United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TIMOTHY J. CUNNINGHAM, SR., Plaintiff,
CHAPLIN VAUGHN Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge
Timothy J. Cunningham Sr., an inmate in Lawrence Correctional
Center, brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff requests monetary damages. This case is now before
the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:
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.
Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the court
shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or
any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted; or
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.
Plaintiff originally brought claims in case No. 16-1360-MJR.
(Doc. 1). On February 8, 2017, the Court determined that the
present claim was unrelated to the other claims in that
action and severed it into a new case pursuant to George
v. Smith. (Doc. 1).
to the instant action, Plaintiff asserts that he is a
Christian and requires communion, i.e. unleavened bread and
wine, on a regular basis. (Doc. 2, p. 10) (Doc. 2-7). He
alleges that Chaplain Vaughn has chosen not to offer
communion at Lawrence. Id.
Court's prior Order severed the following claim into this
7 - Vaughn substantially burdened Plaintiff's
practice of religion in violation of the First Amendment when
he denied Plaintiff access to regular communion, a
requirement of his Christian beliefs; It is well-established
that “a prisoner is entitled to practice his religion
insofar as doing so does not unduly burden the administration
of the prison.” Hunafa v. Murphy, 907 F.2d 46,
47 (7th Cir. 1990); see Al-Alamin v. Gramley, 926
F.2d 680, 686 and nn. 3-5 (7th Cir. 1991) (collecting cases).
On the other hand, a prison regulation that impinges on an
inmate's First Amendment rights is nevertheless valid
“if it is reasonably related to legitimate penological
interests.” O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz,
482 U.S. 342, 349 (1987) (quoting Turner v. Safley,
482 U.S. 78, 89 (1987)). Legitimate penological interests
include the preservation of security in prison, as well as
economic concerns. See Ortiz v. Downey, 561 F.3d
664, 669 (7th Cir. 2009).
these concerns are raised as justifications by prison
officials for their actions that restrict the practice of
religion, the Court looks at four factors to ...