United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ENOS F. TAPLIN, Jr., #R60561, Plaintiff,
WARDEN PINCKNEYVILLE CC and WARDEN MENARD CC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.
before the Court for consideration is the First Amended
Complaint (Doc. 16) filed by Plaintiff Enos Taplin, Jr., an
inmate who is currently incarcerated at Western Illinois
Correctional Center. Plaintiff filed the instant civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in order to address
numerous alleged violations of his constitutional rights that
occurred at Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”) and Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”). (Doc. 1). The original Complaint did
not survive screening and was dismissed without prejudice on
November 15, 2016. (Doc. 15).
was granted leave to re-plead his claims in a First Amended
Complaint (Doc. 16), which is now before the Court for
review. Section 1915A provides, in pertinent part:
(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
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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).
careful review of the First Amended Complaint, the Court
deems it appropriate to exercise its authority under §
1915A and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by severing
certain claims and dismissing others. The First Amended
Complaint does not survive screening.
August 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed the instant civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in order
to address alleged violations of his constitutional rights
that occurred during his incarceration at Pinckneyville
Correctional Center in 2013 and Menard Correctional Center
from 2013-15. (Doc. 1). Both prisons are located in the
federal judicial district for the Southern District of
Illinois, and the events giving rise to Plaintiff's
claims occurred here. For this reason, the Northern District
transferred the case to this District on October 17, 2016.
filed a Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint on
November 4, 2016, before this Court screened the Complaint
(Doc. 13). The Court denied the motion because
Plaintiff's proposed amended complaint was obviously
incomplete as he omitted several pages and a request for
relief from the proposed amended pleading (Doc. 15).
Court also found that the original Complaint failed to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted and thus, did not
survive preliminary review under § 1915A. Id.
The Court therefore entered an Order dismissing the Complaint
without prejudice on November 15, 2016. Id.
was granted leave to file a First Amended Complaint by
December 13, 2016. (Doc. 15, p. 5). He was instructed to
“present each claim in a separate count, and . . .
specify, by name, each defendant alleged to be
liable under the count, as well as the actions alleged to
have been taken by that defendant.” Id.
(emphasis in original). Further, Plaintiff was warned that he
“should include only related claims in his new
Complaint [because] [c]laims found to be unrelated to one
another w[ould] be severed into new cases, new case numbers
w[ould] be assigned, and additional filing fees w[ould] be
assessed.” (Doc. 15, pp. 5-6) (emphasis in original).
filed a timely First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 16). In it, he
names Pinckneyville's warden and Menard's warden as
the only two defendants. (Doc. 16, pp. 1-2). He claims that
both defendants violated his rights under the First, Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments. (Doc. 16, pp. 5-8). A summary of
the allegations offered in support of these claims follows.
alleges that Pinckneyville's warden is responsible for
constitutional violations that occurred at the prison between
February 5, 2013 and September 6, 2013. (Doc. 16, pp. 1, 5-
6). On March 26, 2013, Plaintiff was allegedly taken to
segregation after pressing an emergency button to request his
psychotropic medication. (Doc. 16, p. 5). He received thirty
days in segregation for a “housing refusal.”
Id. Plaintiff then received an additional sixty days
in segregation, instead of thirty, as punishment for
destruction of state property. Id.
Plaintiff asked Officer Hicks to explain why he had received
so many “unnecessary tickets” between March 26,
2013 and July 31, 2013, the officer told him that he would
have “a problem” if he ever asked that question
again. (Doc. 16, p. 5). Plaintiff responded by stating,
“if you ar[e]n't going to tell me that there is a
mistake . . ., you better get someone like the leuitenant
(sic) to help me.” Id. Officer Hicks ...