transferred from Tamms would find out about
his participation in the STG renunciation program and assault
him. Id. Butler indicated she would look into the
matter but did not follow through on her promise.
October 7, 2015, while walking down a flight of stairs,
Plaintiff was assaulted by a member of the Latin Kings.
Id. Plaintiff was kicked in the back of the head and
called a “stool pigeon.” (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Plaintiff fell down the stairs and hit his head on the floor.
He was then repeatedly punched in the face until he lost
consciousness. Id. Plaintiff suffered a broken skull
and multiple lacerations on the face, requiring stitches.
Id. The assault also resulted in permanent injuries,
including balance issues, severe headaches, and recurrent
nightmares and anxiety. I ...