United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Michael J. Reagan Chief Judge
matter is before the Court for a preliminary review of the
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10), filed March 29, 2017.
Plaintiff is an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center,
where he was housed when he filed the instant pro se
civil rights action.The Court shall review this amended
pleading pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and shall also
evaluate whether it complies with the instructions given to
Plaintiff in the Court's order of March 7, 2017 (Doc. 9).
As shall be explained below, the First Amended Complaint, and
this entire action, shall be dismissed pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
March 7, 2017, Plaintiff's original Complaint (Doc. 5),
which named 11 Defendants in connection with events that
occurred in both Menard Correctional Center and Pontiac
Correctional Center, was dismissed without prejudice. (Doc.
9). The Court divided the claims in Plaintiff's complaint
into 9 counts. Counts 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8 were dismissed with
prejudice. Each of these claims was based on an alleged
deprivation of a liberty interest without due process in
disciplinary proceedings conducted in 2014. Counts 2, 3, 6,
and 9 were dismissed without prejudice. All of the named
Defendants were dismissed from the action. Defendants Scott,
Cowan, McCarty, Godinez, Anderson, and Stolworthy were
dismissed from the action with prejudice, because they were
named in connection with the counts that were dismissed with
dismissing the claims and Defendants, the Court instructed
Plaintiff that if he wished to further pursue Count 9, he
could do so by filing a First Amended Complaint. Count 9
related only to the conditions of Plaintiff's confinement
in punitive segregation at Pontiac, and was described as
Count 9: Eighth Amendment claim against
Pfister, for housing Plaintiff in cells infested with insects
and contaminated with feces, subjecting him to intolerable
noise, and failing to provide him with adequate nutrition
during Plaintiff's segregation confinement.
Court noted that if Plaintiff chose to submit an amended
complaint in connection with Count 9, the action would likely
be transferred to the Central District of Illinois, where
Pontiac is located. The Court specifically ordered that
“[t]he amended complaint SHALL NOT include any of the
counts dismissed with prejudice (Counts 1, 4, 5, 7, and
8).” (Doc. 9, p. 27).
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10)
amended pleading, Plaintiff includes all the original
Defendants, including those who were dismissed from the
action with prejudice, and adds three more parties. The
statement of claim spans 34 pages. (Doc. 10, pp. 5-38).
Plaintiff begins by re-pleading his due process challenge to
his disciplinary conviction for gang activity, which the
Court had dismissed with prejudice under Count 1. (Doc. 9).
While Plaintiff's original complaint attacked the
disciplinary proceedings for failing to comply with various
administrative regulations, he now focuses his argument on
the sufficiency of the evidence relied upon to find him
guilty of the charges. He claims that the guilty finding was
based solely on the disciplinary report filed by Carter,
which relied on statements provided by confidential
informants and by the Menard Intelligence Unit. (Doc. 10, pp.
9-14). He faults Scott and Hart, who conducted the first
disciplinary hearing, for failing to independently
corroborate the confidential sources' information, assess
their credibility, or require them to appear at the hearing.
Based on these alleged deficiencies, Plaintiff claims that
Scott and Hart were not impartial when hearing his
disciplinary ticket. He also re-alleges the claims included
in Count 1 against Scott, Cowan, and Butler for re-hearing
the ticket and imposing a 1-year term of segregation on the
charges, at Butler's direction. (Doc. 10, pp. 16-17).
Plaintiff alleges that in July 2014, John Doe #1 (Personal
Property Officer at Menard) and John Doe #2 (Personal
Property Officer at Pontiac) confiscated and/or destroyed 2
boxes of Plaintiff's personal legal materials, including
transcripts and other documents from his criminal case. (Doc.
10, pp. 18-19). He claims that these Defendants acted in
conspiracy with Menard's Intelligence Unit and
Administration, to punish him for refusing to become a
confidential informant in April 2014 against inmates involved
in gangs. Plaintiff had included similar allegations of
retaliation in the original Complaint in Count 3,
connection with his claims against Pfister. (Doc. 9, p. 6).
He characterizes this claim in the First Amended Complaint
against the John Does as one for retaliation as well. (Doc.
10, p. 36).
to McCarty and Godinez, Plaintiff alleges that when they
remanded the disciplinary matter back to Carter to provide
additional information on the evidence against Plaintiff,
they failed to address Plaintiff's complaints that the
disciplinary procedure was fraudulent and that the hearing
committee was not impartial. (Doc. 10, pp. 19-20). Plaintiff
raised similar allegations in the dismissed Count 4,
although in the original Complaint he focused on violations
of the Illinois Administrative Code as the basis for his due
process claims. He now argues that he was denied due process
because of insufficiency/unreliability of the evidence
underlying the finding of guilt. (Doc. 10, pp. 21-22).
next repeats some of his original allegations against Holte
and Salinas, who conducted a re-hearing of the disciplinary
matter at Pontiac in which they denied Plaintiff's
request to call Menard Officer Scott as a witness. (Doc. 10,
pp. 23-25). He adds allegations challenging the sufficiency
of the evidence, and includes a claim against Pfister for
approving the re-imposition of discipline. These due process
claims were dismissed with prejudice under Count 5 upon
review of the original Complaint. (Doc. 9, pp. 16-17, 27).
First Amended Complaint continues by re-asserting claims
against Anderson and Stolworthy for failing to address
Plaintiff's complaints about the disciplinary
proceedings, when they reduced his punishment from a 1-year
segregation term back to the original 3-month period. (Doc.
10, pp. 26-27). This claim was dismissed with prejudice under
Count 7, as were the associated Defendants. (Doc. 9, pp.
then turns to the conditions of his confinement while in
punitive segregation. (Doc. 10, pp. 28-32). He first points
to the “atypical and significant hardship” he
faced because he had to serve a wrongful sentence imposed
after alleged due process violations. He discusses the
potential psychological damage that can result from a person
being held in solitary confinement, and contrasts his
inability to access opportunities for jobs, vocational
classes, sports, visits, and the like while in segregation,
to the privileges he enjoyed while he was in general
population at Menard. (Doc. 10, pp. 28-29). He re-alleges
some of the facts included in the original Complaint,
including being housed next to inmates who were seriously
mentally ill, and who screamed constantly, kicked doors and
walls, and threw urine and feces. These conditions caused
Plaintiff to be unable to sleep adequately. At some point, he
was placed in a cell where the walls were smeared with feces
and was infested with bugs, but was not given any cleaning
supplies. (Doc. 10, p. 31). He was not given sufficient
toilet paper, clean clothing, or bedding. His religious
practices were restricted, as were his ability to communicate
with outsiders through the mail (he does not detail these
segregation conditions Plaintiff describes in the First
Amended Complaint are similar to matters that he pled in the
original Complaint, designated as Count 9. In discussing
these conditions, however, Plaintiff states that although he
“suffered severely” in Pontiac's segregation
unit, he “ ‘does not challenge' those
conditions in this Southern District Court.” (Doc. 10,
p. 31). He states that he ...