United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.
Pierre Jordan, an inmate in Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes multiple
claims against the defendants related to his treatment at
Lawrence. He requests a prison transfer as well as monetary
compensation from the ten named defendants. Plaintiff was
previously granted leave to file an amended complaint, but
failed to do so by the May 15, 2017 deadline. Therefore, this
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
original Complaint (Doc. 1) 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
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.
part of screening, the Court is allowed to sever unrelated
claims against different defendants into separate lawsuits.
See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir.
2007). Severance is important, “not only to prevent the
sort of morass” produced by multi-claim,
multi-defendant suits “but also to ensure that
prisoners pay the required filing fees” under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act. Id. Therefore,
consistent with George, unrelated claims will be
severed into new cases, given new case numbers, and assessed
separate filing fees.
Complaint (Doc. 1) is incredibly disjointed throughout. That
said, the Court is able to decipher the following
allegations: Plaintiff was assaulted by a fellow inmate,
Herbert Tribble, with a writing pen. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He was
stabbed repeatedly in his arm and shoulder by Tribble and
sustained laceration injuries that have since become
permanent. Id. Nurse practitioners failed to
administer first aid treatment to Plaintiff's wounds from
the attack. Id. Weber recovered the weapon from
Tribble and gave it to Harper as evidence of the attack.
Id. Agent Haues took pictures of Plaintiff's
injuries. Id. Plaintiff requested medical treatment
from Harper and Jennings at his adjustment committee hearing
on May 26, 2016, but they refused to assist him in getting
medical treatment. Id. Plaintiff also sent an
emergency medical grievance and disciplinary report grievance
to Duncan and Strubhart. Id.
began to receive threats of retaliatory violence from
Tribble's associates. When he reported these incidents,
Harper, Wheeler and Goins failed to investigate the threats
or to discipline the individuals threatening Plaintiff.
Plaintiff was in segregation, Reid and Soctkomp deprived him
of dinner trays and once per week showers, placed him in
tight handcuff restraints leaving him in pain, intentionally
withheld mail from him and threatened him for submitting
grievances. (Doc. 1, p. 13). Plaintiff believes these actions
were racially motivated. Id. He reported this
behavior to Williams, Kidd and Wheeler and they all failed to
investigate and discipline Reid and Soctkomp. Id.
16 days Plaintiff was on crisis suicide watch, Reid continued
to psychologically and sexually harass and terrorize him as
well as the other inmates. Id. Plaintiff continued
to protest Reid's behavior to the
“M.H.P.'s” who promised to report his
concerns to other prison staff, but presumably failed to do
and Halteroad behaved inappropriately toward Plaintiff as
well by sexually harassing him. Id. Gaye and
Halteroad also encouraged Plaintiff to perform sexual acts on
himself and to engage in inappropriate sexual conversation
for their gratification. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Administrative
Review Board Office of Inmate Issues Chairwoman Sherry Benton
and Lawrence County State's Attorney Quick failed to
investigate Gaye's inappropriate sexual harassment of
Plaintiff and other inmates. (Doc. 1, p. 19). Plaintiff sent
an affidavit regarding Gaye's misconduct to Bownen, Quick
and Jennings, and gave the same affidavit to Counselor
Collins and Ginder. (Doc. 1, p. 9).
was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement
by Weaver, Duvall and Rutherford. (Doc. 1, pp. 14-16). These
conditions included: excessive cold in Plaintiff's cell
during the 2016 fall and winter seasons; toxic flood water
from the utility room seeping into Plaintiff's cell;
inadequate cleaning supplies provided to prisoners with which
to clean their cells; inadequate bathroom facilities and
procedures to accommodate the prisoners during day room time;
inadequate and unsanitary food service and training of
inmates who work in the kitchen; and excessive heat in
prisoners' cells…from 95-100 degrees…that
contributed to and increased bacterial and viral diseases on
the gallery. Id. Plaintiff injured his back and legs
in a fall caused by the floodwater in his cell. Id.
He has also suffered from migraine headaches as a result of
these conditions, which have seriously affected his
breathing, thinking and sleeping. (Doc. 1, p. 15).
was intimidated verbally, sexually harassed and stolen from
by Weber, Soctkomp, Reid, Duvall, Brumer and Erwin. (Doc. 1,
pp. 16, 18). These corrections officers also allowed inmates
to behave inappropriately in various ways. (Doc. 1, p. 18).
Despite Plaintiff filing multiple emergency staff conduct
grievances against these officers for their “unethical,
unprofessional behavior, ” Assistant Warden of Programs
Dr. Brookhart, Assistant Warden of Operations Goins, Warden
Lamb and Lawrence County State's Attorney Mr. Quick
attempted to cover up Weber's theft of Plaintiff's
personal property, failed to investigate and prosecute the
C/Os and intentionally failed to protect Plaintiff and the
other inmates from the crimes the C/Os were committing. (Doc.
1, pp. 16, 18). As a result of the continued harassment and
intimidation by Weber and other inmates, Plaintiff attempted
suicide on July 11, 2016. (Doc. 1-1, p. 10). Plaintiff was
also attacked by his cellmate, Charles Perkins, soon after
both he and Perkins alerted Smith that Perkins was a direct
and immediate threat to Plaintiff's safety. (Doc. 1, p.
17). Plaintiff sustained injuries from this attack. (Doc. 1,
p. 18). Prior to the attack, Perkins and Plaintiff
“would share stories of [their] sexual
conduct/interactions with M.H.P. Ms. Gay. [They] were both
under the impression due to ‘psychological
manipulation' of M.H.P. Ms. Gay that [they] were both in
a relationship with her.” (Doc. 1, p. 17).
was obstructed from having meaningful access to the courts
when Dr. Brookhart instructed Law Librarian Caslin to deny
his request “to be placed on the legal deadline because
they don't recognize civil and criminal litigation, only
prison conditions.” (Doc. 1, p. 19). As a result,
Plaintiff missed a filing deadline in his tort case, a fact
the opposing counsel cited as grounds for dismissal of the
was stopped by Benton from petitioning the government for a
redress of grievances and Lamb denied Plaintiff's
emergency staff conduct grievances and requests for a
P.R.E.A. investigation. Id. He was also denied
adequate health care by the doctors, health care
administrator and nurse practitioners at Lawrence when they
failed to appropriately treat his athletes' foot, bruised
ankle, Achilles tendon and nose laceration. (Doc. 1, p. 20).
Court begins its § 1915A review with a note about the
parties in this case. Throughout his Complaint, Plaintiff
refers to the conduct of some individuals not named in the
caption or defendant list. For example, he states that nurse
practitioners, doctors, health care unit administrators,
Jennings, Duncan, Strubhart and Haues were deliberately
indifferent to certain of his medical needs; that Williams,
Kidd and Harteroad failed to protect him against certain
abuses by the prison staff; that Reid, Soctkomp, Weaver,
Duvall and Rutherford subjected him to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement and cruel and unusual punishment;
and that Smith failed to protect him from an attack by his
cellmate. Because these individuals are not listed in
Plaintiff's caption by name or by Doe designation, they
will not be treated as defendants in this case and any claims
against them should be considered dismissed without
prejudice. See Myles v. United States, 416
F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir. 2005) (defendants must be
“specif[ied] in the caption”).
to the allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court
finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following enumerated 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 - Harper was deliberately
indifferent to Plaintiff's medical needs when he refused
Plaintiff's request that he help him get medical care on
May 26, 2016 for the injuries Plaintiff sustained when inmate
Tribble attacked him.
Count 2 - Harper, Wheeler, and Goins failed
to investigate and discipline the inmates involved when
Plaintiff informed them of threats of violence against him by
inmates associated with inmate Tribble.
Count 3 - Wheeler failed to intervene to
prevent Reid and Soctkomp from depriving Plaintiff of dinner
trays and once per week showers, placing Plaintiff in tight
handcuff restraints, intentionally withholding mail from
Plaintiff, and threatening Plaintiff for submitting
grievances after Plaintiff reported this behavior to Wheeler
via an inmate request.
Count 4 - Weber subjected Plaintiff to cruel
and unusual punishment by verbally and sexually harassing
Plaintiff, making intimidating remarks to Plaintiff, stealing
from Plaintiff, and making retaliatory threats toward
Plaintiff, resulting ...