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Conway v. Heck

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 30, 2017

GREGORY CONWAY, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES HECK, WILLIAMS JOHNSON, and MARCUS MYERS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Gregory Conway, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) housed in Pinckneyville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The claims in this lawsuit were severed from another matter on February 3, 2017. (Doc. 1). The claims then underwent threshold screening on March 7, 2017. (Doc. 6). The Court found that Plaintiff had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and dismissed the Complaint with leave to amend. (Doc. 6). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on March 31, 2017. (Doc. 8).

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Amended 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 Amended Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is once again subject to summary dismissal.

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff was transferred to Pinckneyville Correctional Center on May 21, 2015. (Doc. 8, p. 5). Lieutenant Gooden told William Johnson that Plaintiff was a troublemaker and that Pinckneyville should show Plaintiff “how we deal with troublemakers.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that Gooden made that remark because Plaintiff had reported a sexual assault at Western Correctional Center, where Gooden was employed. Id. Johnson turned to Plaintiff and said, “So you're a troublemaker, we got a way of dealing with trouble makers in Pinckneyville.” Id. Plaintiff was then written a disciplinary report for talking on the bus, which he alleges was fabricated in retaliation. Id.

         Plaintiff was served the disciplinary report written by Williams on May 22, 2015. Id. Although the original Complaint alleged that Plaintiff filled out the bottom portion requesting witnesses and gave it to a Corrections Officer (“C/O”) (Doc. 2, pp. 12-13), Plaintiff now alleges that he merely called after the C/O who dropped the form off and that the C/O ignored him. (Doc. 8, p. 5).

         Plaintiff had his Adjustment Committee hearing on May 24, 2015. Id. Heck and Myers presided over the hearing. Id. Plaintiff informed them he wished to call witnesses, but they told him it was too late for that. Id. Plaintiff began arguing about the witnesses, but Heck cut him off, saying, “They're right, you are a troublemaker . . . guilty as charged, now get out of here.” Id.

         Plaintiff was placed in segregation, where he was not allowed to make phone calls to family members, watch television, eat food he had purchased from the commissary, or take college classes, all of which are privileges afforded to inmates in general ...


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