United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
Andrew Williams, currently incarcerated at Western Illinois
Correctional Center (“WICC”), has filed this
pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. His claims arose while he was confined at Menard
Correctional Center (“Menard”). Williams claims
that Defendants failed to protect him from an attack by 3
fellow inmates, despite his many requests to be placed in
protective custody. The Complaint is now before the Court for
a preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
§ 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.
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).
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 Plaintiff's claims
survive threshold review under § 1915A and shall receive
March 23, 2015, Williams was approved for protective custody
(“P.C.”) at Menard by then-Warden
Butler and Counselor Cowan. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 7).
However, he went to segregation before he could be placed in
P.C. While in segregation, Williams wrote to Defendant Butler
“numerous times” to request placement in P.C.
after he was released from segregation. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
Despite Williams' letters and the fact that Butler had
previously approved his P.C. application, Butler failed to
act on these requests. Id.
Cowan was the “intake P.C. counselor.” (Doc. 1,
p. 5). Williams informed her that other inmates had a
“hit” on him. Id. She initially
approved, then denied, and finally approved again
Williams' P.C. application, prior to him being moved to
segregation. Williams wrote to her again while he was in
segregation, telling her that he still needed P.C. when he
got out. Cowan responded, “I'm busy, I'll try
to get to it, ” but never took action. Id.
was released from segregation on April 26, 2016 (Doc. 1, p.
7). At that time, he told Defendant Lafound (Segregation
Property Officer) that he needed to check into P.C. because
of the hit on his life. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 7). Lafound told
Williams that he'd be O.K. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He also said
that he was tired of signing Williams up for P.C. because he
already did it twice, and Williams keeps going to seg. (Doc.
1, p. 7). Lafound added that Williams could “take it as
punishment” because he didn't like guys with sex
cases. Id. When Williams reasserted that
his life was in danger, Lafound replied, “I know you
need P.C. but I'm going home and you got to deal with
was put in West House, Gallery 6, where the First Shift
Correctional Officer John Doe #1 was on duty. He told John
Doe #1 “numerous times” that there were threats
on his life and there was a “hit” on him. (Doc.
1, p. 6). John Doe #1 responded that Williams would be
“fine, ” and told him to quit bothering him.
Id. He also stated, “I know you need P.C. but
I'm not going to go over what my boss says, ” and
walked away. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Between April 26 and May 19,
2016, Williams continued to ask John Doe #1 to sign him in or
move him to P.C., but his requests were denied.
19, 2016, while Williams was on the East yard, 3 other
inmates attacked and severely beat him. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 8).
Williams asserts that if the defendants would have granted
his requests to be ...