United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge
Hamilton Jones, a former inmate now on parole from Robinson
Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of
his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims that Defendant Dr. Coe
made inappropriate comments and touched Plaintiff
inappropriately during a medical visit at Lawrence
Correctional Center in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
(Doc. 1). This case is now before the Court for a preliminary
review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
(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 allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
makes the following allegations in his Complaint (Doc. 1): In
early 2016, Plaintiff had a doctor's visit with Coe for
jock itch and an abscess near his rectum. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Coe
said to Plaintiff: “If you let me see your pecker, then
maybe I could help.” Id. Coe also told
Plaintiff, among other things, that if he had something going
on between his legs, he “should stop humping on [his]
celly.” Id. Plaintiff informed Mrs. Phillippe
that he was not comfortable dealing with Dr. Coe and that he
wished to see James, the Physician's Assistant. (Doc. 1,
reported Coe's “sexually harassing remarks”
to the PREA hotline and was interviewed by Jeffrey Molenhour
soon thereafter. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Molenhour told Plaintiff
that Coe may have a strange sense of humor but that Molenhour
did not believe Coe desired Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff
also saw a clinical psychologist who told Plaintiff
“Dr. Coe was a strange duck.” Id.
February 19, 2016, Plaintiff had another doctor's visit
with Coe for his jock itch and abscess. Id. Coe
instructed Plaintiff to bend over and pull his pants down,
which he did. Id. Coe then put on his gloves and
stated: “let me grab my joy juice.” Id.
Coe proceeded to squeeze the abscess with one hand and pushed
his fingers into Plaintiff's rectum. Id.
Plaintiff jumped and pulled his pants up, at which time Coe
asked if Plaintiff was in pain. Id. Plaintiff stated
he was not in pain, but that what Coe did was unnecessary.
Id. Coe told Plaintiff to pull his pants down again,
and reconvened squeezing the abscess. Id. After
informing Plaintiff the abscess was getting smaller and could
be draining, he “again tried putting his fingers into
[Plaintiff's] rectum.” Id. At that point,
Plaintiff told Coe that was not necessary. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8).
the appointment ended, Plaintiff spoke with a lieutenant
about what happened with Coe, who told him to speak with his
lieutenant when he got back to his housing. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
Plaintiff reported the situation to Counselor Bare and
Lieutenant Williams and had another appointment with
Molenhour during which Molenhour implied that Plaintiff had
another motive for reporting the incident. Id.
Plaintiff was also seen by Warden Russ Goins, who mistakenly
said Plaintiff saw Coe for a prostate exam, which Plaintiff
claims he has experienced mental anguish and embarrassment
from this incident and that he could have been protected from
this happening. He also alleges that “Wexford
Healthcare has a policy and custom of giving less than
adequate treatment to inmates [which] can be substantiated by
their own Wexford Contract Handbook through ‘Cost