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Kyles v. Beaugard

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

June 13, 2017

FRED BEAUGARD, et al., Defendants.


          AMY J. ST. EVE, United States District Court Judge

         On November 30, 2016, Plaintiff Timothy Kyles filed a nine-count Fifth Amended Complaint against individuals employed by the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) alleging violations of his constitutional rights and state law claims that occurred while he was incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center (“Stateville”).[1] See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1367(a). Before the Court is Defendants' partial motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants' motion. The Court grants Plaintiff leave to file a Sixth Amended Complaint in accordance with this ruling by no later than July 7, 2017.


         “A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) challenges the viability of a complaint by arguing that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” Camasta v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., 761 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir. 2014); see also Hill v. Serv. Emp. Int'l Union, 850 F.3d 861, 863 (7th Cir. 2017). Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Under the federal pleading standards, a plaintiff's “factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). Put differently, a “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). When determining the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, courts must “accept all well-pleaded facts as true and draw reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs' favor.” Roberts v. City of Chicago, 817 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2016).


         In his Fifth Amended Complaint, Plaintiff brings claims against the following IDOC employees: Fred Beaugard (a Stateville Correctional Officer); Karen Rabideau (Stateville's Placement Officer); Tarry Williams (Stateville's Warden); Tralon Durrett (a Stateville Correctional Officer); William Brown (a Stateville Correctional Officer); Salvador Godinez (IDOC's Director until December 31, 2014); John Baldwin (IDOC's Acting Director and Director after December 31, 2014); Maurice Lake (a Stateville Shift Supervisor); Kevin Laskey (a Stateville Shift Supervisor); Joshua Clements (an Internal Affairs Division employee); Leslie Turner (lead investigator with the Internal Affairs Division); and Nicholas Lamb (Stateville's Assistant Warden).[2] (R. 86, Fifth Am. Compl. ¶¶ 5-21, 23-30.)

         Plaintiff was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”) from approximately 2011 until January 2012. (Id. ¶¶ 1-2.) In 2011, while at Menard, a group of inmates who were members of the Gangster Disciples approached Plaintiff and gave him approximately 20 contraband knives and shivs and directed him to hide this contraband in his cell. (Id. ¶ 36.) At that time, Plaintiff was affiliated with the Gangster Disciples. (Id.) Thereafter, Plaintiff voluntarily turned in the contraband to prison officials and renounced his gang affiliation. (Id. ¶ 37.) IDOC officials then transferred Plaintiff to the Segregation Unit at Menard to protect him from members of the Gangster Disciples. (Id. ¶ 38.) In January 2012, IDOC transferred Plaintiff to Stateville and he applied for protective custody status due to his fears that inmates affiliated with the Gangster Disciples would find out what he had done at Menard. (Id. ¶¶ 39-41.) Stateville's Internal Affairs Division granted Plaintiff's application for Protective Custody (“PC”), after which he was housed in the PC Unit. (Id. ¶¶ 42-43.)

         Plaintiff alleges that while incarcerated at Stateville, IDOC physicians and psychologists diagnosed him with bipolar mania (with psychotic features) and that these professionals told him that he should notify Stateville staff when he was having mental health episodes. (Id. ¶¶ 44-51.) Meanwhile, on October 24, 2014, a Stateville Correctional Officer, Officer Juborek, who is not a named Defendant to this lawsuit, threatened to put contraband in Plaintiff's cell thereby jeopardizing Plaintiff's “good time” credits. (Id. ¶¶ 55-56.) Immediately after Plaintiff lodged a complaint about Officer Juborek in a statement to Internal Affairs and via a verbal complaint to Defendant Beugard, Plaintiff maintains that certain Defendants, including Shift Supervisor Defendants Lake and Laskey, were involved in issuing him a false disciplinary ticket - stating that Plaintiff had threatened a correctional officer - in retaliation for his complaints against Officer Juborek. (Id. ¶¶ 27-30, 60-63, 65-66.) On November 5, 2014, the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) expunged the disciplinary ticket as unsubstantiated. (Id. ¶¶ 129-32.)

         In the interim, Plaintiff alleges that certain Defendants, including Defendants Williams and Rabideau, retaliated against him by placing him in a double-cell in segregation with Jorge Pena, a general population inmate affiliated with the Gangster Disciples - despite knowing of Plaintiff's mental illness and PC status - while Plaintiff awaited the hearing on his disciplinary ticket. (Id. ¶¶ 63, 67, 81-90.) Also, Plaintiff asserts that he informed certain staff members that he was wrongfully double-celled, who then notified Defendant Williams. (Id. ¶¶ 92-94.) Shortly thereafter, Pena physically assaulted and raped Plaintiff. (Id. ¶¶ 100-05, 109-11.) Plaintiff then told Defendants Brown and Durrett about Pena physically abusing and raping him, but they refused to help him. (Id. ¶¶ 103-04, 113-23.) In particular, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Durrett responded that this is “what happens to P.C. motherfuckers who try to have my officers investigated by Internal Affairs.” (Id. ¶ 115.) Moreover, according to Plaintiff, neither Defendant Brown nor Defendant Durrett reported Plaintiff's physical abuse to medical officials at Stateville. (Id. ¶ 117.) Plaintiff also alleges that he told Defendants Rabideau and Williams about his improper assignment, namely, being double-celled with Pena, through letters, an emergency grievance, and verbal communications. (Id. ¶¶ 96-97, 120-26.) Nevertheless, Defendants Rabideau and Williams did not respond. (Id. ¶¶ 121, 123-26.) After the ARB hearing on November 4, 2014, Defendants did not move Plaintiff from his double-cell for five days. (Id. ¶¶ 129-42.)

         Based on these allegations, Plaintiff brings the following claims: (1) a First Amendment Retaliation Claim (Count I); (2) Eighth Amendment Failure to Protect Claims (Counts II and III); (3) an Eighth Amendment Medical Care Claim (Count IV); (4) an Eighth Amendment Failure to Intervene Claim (Count V); (5) a Civil Conspiracy Claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count VI); (6) an Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (“IIED”) Claim (Count VII); (7) a State Law Conspiracy Claim (Count VIII); and (7) a claim based on Monell v. Department of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978) (Count IX). In the present motion to dismiss, Defendants challenge all of Plaintiff's claims except his Eighth Amendment Medical Care Claim alleged in Count IV.


         I. First Amendment Retaliation Claim - Count I

         In Count I, Plaintiff brings a First Amendment retaliation claim against Defendants Williams, Rabideau, Beugard, Brown, Durrett, Lake, Laskey, Clements, and Turner. In their motion, Defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to sufficiently allege the third element of his First Amendment retaliation claim under the federal pleading standards. “To state a First Amendment claim for retaliation, a plaintiff must allege that ‘(1) he engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment; (2) he suffered a deprivation that would likely deter First Amendment activity in the future; and (3) the First Amendment activity was at least a motivating factor in the defendants' decision to take the retaliatory action.'” Perez v. Fenoglio, 792 F.3d 768, 783 (7th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted). Defendants argue that Plaintiff's allegations concerning their motivation are implausible.

         Accepting Plaintiff's allegations as true and all reasonable inferences in his favor, Plaintiff has set forth sufficient allegations that Defendants were motivated by Plaintiff's complaints concerning Officer Juborek when they retaliated against him by issuing a false, unsubstantiated disciplinary ticket and placing him in double-cell segregation with Pena. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (complaint is plausible on its face when plaintiff alleges “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Beaugard knowingly wrote the false ticket at the direction of one or more of Defendant Beugard's supervisors, including Defendants Lake and Laskey. (Fifth Am. Compl. ¶¶ 27-30, 60, 63, 65, 128.) Plaintiff also states that Internal Affairs Defendants Clements and Turner knew that Plaintiff had lodged a complaint against Officer Juborek, took a statement from Plaintiff about his complaint, and then were involved in Plaintiff being sent to double-cell segregation based on the false disciplinary ticket. (Id. ¶¶ 62-63.) Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Rabideau and/or Defendant Williams, who knew his PC status, nonetheless assigned Plaintiff to double-cell segregation knowing that his cellmate, Jorge Pena, had a history of violence and was affiliated with the Gangster Disciples. (Id. ¶¶ 81-83, 86-90.) After his cellmate raped him, Plaintiff complained about the physical abuse to Defendants Brown and Durrett, but neither Brown nor Durrett referred him for medical care or took action to remove Plaintiff from the double-cell. (Id. ...

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