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Coleman v. Bollier

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

June 13, 2017

BRIAN COLEMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
BOLLIER, FYFFE, HANLIN, and IDOC, Defendants.

          MERIT REVIEW OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff proceeds pro se from his incarceration in Menard Correctional Center regarding incidents which occurred in the Illinois River Correctional Center from June 30, 2016 to July 2, 2016. His Complaint is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This section requires the Court to identify cognizable claims stated by the Complaint or dismiss claims that are not cognizable.[1] In reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor and taking Plaintiff's pro se status into account. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to "'state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(quoted cite omitted).

         Plaintiff alleges that on June 30, 2016, during his escort to segregation with his hands cuffed behind his back, he was repeatedly slammed to the ground, and his head was rammed into several walls. He alleges that he was refused medical attention for his injuries and that the property in his cell was destroyed while he was in the segregation cell, including mail from family, family photos, and legal papers. He was allegedly written a false disciplinary report to cover up the excessive force, which resulted in his punishment of one year in segregation and a disciplinary transfer. His request for witnesses at the disciplinary hearing was denied, as well as his request for the disciplinary committee to review the video recording.

         Plaintiff states plausible Eighth Amendment claims for excessive force and deliberate indifference to his injuries from that excessive force. He may also state a First Amendment free speech or retaliation claim based on the alleged destruction of his mail, photos, and legal papers. Lastly, he states a procedural due process claim based on the year of segregation imposed as a result of the false disciplinary ticket. However, Plaintiff will need to name as defendants the individuals on the disciplinary committee. Additionally, Plaintiff is advised that he may be barred from proceeding on the procedural due process claim if he lost good time.

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:

         1) Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court finds that Plaintiff states the following constitutional claims: Eighth Amendment claims for excessive force and deliberate indifference to his injuries from that excessive force; First Amendment free speech and/or retaliation claim based on the alleged destruction of his mail, photos, and legal papers; and, a Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim based on the year of segregation imposed as a result of the false disciplinary ticket. This case proceeds solely on the claims identified in this paragraph. Any additional claims shall not be included in the case, except at the Court's discretion on motion by a party for good cause shown or pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15.

         2) The Illinois Department of Corrections is dismissed as a Defendant because the IDOC is not a “person” subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         3) This case is now in the process of service. Plaintiff is advised to wait until counsel has appeared for Defendants before filing any motions, in order to give Defendants notice and an opportunity to respond to those motions. Motions filed before Defendants' counsel has filed an appearance will generally be denied as premature. Plaintiff need not submit any evidence to the Court at this time, unless otherwise directed by the Court.

         4) The Court will attempt service on Defendants by mailing each Defendant a waiver of service. Defendants have 60 days from the date the waiver is sent to file an Answer. If Defendants have not filed Answers or appeared through counsel within 90 days of the entry of this order, Plaintiff may file a motion requesting the status of service. After Defendants have been served, the Court will enter an order setting discovery and dispositive motion deadlines.

         5) With respect to a Defendant who no longer works at the address provided by Plaintiff, the entity for whom that Defendant worked while at that address shall provide to the Clerk said Defendant's current work address, or, if not known, said Defendant's forwarding address. This information shall be used only for effectuating service. Documentation of forwarding addresses shall be retained only by the Clerk and shall not be maintained in the public docket nor disclosed by the Clerk.

         6) Defendants shall file an answer within 60 days of the date the waiver is sent by the Clerk. A motion to dismiss is not an answer. The answer should include all defenses appropriate under the Federal Rules. The answer and subsequent pleadings shall be to the issues and claims stated in this Opinion. In general, an answer sets forth Defendants' positions. The Court does not rule on the merits of those positions unless and until a motion is filed by Defendants. Therefore, no response to the answer is necessary or will be considered.

         7) This District uses electronic filing, which means that, after Defense counsel has filed an appearance, Defense counsel will automatically receive electronic notice of any motion or other paper filed by Plaintiff with the Clerk. Plaintiff does not need to mail to Defense counsel copies of motions and other papers that Plaintiff has filed with the Clerk. However, this does not apply to discovery requests and responses. Discovery requests and responses are not filed with the Clerk. Plaintiff must mail his discovery requests and responses directly to Defendants' counsel. Discovery requests or responses sent to the Clerk will be returned unfiled, unless they are attached to and the subject of a motion to compel. Discovery does not begin until Defense counsel has filed an appearance and the Court has entered a scheduling order, which will explain the discovery process in more detail.

         8) Counsel for Defendants is hereby granted leave to depose Plaintiff at his place of confinement. Counsel for Defendants shall arrange the time for the deposition.

         9) Plaintiff shall immediately notify the Court, in writing, of any change in his mailing address and telephone number. Plaintiff's failure to notify the Court of a change in mailing address or phone ...


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