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Sanfordd v. Ingles

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 15, 2017

ESMOND L. SANFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
LARRIE A. INGLES, BROOKHARDT, RAINES, APRIL RANKIN-WEMPLER, and ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Esmond Sanford, an inmate in Shawnee Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for events that occurred at Robinson Correctional Center. Plaintiff requests injunctive relief and damages. 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 finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         On August 2, 2016, Plaintiff was watching TV on his bunk during the 9:30 pm count. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff had his ID clipped to the shelf at the foot of the bed, and was sitting up in the top bunk. Id. Plaintiff alleges that his face was clearly visible from where he was sitting, and an officer could have easily seen both his face and ID for the purpose of conducting the count. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that he and Correctional Officer Ingles had bad blood between them due to Plaintiff's past grievances on Ingles and Ingles' past disciplinary reports on Plaintiff. Id. Ingles conducted the count on August 2. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Ingles attempted to get his attention during the count by hitting and shoving him 3 times in the shoulder. Id. Plaintiff asked for a lieutenant so he could report this assault. (Doc. 1, p. 9). The lieutenant ordered Plaintiff to cuff up and he was taken to segregation on investigative status. Id. Ingles later wrote Plaintiff a disciplinary ticket for 1) dangerous disturbance; 2) insolence; and 3) disobeying a direct order. Id.

         Brookhardt interviewed Plaintiff as part of the investigation on August 4, 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Brookhardt told Plaintiff that he would be transferred because he was alleging an officer assaulted him. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Warden Raines, Brookhardt, and Amy Rankin-Wampler, the grievance officer, all failed to investigate Plaintiff's allegations in order to cover up the alleged assault. (Doc. 1, pp. 10-11).

         At the time of this incident, Plaintiff was in the Transitions program, and was going to become a Transition Aide. (Doc. 1, p. 9). But due to the disciplinary report, Plaintiff was transferred to a medium security institution, received 1 month C grade, and 1 month segregation. (Doc. 1-2, p. 3).

         Plaintiff also filed a Motion to Add the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) to the Complaint on the grounds that they hired the warden, and the warden was acting as an employee of the IDOC at the time of the relevant events. (Doc. 1-1). Plaintiff ...


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