United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. HERNDON U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Branden Colvin, Sr., a detainee at Rock Island County Jail in
Rock Island, Illinois, filed this pro se civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. According to
his Complaint (Doc. 1) and Supplement (Doc. 9),
Plaintiff suffered numerous violations of his constitutional
rights at Chester Mental Health Center (“CMHC”)
in 2016. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-5). He names CMHC and six
of its employees in connection with claims under the First,
Eighth, and Fifteenth Amendments. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff seeks
criminal charges and monetary damages against the defendants.
(Doc. 1, p. 6).
Complaint is now subject to preliminary review under 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. 2009). The Complaint does not survive screening
because it is factually and legally frivolous. Accordingly,
it shall be dismissed.
to the Complaint, Plaintiff arrived at CMHC on June 15, 2016.
(Doc. 1-1, p. 1). In the months that followed, Tracy Mot
(therapist), Bruce (an “STA”), James (an
“STA”), Will Miller (“STA supervisor), K.
Straight (nurse), and Nancy Henderson (unit director)
allegedly violated his rights under the First, Eighth, and
Fifteenth Amendments. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-5; Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-12).
The allegations offered in support of Plaintiffs claims
against each of these individuals are summarized herein.
therapist, Tracy Mot, allegedly failed to place a 5-page
“lecture/essay” that Plaintiff wrote into his
file for the judge and doctor to review. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-4).
The lecture/essay addressed “the
Plaintiff describes it as “very difficult subject
matter for the average Westernized mind.” (Doc. 1-1, p.
3). When Plaintiff asked Mot to explain why she did not place
the writing sample in his file, Mot indicated that she
thought it was only for her review. Id. Plaintiff
characterizes this response as “manipulation, ”
which is a “form of witchcraft.” Id.
“seem[ed] to think” that Plaintiff was
delusional. (Doc. 1-1, p. 1). After telling Plaintiff that he
made a perfect score on his fitness test, she insinuated that
he still needs “medicine.” Id. Plaintiff
offers a single example in support of this assertion. (Doc.
1-1, pp. 1-3). On one occasion, Mot told Plaintiff that he
“think[s] highly of [him]self.” (Doc. 1-1, p. 2).
According to Plaintiff, this was Mot's way of suggesting
that he suffers from grandiose thinking. Id. In
response to her comment, Plaintiff agreed that he has
“high self esteem.” Id. Plaintiff went
on to say that he “understood” if Mot could not
comprehend his writing because of the difficult subject
matter. (Doc. 1-1, p. 3). He then stated, “Little Mrs.
Tracy . . . is a sufferer from average mind syndrome
Plaintiff asked Mot to place another 5-page writing sample
into his file, a “sit in” therapist intervened
and demanded money for photocopies. (Doc. 1-1, p. 2). This
bewildered Plaintiff, who was never before required to pay
for copies. Id. Mot later confirmed that she placed
the writing sample in Plaintiffs file. Id. Plaintiff
did not believe her. Id. He alleges that Mot lost
his trust after the first incident of manipulation. (Doc.
1-1, p. 3). Mot was replaced by
“Shirley” on August 2, 2016. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 10-11).
claims that Mot's conduct violates his freedom of speech,
press, and religion under the First Amendment. (Doc. 1-1, p.
4). He also brings a discrimination claim against her under
the Fifteenth Amendment. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
James, Miller, and Henderson
goes on to complain about separate constitutional
deprivations that resulted from the alleged misconduct of
Bruce (an “STA”), James (an “STA”),
Will Miller (“STA” supervisor), and Nancy
Henderson (unit director). (Doc. 1-1, pp. 4- 12). According
to the Complaint, these individuals “tyrantly abuse[d]
authority by being vindictive[, ] manipulative[, ] [and]
making false reports” against him. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 4-5).
As a result, Plaintiff's behavior level
“dropped.” (Doc. 1-1, p. 5). He was placed in
seclusion on two separate occasions. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 5-6).
first time, Plaintiff was placed in seclusion by Bruce for
“about an hour” as punishment for talking in line
while returning from lunch. (Doc. 1-1, p. 5). He does not
deny talking. Id. Plaintiff instead states that
“every day people talk in line going to and from the
dinning (sic) room.” Id.
15, 2016, Plaintiff was again pulled from the lunch line and
placed in seclusion for approximately ninety minutes.
Id. Bruce, Miller, and another unknown
individual searched Plaintiff's room. (Doc. 1-1,
p. 12). In the process, they discovered a sharp object stored
in a sock. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 5-8). The sharp object was actually
a toothbrush. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 7-9). Plaintiff maintains that
he stored it in a sock to keep it clean and avoid
“catch[ing] germs.” Id. He describes the
officers who failed to realize this as “stuck on
stupid” and “dumber than dumber.” (Doc.
1-1, p. 9). Plaintiff's toothbrush was confiscated as
punishment, and he now has to request permission to use it.
Id. He refuses to do so. Id. Plaintiff
attributes this punishment to “another false
refers to Bruce as a bully, a “ring leader, ” and
a manipulator, which he again characterizes as witchcraft.
(Doc. 1-1, p. 7). He provides one additional example of
Bruce's misconduct. Id. Bruce called Plaintiff
“retarded” for “trying to get the biggest
pencil” when “most are very little.” (Doc.
1-1, p. 5). Plaintiff told Bruce that the name-calling was
not very nice. Id. In response, Bruce said, “I
didn't call you retarded[.] I said ...