United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon, Judge
Dwaine Coleman, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the defendants
have violated his constitutional rights in a variety of ways,
including by showing deliberate indifference to his medical
needs, depriving him of due process, sexually harassing him,
retaliating against him, stealing from him, and subjecting
him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement. (Doc. 1).
This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(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
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.
part of screening, the Court is also allowed to sever
unrelated claims against different defendants into separate
lawsuits. See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607
(7th Cir. 2007). In George, the Seventh Circuit
emphasized that the practice of severance is important,
“not only to prevent the sort of morass” produced
by multi-claim, multi-defendant suits “but also to
ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees”
under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Id. The
Seventh Circuit in Owens v. Godinez, No. 15-3892, WL
2655424 (7th Cir. June 20, 2017) recently issued strong
encouragement to district courts to enforce the directive of
George. Consistent with George and
Owens, unrelated claims will be severed into new
cases, given new case numbers, and assessed separate filing
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: upon arriving at Menard on March 1, 2017,
Plaintiff was placed in a cell with no bedding or hygiene
items (e.g., soap and toothpaste) and none of his
pain and migraine medication. (Doc. 6, p. 10). He was without
these items for two weeks, pursuant to a policy at Menard
disallowing property for new inmates until they have been at
the prison for two weeks. Id. Plaintiff spent ten
days in the same undergarments without the opportunity to
clean them properly. Id. Plaintiff's cellmate
had a colostomy bag, but he did not have proper bio-hazard
disposal bags or cleaning supplies, which exposed Plaintiff
to Hepatitis C and other infectious diseases because
Plaintiff “was forced to double shower in a cage
designed for one with black mold and standing water while
[his cellmate] washed out his colostomy bag which ran into
standing water.” Id.
March 17, “Sgt. Lindenberg threatened and sexually
harassed” Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff made a PREA
report, and Lindenberg “retaliated by taking
[Plaintiff's] outside recreation on March 18,
2017.” Id. On March 30, 2017, C/Os Wasson and
Cornstobble told other inmates that Plaintiff was a
“homosexual snitch for making a PREA report on Sgt.
Lindenberg.” Id. They also walked past
Plaintiff's cell while saying: “PREA I suck
dick” in an antagonistic manner. Id. Plaintiff
requested a crisis team but was retaliated against by being
stripped of his property by Sgt. Taylor without being found
guilty of any rule violations or getting a shakedown or
inventory slip for confiscated property. Id.
“[f]alse I.D.R. for threatening to kill C/Os was
written, but [Plaintiff] was not afforded witnesses or video
as requested.” Id.
Cornstobble, and Wasson “rigged” Plaintiff's
sink, which caused water to explode from it and soak
Plaintiff's cell. Id. Plaintiff was injured
trying to avoid the water when he fell and injured his head,
neck, and back. Id. Plaintiff was denied medical
attention despite slips he sent to Nurse Reeba. Id.
Plaintiff was “left wet and in pain for two days in
[his] cell with only [his] nasty mattress.”
Id. Plaintiff was denied his migraine medication,
essential hygiene items (e.g., soap and toothpaste),
and legal work for fifteen days. Id. “Intel
Officer insinuated retaliation for [Plaintiff's] PREA
report and ridiculed [Plaintiff] and closed both
investigations [“first time” and water incident]
without talking to any of [Plaintiff's] listed
Property when returning property allows inmate workers to
steal whatever they want from segregation offenders.”
(Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff's food was stolen, along with
affidavits and legal books. Id. Plaintiff believes
this to be a statewide practice, custom, or policy, and notes
that his fan, television, beard trimmer, and night light were
stolen and never shipped to Menard when he was transferred
there. Id. A grievance officer told Plaintiff that
“Personal Property” told him or her that they had
no record of Plaintiff's items in their file.
Id. “Personal Property makes offenders sign
inventory sheets attesting that all property is present
without allowing inventory . . . under threat of not
receiving property.” Id. Inmate workers
deliver this property unsupervised. Id.
practitioner told Plaintiff that his migraine medication had
been reordered after he had been out of it for a month and a
half. Id. After he suffered a seizure, however,
Nurse Norton informed Plaintiff that his medications were not
on order as of April 30, 2017. Id. She submitted
Plaintiff to sick call, and M.P. Moldenhauer switched
Plaintiff's medications from Salsalate, which Plaintiff
told him had been working, to Propranoloc. Id.
Plaintiff had three seizures while he was being denied his
migraine medication. Id. Warden Lashbrook and Major
Carter were personally informed of this but failed to act and
denied Plaintiff's grievance regarding his medication as
a non-emergency. Id.
does not issue rulebooks to inform offenders of expected
behavior, and it denies witnesses and video in
investigations. Id. AFSCME has created policy that
emboldens bad acts on the part of its members, as evidenced
by members, including Cornstobble, bragging that they can
kill inmates without repercussions. Id.; (Doc. 1, p.
6). There is also a culture of harassment where guards make
homosexual jokes and falsely label offenders as homosexuals,
which endangers their lives and exposes them to “sexual
deviants.” Id. Further, “[a]ll PREA
reports are ruled unsubstantiated with no witnesses
contacted.” (Doc. 1, p. 7).
access at Menard is “non-existent” because
“no legal browsing is permitted and only book
delivery” is available. Id.
and “many IDOC institutions refuse to stock grievances
and [other] forms in conspiracy to interfere with access to
courts, while disciplinary reports are abundant.”
property is stolen to keep commissary funds flowing as
officers receive 60% of profits from inmate commissary, [and]
offenders constantly have to replace stolen goods.”
(Doc. 1, p. 8). Menard also tells offenders they cannot
grieve the confiscation of food when they have been placed in
segregation, and a variance from IDOC is needed to circumvent
the administrative directives on proper disposal.
Id. Lindenberg told Plaintiff about the commissary
“scam” when Plaintiff complained to him about
missing property. Id.
excessive force / staff conduct complaint was ignored.
Id. He attempted to mail grievances to the ARB on
April 24, 2017, but the receipt was never returned, and the
mailroom refused to respond to his requests regarding the
fact that his six month trust ledger indicates that the
grievances were never mailed. Id.
alleges that the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) “has been aware of all unlawful
acts through [the] grievance procedure but has consistently
failed to act while denying grievances.” (Doc. 1, p.
6). Plaintiff further claims that Wexford Health conspires
with IDOC to cover abuse and save money. Id.
includes several allegations against Sgt. Jones, C/O
Dudzynski, Wexford Health, and Nurse Reeba that involve
alleged deprivations of Brian Coleman's constitutional
rights. (Doc. 1, p. 8). However, Brian Coleman is no longer a
party to the case, per this Court's Order (Doc. 6)
granting his Motion to Withdraw from Litigation (Doc. 5).
seeks declaratory and monetary ...