United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TYRONE OWENS, No. B-09385, KENDALL JACKSON, Plaintiffs,
CHARLES HECK, MARCUS MYERS, LARUE LOVE, JOHN BALDWIN, C/O GILLEY, OFFICER VANDEKERLOVE, and CAROL MCBRIDE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon United States District Judge.
Tyrone Owens and Kendall Jackson, inmates at Pinckneyville
Correctional Center (Pinckneyville) bring this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Although Jackson is
identified as a plaintiff in the case caption and is
referenced in the complaint, the complaint focuses on alleged
deprivations of Owens' constitutional rights.
Essentially, plaintiff alleges he was retaliated against and
placed in segregation for acting as a jailhouse lawyer. In
connection with these claims, Owens seeks compensatory and
punitive damages, as well as a preliminary injunction
ordering his release from segregation and ordering
Pinckneyville officials to stop retaliating against him by
placing him in segregation. In connection with his request
for injunctive relief, Owens asks for an “emergency
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
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.
careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority
under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to
to the complaint, on three separate occasions, Heck, Myers,
Mcbride, and Love placed Owens in segregation in retaliation
for assisting other inmates in filing grievances and lawsuits
involving Pinckneyville staff. (Doc. 1, p. 7). This
allegation is also directed against an individual identified
as “Lt. Sean Furlow.” Id. However,
Furlow is not a named defendant in this action. Owens further
alleges that he was the subject of several retaliatory
“shake-downs” (meaning Owens' cell was
searched by Defendants) (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9). During the alleged
shake-downs, legal paperwork belonging to other inmates was
strewn about Owens' cell, confiscated, and/or destroyed.
(Doc. 1, pp. 7-9). Owens' placement in segregation and
the repeated searches of his cell have interfered with the
ability of other inmates to access the Courts. (Doc. 1, pp.
7-9). At least one of the shake-downs was ordered by
non-party Lt. Sean Furlow.
specifically alleges that on two occasions in 2016, Heck,
Myers, and McBride placed him in segregation in retaliation
for his activities as a jailhouse lawyer. At one point, Heck
told Owens if “you keep filing lawsuits, I'll keep
you in [segregation].” (Doc. 1, p. 9). Myers then said,
“give his ass the max.” Id.
alleges that in 2017, Vandekerlove and Gilley searched his
cell and confiscated dozens of documents, including legal
documents. (Doc. 1, p. 8-9). This incident was apparently in
retaliation for Owens' attempt to assist Jackson in
filing his first lawsuit. Id. Although not entirely
clear, it appears that following this search, Owens was
placed in segregation for a third time. (Doc. 1, pp. 7, 9)
contends that he has filed grievances and/or written letters
to Love and Baldwin regarding the alleged constitutional
violations. (Doc. 1, p. 8). However, his complaints have been
claims that he has been in segregation for a total of a year
as retaliation for assisting other inmates in filing
grievances and/or lawsuits. (Doc. 1, p. 9). He states the
continued segregation is causing severe headaches and
depression. Id. Additionally, Owens contends he is
hearing voices. Id.
Owens alleges that Heck, Myers, Love, Baldwin, Gilley,
Vandekerlove, McBride, and non-party Lt. Sean Furlow
conspired to violate his rights by instituting a policy of
retaliating against inmates that file grievances and/or law
suits by placing them in segregation. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
preliminary matter, it is necessary to clarify who is a
plaintiff in the instant action. The caption of the complaint
lists Owens and Jackson as plaintiffs. However, the only
plaintiff identified in the complaint's list of parties
is Owens. Additionally, Owens is the only individual that has
signed the Complaint.
is no reason to believe Owens is an attorney. Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 11(a) requires each party or his attorney to
sign the complaint and all other pleadings. Although
individuals may represent themselves in federal court,
pro se litigants and non-lawyers cannot represent
other individuals or corporations. Nocula v. Tooling
Systems International Corp., 520 F.3d 719, 725 (7th Cir.
2008) (“corporations cannot appear pro se, and one pro
se litigant cannot represent another”) (citations
omitted). Therefore, Owens cannot proceed as though he is
representing anyone other than himself.
only must each plaintiff sign the complaint, each must also
pay the $400 filing fee ($350 for those granted pauper
status). See Boriboune v. Berge, 391 F.3d 852,
855-56 (7th Cir. 2004). Each plaintiff's individual
obligation to pay the filing fee for this action was,
theoretically, incurred at the time the action was filed.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1); Lucien v.
Jockisch, 133 F.3d 464, 467 (7th Cir. 1998). However,
because the complaint was Dated:ly by plaintiff Owens, the