United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JAMES R. WEBB, JR., Plaintiff,
JESSE YOUNG, and MR. PRUSODGICH, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
James R. Webb, Jr., currently confined at the Alton Mental
Health Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights
that allegedly occurred when he was housed at the Franklin
County Jail. Plaintiff seeks removal from probation, monetary
damages, and declarative relief. Plaintiff's Second
Amended Complaint (Doc. 19) is now before the Court for a
preliminary review 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.
Second Amended Complaint
21, 2016, Plaintiff was arrested for destruction of property.
(Doc. 19, p. 6). On May 22, 2017, Defendants Young and
Prusodgich found Plaintiff in his cell, hanging by his neck.
Id. Plaintiff was unconscious. Id.
Defendants did not immediately assist Plaintiff. Id.
Instead, Young slammed the cell door shut and walked to where
Prusodgich was standing. Id. Defendants then left
the area, leaving Plaintiff hanging by his neck. Id.
Defendants returned approximately fifteen minutes later.
Id. Plaintiff was flown to a hospital in Indiana and
remained on life support for eight days. (Doc. 19, p. 5).
Although Plaintiff was unconscious during the events in
question, various witnesses have provided him with the facts
alleged in the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 19, p. 6).
Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se
action into a single count. The parties and the Court will
use this designation in all future pleadings and orders,
unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this
Court. Any other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but
not addressed in this Order should be considered dismissed
without prejudice as inadequately pled under the
Twombly pleading standard.
1 - Defendants were objectively unreasonable and/or
deliberately indifferent in responding to Plaintiff's
medical needs on May 22, 2016.
applicable legal standard for Plaintiff's claim depends
on his status as an arrestee, pretrial detainee, or prisoner
during his detention at the Jail. Different constitutional
protections extend to an arrestee (Fourth Amendment),
pretrial detainee (Fourteenth Amendment), and prisoner
(Eighth Amendment). The Second Amended Complaint indicates
that Plaintiff was either an arrestee or a pretrial
detainee. If Plaintiff was an arrestee who had not
yet had a probable cause hearing, the Fourth Amendment's
“objectively unreasonable” standard governs his
claim. Currie v. Chhabra, 728 F.3d 626, 629 (7th
Cir. 2013). However, if Plaintiff was a detainee at the time
of the alleged constitutional violation, the Fourteenth
Amendment deliberate indifference standard applies to his
claim. See Weiss v. Cooley, 230 F.3d 1027, 1032 (7th
Cir. 2000). With respect to the latter, the Seventh Circuit
has repeatedly held that Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth
Amendment case law can be used interchangeably. Rice ex
rel. Rice v. Corr. Med. Servs., 675 F.3d 650, 664 (7th
Cir. 2012); Forest v. Prine, 620 F.3d 739, 744-45
(7th Cir. 2010). In both contexts, the alleged medical need
must be objectively serious, and the prison official must
possess a sufficiently culpable state of mind. Smith v.
Dart, 803 F.3d 304, 312 (7th Cir. 2015).
instant case, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants found him
hanging unconscious and left him in that state for
approximately fifteen minutes. The Second Amended Complaint
suggests that Plaintiff's injuries were serious; he was
flown to a hospital and remained on life support for a number
of days. These allegations are sufficient to survive
preliminary screening under either the Fourth ...