United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
OWEN M. GBORPLAY, No. Y21170 Plaintiff,
SGT. BARNHILL, C/O JACKSON, FAIRLESS, NICKLES, PAYSLEE, SCUTEZ, BAREFIELD, JOHNS, and JOHN DOE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT United States District Judge.
Owen M. Gborplay, a citizen of Liberia, filed his Original
Complaint on February 13, 2017. (Doc. 1). At the time of
filing, Plaintiff was a detainee in the Pulaski County
Detention Center (“Pulaski”). Initially,
Plaintiff was a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(“ICE”) detainee awaiting deportation. (Doc. 15,
p. 1). However, on January 5, 2017, Plaintiff was involved in
an altercation with a Pulaski official and was charged with
battery. On April 19, 2017, Plaintiff pleaded guilty to the
charge and was sentenced to two years' imprisonment.
Plaintiff was transferred to Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”) on April 24, 2017 and is presently
serving his sentence, on the battery charge, at Menard.
constitutional claims relate to his treatment while housed in
Pulaski. Plaintiff alleges officials at Pulaski subjected him
to unconstitutional conditions of confinement, excessive
force, illegal strip searches, and were deliberately
indifferent to his related medical needs. Plaintiff seeks
monetary relief and injunctive relief in the form of medical
care. This matter is presently before the Court for
preliminary screening of Plaintiff's Third Amended
Complaint (Doc. 15) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
Original Complaint was filed on February 13, 2017. (Doc. 1).
According to the Original Complaint, on January 5, 2017,
after an incident in the “B” pod housing unit
Plaintiff was transferred to segregation where he was
stripped naked, shackled and held for 24 hours. (Doc. 1, pp.
1-2). Plaintiff alleged he sustained injuries as a result of
this incident, that Pulaski officials were deliberately
indifferent to those injuries, and sought monetary damages in
April 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend Complaint.
(Doc. 5). The caption of the proposed amended complaint
identified several Pulaski officials as defendants. However,
the body of the proposed amended complaint only identified a
single defendant - Pulaski County Detention Center. The
proposed amended complaint did not include any claims
pertaining to the January 5, 2017 incident described in the
Original Complaint. Instead, the proposed amended complaint
brought allegations, directed at the Pulaski County Detention
Center, pertaining to unreasonable strip searches occurring
between January and March of 2017. In connection with these
claims, Plaintiff requested monetary damages.
April 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed a second Motion to Amend
Complaint. The caption of the second proposed amended
complaint identified several Pulaski officials as defendants.
However, the body of the proposed amended complaint only
identified a single defendant - Pulaski County Detention
Center Medical Department. The allegations in the second
proposed amended complaint focused, once again, on the
January 5, 2017 incident described in the Original Complaint.
However, all of the allegations were directed against the
Pulaski County Detention Center Medical. Additionally,
Plaintiff asserted facts that implicated ongoing and
potentially serious health concerns. Specifically, Plaintiff
alleged that, as a result of the January 5, 2017 incident, he
was “suffering from sharp pain coming from under [his]
heart and lack of breathing off and on throughout during the
day.” Plaintiff further alleged that he had requested
medical treatment but had not yet been examined by a
physician. In connection with these claims, Plaintiff sought
only monetary damages.
April 12, 2017, the Court granted leave to amend (Doc. 8) and
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Doc. 9) and Second
Amended Complaint (Doc. 10) were filed. The Court then
proceeded with a preliminary review of Plaintiff's Second
Amended Complaint. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint was dismissed without prejudice for failure to name
a proper defendant. With respect to Plaintiff's alleged
untreated medical needs, the Court specifically stated as
The Court is concerned with Plaintiff's ongoing health
issues and takes his allegations very seriously. However,
these matters cannot be addressed unless and until Plaintiff
files a viable action. Further, to date, all of
Plaintiff's pleadings have sought only monetary relief.
To the extent that Plaintiff wishes to obtain and/or needs
medical care during the pendency of this action, Plaintiff
should file a separate motion for a TRO and/or a preliminary
injunction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65.
The motion should be filed in this action and not a separate
or new action. In it, Plaintiff must set forth the specific
request for relief, as well as the factual allegations that
support the request.
(Doc. 8, p. 8).
was granted leave to file a Third Amended Complaint on or
before May 11, 2017. Plaintiff timely filed a Third Amended
Complaint on May 4, 2017. (Doc. 15). In a cover letter
accompanying the Third Amended Complaint, Plaintiff indicated
that, because of his recent transfer to Menard, he was unable
to use the civil rights form provided by the Court.
Screening of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint
Third Amended Complaint is now subject to preliminary review
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.
Third Amended Complaint
alleges that he arrived at Pulaski on December 1, 2016 as an
ICE detainee. (Doc. 15, p. 1). On January 5, 2017, Plaintiff
was involved in an incident in the B-Pod housing unit wherein
he was accused of “spill[ing] liquid material on an
officer.” Id. Plaintiff contends that, at the
time of the alleged incident, the officer was not present in
the B-Pod housing unit. Id.
result of this incident, Plaintiff was taken to E-Pod
segregation unit and placed in cell No. 5. Id.
Plaintiff alleges that Jackson, Fairless, and Barnhill are
the officials that placed him in cell No. 5. Plaintiff
further alleges that Jackson, Fairless, and Barnhill stripped
Plaintiff naked and restrained him with cuffs and shackles.
(Doc. 15, p. 2). Plaintiff contends the restraints were
around his legs, wrists, and stomach. Id. Plaintiff
contends that he remained naked for approximately 30 minutes
but remained in the restraints for approximately 24 hours.
Id. Plaintiff contends the strip search was
unjustified because Pulaski officials had no reason to
suspect Plaintiff was concealing contraband. Id.
days after the incident, Plaintiff began experiencing major
pain in his lung, sharp pains in his heart, and difficulty
breathing. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he submitted
several requests for medical treatment but, “up until
now” he had not been treated. Id. He also
submitted grievances that were ignored. Id.
Plaintiff contends the ongoing pain is interfering with his
ability to eat and sleep. He states that, after two months of
requesting medical treatment, he received some of his medical
forms back and observed that an unidentified nurse made a
request to an unidentified physician (John Doe) to treat
Plaintiff. However, the John Doe physician ignored
Plaintiff's medical needs and failed to treat Plaintiff.
further alleges that he was charged with battery in
connection with the January 5, 2017 incident. (Doc. 1, p. 2).
Plaintiff had numerous court dates regarding the battery
charge. (Doc. 15, pp. 2-3). According to Plaintiff, on each
court date, Plaintiff was subjected to unjustified strip
searches (strip searches were conducted “without any
probable cause or reasonable suspicion I was concealing
contraband”), in violation of his constitutional
rights. (Doc. 15, p. 3). Plaintiff contends Barefield, Johns,
Payslee, Nickles, and Scutez were responsible for the alleged
strip searches. Id.
request for relief, Plaintiff states as follows: “Due
to all these violations of my constitutional rights. I am
seeking monetary damage in the amount of $900, 000.00 and
medical care until my case is settl[ed].” Id.
pleaded guilty to the battery charge on April 19, 2017 and
was sentenced to two years imprisonment. Plaintiff was
transferred to Menard on April 24, 2017. Plaintiff brings
no allegations with regard to his medical treatment since his
transfer to Menard. However, the Third Amended Complaint
indicates that Plaintiff may be receiving medical treatment
at Menard. (Doc. 15, p. 2) (“I made several medical
request regarding my pain and suffering through a medical
complaint form, but up until now I haven't been
treated.”) (emphasis added).
Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se
action into a single count. The parties and the Court will
use this designation in all future pleadings and orders,
unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this
Court. Any other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but
not addressed in this Order should be ...