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Chambers v. Young

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 17, 2017

VINCEL K. CHAMBERS, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDY YOUNG, MAYNOR HILL, DON MCNAUGHTON, DAVID JOSEPH, and T. MIKE DIXON, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff Vincel K. Chambers, an inmate in Hill Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for events that occurred while he was incarcerated at Madison County Jail. Plaintiff requests a declarative judgment, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and fees and costs. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint 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 such relief.

         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).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff was incarcerated at Madison County Jail between August 22 and September 6, 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 5). While there, McNaughton refused to give him his medication and deprived him of a meal. Id. McNaughton also encouraged other inmates to assault Plaintiff. Id. McNaughton and Young taunted and harassed Plaintiff, causing him to consider suicide. Id. McNaughton, Hill, Young, Dixon, and Joseph refused to allow Plaintiff to file grievances or speak with a mental health professional. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Young and McNaughton disclosed information about Plaintiff's personal life that put him in direct danger from others. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into 7 counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The following claim survives threshold review:

Count 1 - McNaughton, Hill, Young, Dixon, and Joseph were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical need when they refused to allow Plaintiff to speak to a mental health professional.

         Plaintiff has also attempted to articulate other claims, but for the reasons stated below, those ...


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