United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge
brings this pro se civil rights action against two
officials from Madison County Jail (“Jail”).
(Doc. 7). In his original Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff
claimed that Sergeant Collman and Sheriff Lakin negligently
failed to protect him from an attack by three detainees at
the Jail on November 26, 2015 in violation of the Federal
Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. §§
1346, 2671-2680. (Doc. 1, p. 5). After the Court dismissed
his Complaint (Doc. 1) for failure to state a claim upon
which relief could be granted (Doc. 6), Plaintiff filed a
First Amended Complaint in which he brings similar claims
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 7). He seeks monetary
relief against both defendants. (Doc. 7, p. 6). This case is
now before the Court for a preliminary review of the First
Amended Complaint 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.
Conversely, a complaint is plausible on its face “when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although the Court is
obligated to accept factual allegations as true, see
Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), some
factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that
they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's
claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir.
2009). Additionally, Courts “should not accept as
adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of
action or conclusory legal statements.” Id. At
the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro
se complaint are to be liberally construed. See
Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821
(7th Cir. 2009). The First Amended Complaint is subject to
dismissal under this standard.
to the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff was attacked,
beaten, and severely injured by three detainees at Madison
County Jail (“Jail”) on November 26, 2015. (Doc.
7, p. 5). The assault occurred soon after Collman moved
Plaintiff into the same cellblock with a detainee who was
involved in his criminal case and who “had an
altercation” previously. Id. The cellblock had
no panic button. Id. As a result of the attack,
Plaintiff sustained severe injuries, including a collapsed
lung, three broken ribs, a broken nose, and facial swelling.
Id. In his First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff does
not provide any information related to the medical care he
received for his injuries or make any allegations that his
medical care was insufficient, though he did so, with minimal
detail, in his original Complaint. (See Doc. 1, p.
now sues Collman and Lakin under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
violations of his constitutional rights. He claims that
Collman failed to protect him from an obvious risk of harm
when he moved Plaintiff into the same cellblock with a
detainee who was involved in his criminal case. He further
alleges that Lakin failed to install panic buttons in the
cellblock, which would have enabled Plaintiff to quickly
summon help when he was attacked. In connection with these
claims, Plaintiff seeks monetary damages. (Doc. 7, p. 6).
on the allegations of the First Amended Complaint, the Court
finds it convenient to designate two counts in this action.
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 - Collman failed to protect
Plaintiff from a known and substantial risk of serious harm
in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment when he moved
Plaintiff to a cellblock that housed an inmate involved in
Plaintiff's criminal case.
Count 2 - Lakin failed to protect Plaintiff
from a known and substantial risk of serious harm and/or
subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement
by failing to install panic buttons in Plaintiff's