United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
I. Shadur, Senior United States District Judge
Turi Joseph is a detainee in the custody of U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement. He is currently incarcerated at the
Dodge County (Wisconsin) Detention Facility, apparently
facing removal proceedings. Plaintiff brings this pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
claiming that Defendants, correctional officials at the
Stateville Correctional Center, violated Plaintiff's
constitutional and statutory rights by denying him due
process, by using unjustified force against him and by
infringing on his religious exercise. More specifically
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants repeatedly disciplined him
for refusing haircuts and ultimately forcibly cut his hair in
violation of his Rastafarian Nazirite faith. This matter is
before the Court for ruling on Plaintiff's motions for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and for attorney
representation as well as for threshold review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
is granted. Because Plaintiff currently has a zero balance in
his inmate trust account, the Court waives the initial
partial filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4).
However the Court authorizes and orders Plaintiff (and the
facility having custody of him) to automatically remit to the
Clerk of Court twenty percent of the money he receives for
each calendar month during which he receives $10.00 or more
until the $350 filing fee is paid in full. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The Court directs the Clerk of
Court to ensure that a copy of this order is mailed to each
facility where Plaintiff is housed until the filing fee has
been paid in full. All payments shall be sent to the Clerk of
Court, United States District Court, 219 South Dearborn
Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, Attn: Cashier's Desk,
20th Floor. Payments should clearly identify Plaintiff's
name and the case number assigned to this case.
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a), the Court is
required to screen pro se prisoners' complaints
and dismiss the complaint, or any claims therein, if the
Court determines that the complaint or claim is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. See Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S.
199, 214 (2007); Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645,
649 (7th Cir. 2013).
screen prisoner litigation claims in the same manner as
ordinary motions to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
See Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709, 718 (7th Cir.
2011). A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the
sufficiency of the complaint. See Hallinan v. Fraternal
Order of Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820
(7th Cir. 2009). Under Rule 8(a)(2) a complaint must include
"a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2)
must "give the defendant fair notice of what the claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(citation omitted). A "complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint under the
plausibility standard, [courts] accept the well-pleaded facts
in the complaint as true." Alam v. Miller Brewing
Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013). Courts also
construe pro se complaints liberally. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam).
alleges the following facts, assumed true for purposes of the
Court's threshold review: Upon his admission into the
Illinois Department of Corrections, Plaintiff told intake
employees that he is a Rastafarian and a Nazirite. As a
Nazirite Plaintiff has made a religious vow never to cut his
time of the events giving rise to this lawsuit Plaintiff was
an inmate at the Stateville Correctional Center. On March 19,
24, and 26, 2015, Plaintiff refused to get a haircut.
Plaintiff repeatedly explained to correctional officials that
it was against his religious beliefs to cut his hair. However
Defendant Engleson, a cellhouse superintendent, informed
Plaintiff that his religious preference conflicted with the
prison's grooming policy.
received a disciplinary report each time he rebuffed requests
to go to the barber. Engleson warned Plaintiff that unless he
voluntarily permitted a barber to cut his hair, prison
officials would force his compliance. She directed Plaintiff
to file a grievance if he disagreed with the decision.
March 27, 2015, before Plaintiff had either appeared before
an adjustment committee or had the opportunity to avail
himself of grievance procedures, Defendant Engleson
dispatched a tactical team to his cell. The tactical team,
nicknamed "Orange Crush, " sprayed a chemical agent
through the chuckhole door of Plaintiff's cell. They then
entered the cell and ordered Plaintiff to submit to being
handcuffed. Next they took him to the ground and punched him.
One of the officers stepped on Plaintiff's hand, breaking
a finger and causing the hand to swell. The Orange Crush team
then forcibly sheared Plaintiff's hair from his head.
underwent a medical examination after his haircut. Health
care professionals advised Plaintiff his little finger was
not broken, but he did not believe them.
point after the incidents giving rise to this lawsuit
correctional officials transferred Plaintiff to another
facility, the Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Plaintiff
claims to have received inadequate medical treatment for his
injured finger at Pinckneyville.
initiated this suit on or about March 16, 2017 (the complaint
is dated March 1, 2017, but the Clerk of Court received ...