United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MERIT REVIEW OPINION #2
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Shawnee
Correctional Center, brings the present lawsuit pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging constitutional violations at
Taylorville Correctional Center and Shawnee Correctional
Center. The matter comes before this Court for merit review
of Plaintiff's amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1915A. In reviewing the amended complaint, the Court
takes all factual allegations as true, liberally construing
them in Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour,
729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However,
conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Enough
facts must be provided to “state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face.” Alexander v.
U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)
(internal citation omitted).
IN AMENDED COMPLAINT
was incarcerated at Taylorville Correctional Center
(“Taylorville”). Plaintiff alleges a chain of
events that began on February 24, 2014, when Defendant
Skinner, a correctional officer, stared at him in the law
library for no apparent reason. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant Skinner then wrote him a disciplinary ticket for
unauthorized movement (walking too fast) approximately six
(6) weeks later. Plaintiff alleges that he received one month
of yard denial as a result of the ticket, despite the
Adjustment Committee's recommendation that he only
receive a yard restriction for two weeks. Plaintiff alleges
the Administrative Review Board in Springfield ignored his
grievances related to this issue.
alleges that, on July 15, 2014, someone spilled ketchup on
the white shoelaces of his new gym shoes. Plaintiff alleges
that he removed the laces, washed them, and while he was
waiting for them to dry, temporarily laced his shoes with
black laces. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Skinner told
him to surrender his shoes upon observation of the black
laces. Plaintiff refused. Plaintiff alleges he then packed
his belongings and walked to segregation despite Defendant
Berninger, a correctional lieutenant, stating that he did not
want Plaintiff going to segregation and that the situation
was “not that serious.” Plaintiff alleges
Defendant Berninger wrote a disciplinary report accusing him
of disobeying the lieutenant's orders. According to
Plaintiff, the disciplinary report failed to mention
Defendant Skinner's name and implied that Plaintiff had
issues with Defendant Berninger, which was not true.
Plaintiff alleges that he received 15 days segregation, 1
month C-grade, and a disciplinary transfer to Shawnee
Correctional Center (“Shawnee”) as a result.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Funk, the Illinois
Department of Corrections' transfer coordinator, violated
a state statute by transferring him to Shawnee while his
grievance on the matter was pending.
alleges that once at Shawnee, he was housed in
segregation-like conditions instead of being sent to general
population. Plaintiff alleges that, for 21 days, he was not
allowed to walk to meals or go to the gym or allowed out of
his cell twice a day for dayroom. Plaintiff also alleges that
the electrical outlets were inoperable and the cable outlet
had been removed from the wall.
Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual
punishment encompasses two general categories: (1) punishment
that is considered “cruel and unusual without regard to
the conduct for which they are imposed;” and (2) those
forms of punishment disproportionate to the offenses for
which they are imposed. Pearson v. Ramos, 237 F.3d
881, 885 (7th Cir. 2001); Turley, 729
F.3d at 652. To state a claim under the Eighth Amendment, a
prisoner must allege that (1) he suffered a sufficient
deprivation such that he was deprived of the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities, and (2) that
prison officials acted with deliberate indifference.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994).
Plaintiff alleges that the discipline he received on two
separate occasions violated the Eighth Amendment.
alleges first that he was placed on yard restriction for one
month despite a prison official's recommendation that the
restriction should have only lasted two weeks. Plaintiff does
not allege he should not have been found guilty, only that,
the Court assumes, he should have only been placed on a yard
restriction consistent with the prison official's alleged
recommendation. Plaintiff does not allege that he was
deprived of the ability to exercise, or allege that he was
forced to endure any other deprivation as a result. He
alleges no injury. Therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiff
has failed to state a claim and that any amendment would be
Plaintiff alleges that he was found guilty based upon a
falsified disciplinary report. According to Plaintiff, the
disciplinary report should have reflected his issues with
Defendant Skinner instead of stating that he disobeyed
Defendant Berninger's orders. Plaintiff's issues with
Defendant Skinner notwithstanding, Plaintiff alleges that he
walked himself to segregation despite Defendant
Berninger's statements that he did not want Plaintiff
going to segregation because the situation was “not
that serious.” The only reasonable inference from these
allegations is that Plaintiff disobeyed Defendant
Berninger's orders to resolve the situation without going
short duration of Plaintiff's stay in segregation while
incarcerated at Taylorville, along with his allegations that
he went to the segregation unit on his own volition to
apparently dictate his housing situation, does not lend
itself to a plausible inference that the 15-day segregation
sanction imposed violated the Eighth Amendment. While
Plaintiff had to wait 10 days before he received a hearing,
prison officials may temporarily place an inmate in
segregation pending review of disciplinary violations.
See Holly v. Woolfolk, 415 F.3d 678, 680
(7th Cir. 2005) (analogizing temporary segregation
for an alleged violation of a disciplinary rule to an arrest
without a warrant pending a probable cause hearing). Finally,
violation of a state statute does not create a federal claim.
Allison v. Snyder, 332 F.3d 1076, 1078
(7th Cir. 2003).
reasons stated above, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted and that any
amendment would be futile.
is located in Johnson County, Illinois, which is located
within the Southern District of Illinois. 28 U.S.C. §
93(c). Plaintiff alleges discrete claims related to his
conditions of confinement against officials that presumably
reside within the Southern District. No plausible inference
arises that any defendant residing within the ...