United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. Yandle United States District Judge
Daniel Amaya, an inmate housed at Pinckneyville Correctional
Center, brings this pro se civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was formerly
housed at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”)
and his claims in the instant Complaint relate to his time at
Menard. Plaintiff claims that while he was incarcerated at
Menard, on or about April 1, 2016, his constitutional rights
were violated during a strip search and cell shake down
conducted by members of the Orange Crush tactical team (the
“shake down”). In connection with these claims,
Plaintiff identifies more than 200 Defendants. Among the
Defendants are Kimberly Butler (warden), William Rees
(assistant warden), Anthony Williams (assistant warden), Doug
Lyerla (assistant warden), John R. Baldwin (acting director),
Leslie McCarty (administrative review board member), Jacob
Weatherford (mental health advisor), Jane Doe (nurse), Dr.
Trost & Associates, Kelly Pierce (counselor), John Doe
(chief of operations for IDOC), John Does (201 members of the
Orange Crush tactical team), and Phelps (internal affairs
Complaint is now before the Court for a 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.
Complaint and accompanying exhibits consist of 156 pages. The
first 106 pages of the Complaint are devoted to identifying
the numerous Defendants. (Doc. 1; Doc. 1-1; Doc. 1-2, pp.
1-5). Plaintiff's statement of claim consists of only two
pages and contains very generic allegations. (Doc. 1-2, pp.
31-32). Plaintiff has also attached a number of grievances,
medical records and affidavits. (Doc. 1-2, pp. 9-31, 33-42).
effort to identify material relevant to Plaintiff's
claims, the Court has reviewed Plaintiff's supporting
exhibits, which contain a litany of allegations and facts.
The Court emphasizes that it is only considering facts which
specifically address the claims Plaintiff has actually
alleged or attempted to allege in his Complaint. In other
words, the Court has not extracted facts from Plaintiff's
exhibits in an attempt to fashion claims that Plaintiff has
not alleged. See United States ex rel. Garst v.
Lockheed-Martin Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2003)
(it is not the responsibility of the Court to comb through
Plaintiff's exhibits to fashion claims on Plaintiff's
behalf). For example, a grievance filed with the Complaint
alleges that in response to having filed grievances,
Plaintiff was denied access to religious services. (Doc. 1-2,
pp. 14, 36). Such an allegation might support a claim for
retaliation. However, Plaintiff's Complaint does not
assert a claim for retaliation that alludes to this conduct.
To the extent that Plaintiff intended to bring additional
claims premised solely on facts included in his exhibits,
those claims should be considered dismissed without prejudice
as inadequately pled.
to the Complaint, on April 1, 2016, members of the Orange
Crush tactical team sexually abused Plaintiff and other
inmates in the East Cell House. (Doc. 1-2, p. 31). The
Complaint does not provide any additional detail with respect
to the shake down. However, the exhibits attached to
Plaintiff's Complaint provide the following additional
April 1, 2016, members of the Orange Crush tactical unit
subjected Plaintiff and other inmates to a strip search,
shake down and other humiliating abuse. (Doc. 1-2, pp. 9-10,
12, 33-42). The Orange Crush tactical unit paraded the
prisoners from their cells to the prison chapel. (Doc. 1-2,
p. 10). During this time, Orange Crush officers yelled at the
inmates to keep their heads and eyes down. Id. The
officers were not wearing any identification tags. (Doc. 1-2,
p. 9). Additionally, officers repeatedly grabbed
Plaintiff's “ass and cock and balls” and one
officer made harassing comments, such as “fuzzy
wuzzy” and “easy access.” (Doc. 1-2, pp.
affidavit provided by Plaintiff's cellmate also describes
this incident. According to the affidavit, Plaintiff was
strip searched in his cell. (Doc. 1-2, pp. 34-35). During the
strip search, Plaintiff's cellmate heard unidentified
officers instruct Plaintiff to bend over and “spread
them.” Id. He then heard a blowing noise and
heard Plaintiff yell “man what the fuck?”
Id. (See also Doc. 1-2, p. 29) (an officer
made sexual comments and “blew on [Plaintiff's] ass
while [Plaintiff was] being shook down”).
what the Court can discern, Plaintiff's claims pertaining
to the shake down are directed at the Orange Crush Defendants
and certain supervisory officials (Menard's warden,
assistant wardens, and acting director). The Orange Crush
Defendants include John Doe (described as the chief of
operations for IDOC and the individual responsible for the
Orange Crush tactical team) and approximately 200 John Does
(described generically as members of the Orange Crush
tactical team who participated in the shake down). (Doc. 1,
pp. 6-50; Doc. 1-1; Doc. 1-2 pp. 1-5). None of the John Does
are specifically associated with any conduct involving the
Plaintiff. The supervisory defendants include Butler, Rees,
Williams, Lyerla and Baldwin. Plaintiff contends that these
individuals are subject to liability because they exercise
control over Menard (Doc. 1, pp. 1-3) and/or because these
Defendants had prior knowledge of the tactics being used by
the Orange Crush tactical team. (Doc. 1-2, p. 31).
contends the shake down violated his right to be free from
cruel and unusual punishment, was the result of a conspiracy,
and constitutes the intentional infliction of emotional
distress. (Doc. 1-2, pp. 31-32). The Complaint also indicates
that Plaintiff is attempting to bring one or more claims
pertaining to grievances. The Complaint alleges that
“Defendants, wardens, Lieuten[a]nts, sergeants, mental
health staff, nurses, Dr. Trost & associates, internal
affairs, John R. Baldwin, Leslie McCarty, [and] Kellie
Pierce, failed to intervene” regardless of numerous
Complaint also includes a number of exhibits that involve
and/or discuss grievances filed by the Plaintiff and other
inmates. Plaintiff filed grievances pertaining to the April
1, 2016 shake down alleging PREA violations. (Doc. 1-2, pp.
9-10, 12, 16, 27-28). He also filed grievances pertaining to
the mishandling of his PREA grievances, officer conduct in
relation to his PREA grievances, his PREA examination and
retaliation. (Doc. 1-2, pp. 11-16). Plaintiff's
grievances and related appeals were denied. (Doc. 1-2, pp.
further alleges that Defendants violated the Prison Rape
Elimination Act (“PREA”), 42 U.S.C. § 15607.
(Doc. 1-2, p. 32). Specifically, he contends that Defendants
are not properly trained to handle sexual assault
investigations. Id. (See also Doc. 1-2, pp.
11, 29) (grievance alleging nurse that conducted PREA
examination was not a SANE nurse and was inadequately
trained) Plaintiff also alleges that “medical
staff” mislead, intimidate, and destroy evidence.
Plaintiff's list of defendants includes information
suggesting that certain defendants are connected with
Plaintiff's PREA examination, the statement of claim is
so generic that the Court cannot identify with any certainty
which defendants are being sued in connection with
Plaintiff's PREA claims.
information contained in the list of defendants also includes
several stand-alone allegations that are not clearly related
to any claims asserted in Plaintiff's statement of claim.
For instance, the list of defendants states that Phelps, an
internal affairs officer, intimidated Plaintiff during his
PREA examination. However, the ...