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Hill v. Sawyer

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 6, 2017

DEMONTE T. HILL, #S15599, Plaintiff,
v.
ANITA BAZILE SAWYER, N. JOHNSON and ILLINOIS DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Now before the Court for consideration is the First Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiff Demonte Hill. (Doc. 9). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Centralia Correctional Center. He brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for injuries he sustained when a pipe leaked hot water onto his foot at Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center (“SWICC”). (Doc. 9, p. 5). Plaintiff claims that he was denied prompt treatment for the burn and developed an infection. Id. He seeks monetary damages from the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), Warden Sawyer, and Officer Johnson based on their violations of his Eighth Amendment rights. (Doc. 9, pp. 1-2, 5-6).

         This case is now before the Court for 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. 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). Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint does not survive preliminary review under this standard and shall be dismissed.

         First Amended Complaint

         During his incarceration at SWICC, Plaintiff sustained a burn injury when hot water leaked from a pipe onto his right foot. (Doc. 9, p. 5). Plaintiff blames the IDOC, Warden Sawyer and Officer Johnson for unconstitutional conditions of his confinement and the denial of adequate medical care for his injury. Id. More specifically, he alleges that the IDOC was responsible for operating a safe facility and failed to do so. Id. Warden Sawyer was in charge of prison operations and failed to ensure the safety of all inmates. Id. The warden also failed to ensure that all employees “function[ed] correctly.” Id. Finally, Plaintiff alleges that he informed Officer Johnson about the leaky pipe and his burn injury, but the officer denied Plaintiff medical attention for the injury, leading to an infection. Id. Plaintiff now seeks monetary damages against all three defendants for subjecting him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement and denying him adequate medical care for his burned foot. (Doc. 9, pp. 5-6).

         Discussion

         To 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 deems it appropriate to organize the claims in Plaintiff's pro se First Amended Complaint into the following enumerated counts:

Count 1 - Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claim against Defendants for exposing Plaintiff to a pipe that leaked hot water onto his right foot and caused burns.
Count 2 - Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against Defendants for delaying and/or denying medical treatment for Plaintiff's ...

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