United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT United States District Judge.
brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that his constitutional
rights were violated while he was a pretrial
detainee at the St. Clair County Jail
(“Jail”). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at
Menard Correctional Center. In connection with his claims,
Plaintiff names Philip McLauren (Superintendent at the Jail)
and Sgt. Nichols (Supervisor at the Jail).
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
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 does not survive preliminary review
under this standard.
contends that on April 10, 2017, a boil order was in effect
in Belleville, Illinois (where the Jail is located). (Doc. 1,
p. 6). Plaintiff contends that “administration”
and “staff” at the jail failed to inform him
about the boil order. Id. Additionally, Plaintiff
contends that a nurse, a correctional officer, and
“supervisors” disregarded his concerns about the
boil order. Id.
also contends that he was “neglected” by
“staff members” for 22 days because he was not
given a PIN number when he was processed and, without a PIN
number, he could not use the phones to call his attorney or
his family. Id. Plaintiff complained to numerous
individuals regarding his PIN number, including Sgt. Nichols,
but all of his complaints were ignored. Id.
Plaintiff also contends that he was “hindered from
educating [himself] about important legal issues”
because the Jail does not have an operational law library or
provide adequate help in filing legal paperwork and the
commissary does not sell ink pens. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff
complained to staff about these issues, but Sgt. Nichols told
Plaintiff he does not have a right to a law library.
also directs complaints against several individuals who are
not defendants in the instant action. For instance, Plaintiff
complains that various correctional officers cursed at him,
and “downgraded” him. (Doc. 1, p. 6). He also
complains that officers at the jail are unprofessional and
were otherwise unhelpful. Id.
Plaintiff contends that the showers were unsanitary and that
the meals were inadequate. Id. With respect to the
showers, Plaintiff complains about mold, gnats, and
“other unidentified particles.” Id.
Plaintiff contends that he complained about the showers to
the “administration” and to “a nurse,
” but received no response. Id. With respect
to meals, Plaintiff complains about inadequate portions and
inadequate amounts of fruit. Id. Plaintiff alleges
that “supervisors” do not care about the
inadequacy of the meals.
of Fourteenth Amendment
Plaintiff was a detainee at the time of the alleged
violations, the Fourteenth rather than the Eighth Amendment
applies to Plaintiff's claims. Lewis v. Downey,
581 F.3d 467, 473 (7th Cir. 2009). The governing standards
are functionally equivalent, and “anything that would
violate the Eighth Amendment would also violate the
Fourteenth Amendment.” Id. “In
evaluating the constitutionality of conditions or
restrictions of pretrial detention ... the proper inquiry is
whether those conditions amount to punishment of the
detainee.” Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535
(1979). Deprivations must be “unquestioned and
serious” and deprive prisoner of “the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities.”
Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 349 (1981). Inmates