Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Phipps v. Collman

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 28, 2017

D'MARKO PHIPPS, #69596, Plaintiff,
v.
SGT. COLLMAN and JOHN LAKIN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge

         Plaintiff 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 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. 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.

         The Complaint

         According 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. 5).

         Plaintiff 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).

         Discussion

         Based 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 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.