United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.
brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 while he was incarcerated at Shawnee
Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). Since he filed
the case, he has been released from custody. (Doc. 6).
Plaintiff claims that Defendants transferred him from the
prison's Health Care Unit to general population, where he
was unable to access meals or meet his hygiene needs, due to
his stroke-related impairments. The Complaint is now before
the Court for a preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on
its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations
as true, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th
Cir. 2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not
accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a
cause of action or conclusory legal statements.”
Id. At the same time, however, the factual
allegations of a pro se complaint are to be
liberally construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that some of Plaintiff's
claims survive threshold review under § 1915A.
suffered a stroke in 2011 (Doc. 1, p. 7). As a result, he
cannot lift a food tray, and he cannot walk or mobilize after
any period of rest until he sits up for 25-30 minutes. He has
extreme weakness on the left side of his body and needs a
cane for support while walking. He often does not have bowel
control and cannot make it to the bathroom, so he needs a
constant supply of wipes and a bedpan in order to clean
himself after accidents. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff's
condition had caused him to miss many meals while he was in
general population, and officers complained about Plaintiff
having to depend on kitchen workers to bring his food trays
to his table for him and clean up after him. Plaintiff
explained his problems to Dr. David on many occasions. (Doc.
1, p. 7).
of Plaintiff's mobility impairments and medical needs, he
was placed in Shawnee's Health Care Unit on February 23,
2016. Former Warden Etienne made this housing decision on the
advice of Dr. David, and the warden ordered this to be a
permanent housing assignment for Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
On November 3, 2016, however, current Warden Dennison ordered
Plaintiff to be moved back into general population.
Plaintiff's condition had not changed. When Plaintiff
discussed the matter with Dr. David, he responded that
“it was the Warden's call and not his” to
return Plaintiff to general population.
November 3, 2016, Plaintiff was required to walk to the chow
hall in order to eat. He was not allowed enough time to get
there in light of his impairments, so he was forced to miss
meals 99% of the time. (Doc. 1, pp. 8, 12). Three days after
Plaintiff's reassignment to general population, on
November 6, 2016, Plaintiff was assigned an inmate aide. Even
with the aide's help, however, Plaintiff continued to
miss meals. Further, he was no longer provided with the wipes
or bedpan that he needed in order to maintain his personal
hygiene in light of his bowel control problems. Lecrone
(Director of Nursing) refused or delayed meeting with
Plaintiff when he sought help obtaining these supplies. (Doc.
1, pp. 10, 12). Plaintiff also complained to Smoot (Health
Care Administrator) about the discontinuation of his supplies
after his move to general population, and his inability to
get meals, but she took no action. (Doc. 1, pp. 12-13; Doc.
asserts that his reassignment to general population without
adequate assistance to meet his nutritional and
health/hygiene needs violated the “Disability Act of
Illinois.” (Doc. 1, p. 9). He also complains that
Shawnee does not provide a yard or gym for disabled inmates.
(Doc. 1, p. 10).
asserts that numerous officials lied and conspired to remove
him from the Health Care Unit. (Doc. 1, p. 10). He
specifically claims that Lecrone, Dennison, and David worked
together to get him out of the Health Care Unit in
retaliation for Plaintiff's alleged involvement in
assisting another inmate with a lawsuit against those
officials. Plaintiff denied acting as the inmate's
attorney, but then states in the Complaint that he prepared a
motion to dismiss these defendants from the suit. (Doc. 1, p.
also sues Wexford Health Sources, Inc., for hiring employees
who are not professional, capable, or competent to provide
medical care. (Doc. 1, p. 12). Finally, Plaintiff alleges
that Counselor Reeder failed to process Plaintiff's
grievances. (Doc. 1, p. 13).
seeks damages for the violations of his rights. (Doc. 1, p.
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following 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
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as
to their merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in the
Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice.
1: Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff's medical, nutritional, and
hygiene needs, for causing him to miss meals and
discontinuing his hygiene supplies after housing him in the
2: Claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act
and/or Rehabilitation Act, for failing to accommodate
Plaintiff's disabilities after moving him to general
population, causing him to ...