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Hoskins v. Dilday

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 10, 2017



          MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge

         The Court is cognizant of its duty to avoid entanglement in the day-to-day affairs of prison administrators, as modern prison administration is an “inordinately difficult undertaking.” Thornburgh v. Abbott, 490 U.S. 401, 407 (1989)(citation omitted). Nevertheless, federal courts are under a duty to ensure that the constitutional rights of prisoners are not violated. Brown v. Plata, 563 U.S. 493, 511 (2011). Plaintiff Joshua Hoskins, an inmate incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center, alleges that he was attacked by another inmate on February 13, 2016, and that Defendants allowed the attack to happen before joining in and embarking on a course of serious misconduct in the months that followed.

         Hoskins filed multiple complaints in this case before the Court conducted a preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In the Court's threshold order (Doc. 22), the Court adopted Plaintiff's second amended complaint (Doc. 23) as the operative pleading, narrowing the scope of the complaint to include Plaintiff's allegations of being attacked in February 2016 and the aftermath. Hoskins has also filed a series of motions for preliminary injunction (Docs. 14, 18, 21, 29, 35) seeking a transfer from Menard Correctional Center. Granting preliminary injunctive relief to a prisoner seeking a transfer is extremely rare, but in certain circumstances it is warranted. The instant case is the second time in sixteen years on the federal bench that the undersigned has ordered a transfer.


         On February 13, 2016, Hoskins was exiting the West Cell House at Menard when an unnamed inmate called out to him and threatened to attack him for being a snitch. According to Hoskins, several of the defendants were present before, during, and after the attack. Hoskins asked Defendant Dilday, the officer on duty, if he could return to his cell because he was threatened by the inmate or if he could have some form of protection. Dilday refused and told Hoskins that he would have to endure the attack because Dilday believed Hoskins was sent to Menard for assaulting a corrections officer at another institution. Dilday expressed to Hoskins that he was not happy about Hoskins filing grievances against Menard staff and that Dilday would like to hit Hoskins himself.

         According to Hoskins, he then ran into Defendant Shoenbeck outside the west cell house and told Shoenbeck about his concerns for his immediate safety. Shoenbeck dismissed his concerns and voiced complaints similar to Dilday's. Hoskins claims that Shoenbeck told him he would either have to endure the attack from the inmate or fight back. At that point, an inmate ran up to Hoskins and punched him twice in the face, causing injuries to his nose, face, and mouth. Shoenbeck then threatened to falsify disciplinary reports to make Hoskins look culpable for the fight. Hoskins alleges that Dilday then stepped in to stop the fight, handcuffed him, and then beat him at Shoenbeck's direction. Dilday walked away, and Defendant Hudson began beating Hoskins while Defendant Mayer encouraged Hudson, saying that Hoskins deserved payback for assaulting a correctional officer at Stateville.

         Defendant Grutreuter was present and directed that Hoskins be taken to the healthcare unit for further beating. Two unknown correctional officers shoved and choked Hoskins, twisting his handcuffs and threatening to break his arms. Hoskins was taken to a room in the healthcare unit with Defendants Grutreuter, Eovaldi, Allen, and Engelage. Defendant Allen told Hoskins that he was on Allen's radar for filing grievances and for allegedly assaulting an officer at Stateville. Allen then directed Grutreuter and Eovaldi to attack Hoskins. Engelage echoed Allen's sentiment and said she would not report the other defendants or provide Hoskins with medical care for his injuries. Defendants Grutreuter and Eovaldi severely beat Hoskins and dragged him from the healthcare unit to the North 2 Cell House, where they continued beating him and sprayed him with pepper spray. Defendants Lalis and Maple, along with other unknown officers, eventually joined in the attack.

         When the attack stopped, Hoskins was taken to a cell where Eovaldi told him that his correspondence would be monitored for grievances and destroyed if he tried to file any. Hoskins later recounted the details of his beating to Defendant Spiller, who allegedly told Hoskins that he was aware of it and that he directed security and medical staff not to provide care to Hoskins after the attack. Spiller also told Hoskins that he had directed the staff to make it impossible for Hoskins to document or grieve his beating. He threatened to have Defendants Eovaldi, Gutreuter, and Dilday, along with other staff, attack Hoskins again if he attempted to file any grievances.

         On February 16, 2016, Hoskins attempted to get medical attention from Defendant Freidrich, but Friedrich told him that he had been instructed not to treat Hoskins. On February 17, Hoskins attempted to tell Defendant Bump about his beating and need for medical care while Bump was asking Hoskins about gang activity at Menard. Bump allegedly acknowledged that it was wrong for staff to beat Plaintiff but refused to help him get medical treatment. He also advised Hoskins that he would help Spiller prevent Hoskins from filing grievances. On February 21, Defendant Lang, a medical technician, walked by Plaintiff's cell and expressed similar displeasure with Plaintiff's use of grievances, refusing him medical treatment.

         On May 19, 2016, Hoskins had a run-in with Defendants Allen, Ward, and Wooley from the internal affairs and investigations unit. Ward told Hoskins that he would not succeed in trying to grieve his February beating, and Allen laughed. Wooley told Hoskins that Defendants Spiller and Bump told her about Plaintiff's requests for actions against the officers who attacked him and that a letter he wrote to an investigatory entity was intercepted and destroyed. During a June 3, 2016, conversation, Wooley again told Plaintiff that he would not succeed in filing a grievance and that his beating was deserved. Defendant Gee also told Hoskins in a June 2013 conversation that Gee was preventing him from filing grievances about the February attack.

         Hoskins filed a number of motions seeking a preliminary injunction ordering that he be transferred out of Menard. Magistrate Judge Williams held a hearing on the motions on September 26, 2016. At the hearing, Hoskins presented testimony describing the allegations in his motions for a preliminary injunction and the ongoing issues he faces in routinely encountering the defendants while incarcerated at Menard. Hoskins testified that Defendant Spiller prevented him from sending mail and from receiving healthcare treatment even during a writ to a facility in Chicago. According to Hoskins, when he returned from Chicago, Defendant Grutreuter told another officer that Hoskins was not allowed a meal tray even though he had missed meals due to his travel.

         Hoskins recalled another time when Defendant Eovaldi pressured him to tell a worker in the healthcare unit that he had no mental health issues and to decline treatment. Hoskins testified that Eovaldi watched the entire encounter to ensure that he declined treatment. Hoskins said that he suffers from bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression and that Defendant Engelage refuses to give him his medication, so he can only receive his needed medication when she is not there. According to Hoskins, this began after Defendant Eovaldi assaulted him. Engelage works five days per week, and Hoskins cannot receive medication on those days.

         Hoskins also testified that Defendant Spiller prevents him from being allowed to shower and that he had not showered since before the February 13, 2016, assault. In order to bathe, Hoskins must use the sink in his cell. Hoskins said that because he is indigent, he is supposed to be provided with hygiene necessities, like soap and toothpaste, but he is not. Hoskins testified that he bathes at the sink in his cell with soap that his cellmate gives him. According to Hoskins, he is on restriction, which makes it difficult to purchase sufficient hygiene items from the commissary. Hoskins testified that his cellmate shares food with him because he is not given meal trays if Defendants Spiller or Hudson are watching.

         Hoskins further testified that he was physically attacked again in June 2016 and that there have been times when guards spit on him, though he said that had not happened since July 2016. Hoskins indicated that he is routinely threatened with physical harm by guards and prevented from going outside to the yard. Hoskins is not allowed to file grievances. Defendant Spiller has threatened to destroy all of his grievances. According to Hoskins's testimony, he sent one ...

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