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Lindsay v. Menard Correctional Center

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 18, 2017

DONALD LINDSAY, B89208, Plaintiff,
v.
MENARD CORRECTIONAL CENTER, UNKNOWN CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS, and DR. BUTLER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          DAVID R. HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Donald Lindsay, currently incarcerated in Dixon Correctional Center, brings this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional that allegedly occurred when Plaintiff was housed at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”) in 2015.

         In connection with his claims, Plaintiff names Menard, Dr. Butler, and several unknown parties (John/Jane Does). Plaintiff describes the unknown parties as (1) C/O on duty 5/24/15 in N2-5 Gallery; (2) Crisis Team Member on duty 5/24/15 in N2-5 Gallery; (3) Lt. on duty 5/24/15 in N2-5; (4) Sgt. On duty 5/24/15 in N2-5 and N2-8 gallery; and (5) C/O on duty 5/24/15 in N2-8 Gallery. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.[1] (Doc. 1, p. 8).

         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).

         The Complaint

         On May 24, 2015, at around 5 pm, Plaintiff was in N2-5 gallery. Plaintiff asked the N2-5 on duty correctional officer (“N2-5 Correctional Officer”) to place him on suicide watch. (Doc. 1, p. 6). The N2-5 Correctional Officer told Plaintiff he had to do something suicidal to be placed on suicide watch. Id. In response, Plaintiff tied a sheet around his neck and to the coat rack. Id. The N2-5 Correctional Officer told Plaintiff to cuff up because he was going to be placed on suicide watch. Id. At that point, Plaintiff was taken to the N2-5 gallery hospital. Id.

         The on duty crisis team member (“N2-5 Crisis Team Member”) and the N2-5 on duty lieutenant (“N2-5 Lieutenant”) visited Plaintiff in the hospital. However, Plaintiff was not placed on suicide watch. Id. Instead, after the N2-5 Crisis Team Member left the room, Plaintiff was stripped to his boxers and received a disciplinary ticket for insolence. Id. Plaintiff was then placed in segregation in the N2-8 gallery. Id.

         After being placed in the N2-8 gallery, Plaintiff told the N2-8 on duty correctional officer (“N2-8 Correctional Officer”) that he intended to commit suicide. Id. Plaintiff then started punching himself in the left eye until it was swollen shut. Id. The sergeant on duty in N2-5 and N2-8 (“N2-5/N2-8 Sergeant”) observed Plaintiff punching himself in the eye. Id. The N2-5 Sergeant told Plaintiff he would only give himself a headache. Id.

         Plaintiff then began pulling strings out of his mattress. Id. Plaintiff continued pulling strings out of his mattress until he had enough string to hang himself. Id. Plaintiff tied the strings around his cell bars and proceeded to hang himself. Id. The N2-5/N2-8 Sergeant and unspecified correctional officers were present and observed this sequence of events. Id. These defendants did not intervene until Plaintiff almost lost consciousness. Id. At that time, they cut Plaintiff down but still refused to place Plaintiff on suicide watch. Id. Instead, the N2-5/N2-8 Sergeant and unspecified correctional officers removed Plaintiff's mattress and took Plaintiff's boxers. Id. Additionally, they wrote a second disciplinary ticket. Id. Plaintiff told the Defendants that he was not going to stop until he was dead. The Defendants said “oh well, it's almost time for shift change.” Id.

         Plaintiff was then returned to his cell in N2-8. Plaintiff was apparently left alone for a period of time. Id. Plaintiff found a plastic spoon in his cell and began cutting his arm. Id. A correctional officer doing his rounds (presumably the N2-8 Correctional Officer) returned sometime later. Id. That correctional officer observed the blood on Plaintiff's arm, left, and returned with the N2-5 Crisis Team Member, the N2-5/N2-8 Sergeant, and the N2-5 Lieutenant. Id. The N2-5 Crisis Team Member told Plaintiff to stop playing games and “grow up.” Id. Then, “they” put on their tactical gear and dragged Plaintiff out of his cell naked. Id. Plaintiff was dragged from the N2-8 gallery to the N2-5 hospital, naked, without shoes, and in the rain. Id. A female officer observed this sequence of events. Id. At some point, Plaintiff stated he could not breathe, he needed his inhaler, and he could not walk any more. Id. Plaintiff dropped to his knees. Id. One of the correctional officer defendants shoved his fingers under Plaintiff's jaw bone and picked Plaintiff up. Id. During this time, the N2-5 Lieutenant was shoving Plaintiff's head down with his shield. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7).

         At some point, Plaintiff was placed in an elevator with the Correctional Officer Defendants and the N2-5 Lieutenant. The correctional officers and the N2-5 Lieutenant proceeded to kick and punch Plaintiff, who was naked and still in handcuffs. The Correctional Officer Defendants and the N2-5 Lieutenant continued to kick and punch Plaintiff even when Plaintiff was on the ground. After the assault was over, Plaintiff was placed in a suicide cell. The next morning Plaintiff was ...


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