United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Scott Peters, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings
this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Federal Tort Claims
Act, 28 U.S.C. §§1346, 2671-2680. Specifically,
Plaintiff claims that the defendants have been deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical issues in violation of the
Eighth Amendment and have failed to accommodate his
disability related needs, among various other allegations.
(Doc. 1). This case is now before the Court for a preliminary
review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
(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.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds that a portion of the Complaint survives
Complaint, Plaintiff dedicates a large portion of his
Complaint to detailing his interactions with the police that
led to his incarceration. He maintains his innocence and
asserts that the fault was placed “on the Plaintiff as
if there was no one else involved in the situation.”
Id. He claims that the police attacked his
background, presumably at trial, by asserting
“Plaintiff was crazy” and using a false narrative
regarding his history with firearms and a fake hand grenade.
(Doc. 1-1, p. 3). Plaintiff asserts that if law enforcement
had handled the interaction with him that led to his crime
appropriately, the entire situation would have been averted.
Id. He also claims that the government employing
military combat soldiers and allowing them “to go
unchecked . . . on civilian homes and property” also
made his crime unavoidable, particularly because the police
did not attempt to de-escalate the situation. (Doc. 1-1, p.
also sets forth the following allegations in his Complaint
(Doc. 1): Plaintiff is a military veteran who was severely
and permanently injured while on duty. (Doc. 1-1, p. 2). He
was a different person before he joined the army and has
since suffered from psychological issues, including
depression, as well as physical disabilities and pain.
Id. He has consistently sought help from the
Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) for these
issues for the past 31 years. Id.
he has disability related to his service, he has been
deprived of his benefits and health care over the years.
Id. This deprivation has caused him an
“emotional insanity and emotional distress to
Plaintiff's family and irreparable harm to Plaintiff . .
. creating irreversible psychosis.” Id. He
asserts that no one at the Veterans Administration cared, or
at least took any action to help him other than to harass his
wife about stopping him if he tried to kill himself.
Id. The Veterans Administration, federal government,
governor and director of IDOC knew he was being deprived of
care for years and that it was affecting his health, safety
and psychological state. (Doc. 1-1. p. 5). Plaintiff claims
that this situation has almost cost him his life on more than
one occasion, and that being disabled in a maximum security
prison ensures that his life continues to be in danger and
leaves him terrified for his safety every day. Id.
He further asserts that he should not be in prison due to his
right to protect himself, his home, and his property under
Illinois state law. Id.
in prison, he has struggled to receive the medical treatment
he is owed due to his Class 4 Medical Card designation.
Id. Specifically, he claims the following: that he
is supposed to receive another colonoscopy because he had
polyps removed; that he is supposed to get his pain problems
resolved; that he is supposed to have surgery for his stomach
hernia; that he is not given common things like creams for
jungle rot or Tylenol for headaches; and that he has blood in
his urine and stool, and his prostate has not been checked.
Id. He also alleges that he is charged co-pays when
he is not supposed to pay anything and that although his
medical is allegedly supposed to come from the Veterans
Administration, he has been told that he is not entitled to
any medical for his service connected injuries. Id.
also claims that he is restricted to crawling around on the
floor because he does not have any assistive devices and that
there are not enough wheelchairs or chairs in the shower.
Id. He is also unable to access a doctor's
office at the end of the hall with a wheelchair, so he is
forced to sit outside in the hall, even during visits with a
psychologist. Id. He also sometimes cannot eat the
things the other inmates are given because he is not brought
to the mess hall. Id. He is also unable to go to
recreational or go to night yard due to his disabilities. As
a result, the other inmates are allowed to be out of their
cells 4 hours more than Plaintiff per week. Id.
Plaintiff has written many grievances to have these issues
requests monetary damages from the defendants as well as
declaratory relief. (Doc. 1, p. 7). He also seeks a
preliminary and permanent injunction, ordering the defendants
to “stop ignoring Plaintiff's serious medical needs
caused by service in the United States Armed Forces and
provide the medical services deserved, along with safe and
accessible housing.” Id.; (Doc. 5).
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into 5
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 regarding their merit.
Count 1 - Defendants are at fault for the
situation that led to Plaintiff's arrest and
incarceration due to their negligence, intentional infliction
of emotional distress, and deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's medical and psychological needs.
Count 2 - Defendants violated the Americans
with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12111-213, and Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C.
§§ 794-94e, for failing to accommodate
Plaintiff's various disabilities and ...