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Cunningham v. Does

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 22, 2017

TIMOTHY J. CUNNINGHAM, SR., #R05718, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN DOES 13-18, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff Timothy Cunningham, an inmate in Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In the relevant portions of his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical issue and deprived him of certain items for a period of time, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Doc. 2). 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

         Only portions of the Complaint (Doc. 2) are relevant in this case, as the Complaint was subject to a Severance Order (Doc. 1) entered in Case No. 16-cv-01360-MJR (“Related Case”). In the Order, Plaintiff's claims at issue here (Counts 5 and 6) were severed from several unrelated claims in the Complaint. (Doc. 1).

         In the portions of the Complaint relevant to Counts 5 and 6, Plaintiff makes the following allegations: Plaintiff suffered a heart attack in his cell on October 5, 2014 at Lawrence Correctional Center. (Doc. 2, p. 8). John Does 13 through 18, i.e., the officers on 6 house working that day, ignored the panic button and Plaintiff waited 45 minutes for medical assistance. (Doc. 2, pp. 8-9). Plaintiff was taken to health care after his heart attack, where writing materials and hygiene supplies were withheld from him for 26 days. (Doc. 2, p. 9). He was unable to brush his teeth, comb his hair, or wash his face. Id. He was, however, provided a towel, washrag, and shampoo to use as soap when he showered. Id. Plaintiff does not name the officers who withheld these materials from him. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court severed the following two counts, Counts 5 and 6, from the Related Case. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court.

         Count 5 - John Does 13-18 were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's heart attack in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they failed ...


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