United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon, Judge
Clifford Jones, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Pontiac Correctional Center (“Pontiac”), brings
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for violations of his Eighth Amendment rights at Lawrence
Correctional Center (“Lawrence”). (Doc. 1). In
the complaint, plaintiff claims that Officer a subjected him
to the unauthorized use of force on December 17, 2016. (Doc.
1, p. 5). Officers Bangert and Johnson allegedly failed to
intervene and protect him. Id. All three officers
and an unknown nurse (“Nurse Jane Doe”) then
denied him medical treatment for his injuries. Id.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages against the defendants for
their alleged violations of his Eighth Amendment rights.
(Doc. 1, p. 6).
complaint (Doc. 1) is now subject to preliminary review under
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. 2009).
careful review of the Complaint and supporting exhibits, the
Court deems it appropriate to dismiss certain portions of
this action. The Complaint otherwise survives screening under
his incarceration at Lawrence on December 17, 2016, plaintiff
asked to speak with a member of the prison's crisis team
about mental health issues that he was experiencing (Doc. 1,
p. 5). In response, Officers Adamson and Bangert escorted him
to the shower area. Id. There, he waited in a shower
for his meeting with a crisis counselor. Id.
the meeting, plaintiff was informed that he would be
relocated to a cell on the lower tier of the C Wing. (Doc. 1,
p. 5). Plaintiff objected to this transfer decision.
Id. He explained that he had “words”
with another inmate who was housed there. Id.
Adamson told plaintiff that he would be transferred there
“whether [he] liked it or not.” (Doc. 1, p. 5).
When plaintiff asked to speak with a lieutenant, Officer
Adamson stated, “Don't make me come drag you outta
[there].” Id. When plaintiff again asked to
speak with a lieutenant, Officer Adamson used his key to open
the shower door, dragged plaintiff in “a very
aggressive manner, ” slammed him to the floor, and
repeatedly punched him in the face. Id. Then, the
officer placed plaintiff in a chokehold while he was cuffed
behind his back. Id.
Bangert and Johnson stood watching. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff
screamed for help. Id. In response, they smiled and
told plaintiff that he had to learn his lesson. Id.
Both officers refused to intervene. Id.
Adamson then picked plaintiff up by the cuffs and removed
them. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He instructed plaintiff to step out of
the shower and walk to Cell #19. Id. Plaintiff
refused, instead asking for medical treatment for undisclosed
injuries. Id. The prison's “orange
crush” tactical team came to the area and ordered
plaintiff to exit the shower and walk to Cell #19.
Id. He tried to tell them what Officer Adamson had
done, but the team members would not listen. Id.
They eventually sprayed him with pepper spray. (Doc. 1, pp.
asked Officer Johnson if he could at least get
“decontaminated, ” and the officer denied his
request. (Doc. 1, p. 5). An unknown nurse (“Nurse Jane
Doe”) also denied plaintiff's request for medical
treatment following the incident, declaring him
“OK” after examining him. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 9-10).
filed two emergency grievances on December 23, 2016. (Doc. 1,
pp. 7-10). In one, he complained about Officer Adamson's
use of excessive force against him 6 days earlier. (Doc. 1,
pp. 7-8). In the other, Plaintiff complained about the
subsequent denial of medical treatment for his injuries.
(Doc. 1, pp. 9-10). He received no response to either
grievance and commenced this action while the grievances were
admittedly “still ...