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Croom v. Unknown Party

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 7, 2017

CHRISTOPHER CROOM, Plaintiff,
v.
UNKNOWN PARTY Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          DAVID R. HERNDON JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Christopher Croom brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that allegedly occurred in Menard Correctional Center. Plaintiff seeks declarative relief and 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:

(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 such relief.

         An 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. 2009).

         After Plaintiff filed this case, the Court determined that Plaintiff had attempted to proceed on unrelated claims in the same lawsuit. (Doc. 4). The Court dismissed some defendants and severed some claims into separate lawsuits. (Doc. 4). Plaintiff has now filed a motion for reconsideration, which the Court will take up with this review because it addresses the propriety of dismissing those defendants. (Doc. 5). Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action will be dismissed without prejudice with leave to file an amended complaint. The Court also DENIES Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 5).

         The Complaint

         As pertinent to this claim, Plaintiff alleges that he was sent to segregation at Menard Correctional Center on February 13, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff's cell was filthy and his mattress was urine-stained, but Plaintiff only received “some type of watered-down liquid” once a week to clean it. Id. Plaintiff received the same amount cleaning supplies in segregation as he did in general population. Id. Plaintiff was also deprived of personal hygiene items, like toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap, deodorant, and a change of clothes for 10 days, until he received his personal property. Id. Plaintiff asked a C/O for hygiene products, but the C/O responded “ask your homeboys” and “don't come to seg.” Id. Plaintiff was not permitted to shower for 18 days. Id.

         Plaintiff was assigned to a two-man cell with 36 square feet of space. Id. There is no room to exercise in those cells. Id.

         Discussion

         The order dividing Plaintiff's claims into separate cases designated 1 claim for this case:

Count 1 - Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment was violated when he was confined to a 36 square foot cell, on a filthy pee-soaked mattress and deprived of cleaning supplies, hygiene ...

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