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McDougle v. Watson

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 15, 2017

JARRETT MCDOUGLE, #B83872, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD WATSON, PHILLIP MCLAURIN, THOMAS TRICE, NANCY SUTHERLAND, and LEVI BRIDGES, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jarrett McDougle, an inmate in Graham Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement during his time at St. Clair County Jail (“Jail”). (Doc. 1). This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the 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).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: during his time at the Jail, Plaintiff was subjected to poor living conditions, including overcrowding, insects, and mice. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Plaintiff was not given adequate cleaning materials to clean his filthy showers, toilets, and other living areas, so he was subjected to foul odors, and he developed medical issues including scabies and skin rashes. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Plaintiff was also forced to sleep on the dirty floor with only a mattress cover while mice and insects were all around. Id. Though Plaintiff filed complaints per Trice's request, the defendants deliberately ignored the issues presented in the complaints and intentionally continued operating the jail “in a poor and life threatening manner.” (Doc. 1, pp. 1, 3). Because the Complaint includes no dates, it is unclear when these violations occurred. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and permanent injunctive relief requiring the constitutional violations at the Jail be corrected. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff also requests an attorney be appointed to represent him. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate a single count in this pro se action. The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court.

         Count 1 - Defendants subjected Plaintiff to unconstitutional conditions of confinement while he was incarcerated at St. Clair County Jail in violation of the Eighth and/or Fourteenth Amendment.

         As discussed in more detail below, Count 1 will be allowed to proceed past threshold. Any other intended claim that has not been recognized by the Court is considered dismissed with prejudice ...


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