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Adams v. Harrington

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 13, 2017



          HERNDON, District Judge

         Plaintiff Maurecus Adams, an inmate in Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that allegedly occurred at Menard Correctional Center. Plaintiff requests declarative relief, a pardon, [1] compensatory damages, punitive damages, and costs. 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).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff brought suit on July 7, 2017. (Doc. 1). The suit originally included allegations arising out of Plaintiff's time at Menard, Stateville, and Lawrence Correctional Centers, but on August 25, 2017 the Court severed the claims arising out of conduct at Stateville and Lawrence pursuant to George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007). (Doc. 7). This case proceeds as to Plaintiff's claims arising out of his time at Menard Correctional Center alone.

         On February 5, 2014, while at Menard, C/O Petterson agreed to whip Plaintiff at the request of other inmates who believed Plaintiff was a snitch.[2] (Doc. 1, p. 7). That same day, Wills gave orders to kill Plaintiff because he said Plaintiff talked too much. Id. Nurse Stefun agreed to use Drug S6K and HIV in order to kill Plaintiff; Stefun had allegedly discovered that Drug S6K, when combined with HIV, will cause an allergic reaction resulting in death. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Nurse Rayburs also agreed to issue a report on Plaintiff's death. Id. Nurse Hopkins agreed to report Plaintiff's murder as a suicide. Id. Plaintiff also believes that “rape was also a weapon to maybe be used to give me HIV, ” although the Complaint never states he was actually raped. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8). Lt. Hughes then came and took Plaintiff to segregation in violation of his 8th Amendment Rights. (Doc. 1, pp. 8-9).

         Records attached to the Complaint indicate that Plaintiff engaged in self-harming behavior on February 5, 2014, and was placed on crisis watch. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 14-16).

         Dr. Suneja came to Plaintiff's cell on February 10, 2014 to check on the effects of the drug. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff complained to him, but nothing was done. Id. Plaintiff also complained to Suneja on February 18, 2014, March 23, 2014 and July 28, 2014. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Nurse Jane Doe then came to his cell and poked him twice with a small syringe through the bars. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Zang was the gallery officer at this time. Id. The porter also gave Plaintiff a juice box containing urine. Id. Lt. Bradley, Spiller, Whitthoft, and Heckinger observed the effect of the drug on Plaintiff and forced him out of his cell using the extraction team to see the nurse. (Doc. 1, pp. 9-10). The Menard Orange Crush team maced and extracted Plaintiff from his cell; Plaintiff alleges he refused the order to cuff up out of fear. (Doc. 1, p. 10). The Menard Orange Crush team also took the juice container full of urine. Id. Plaintiff was given another juice container by Wilson that contained an electronic transmitter. Id. Plaintiff felt the transmitter get caught between his throat and his chest. Id. Plaintiff spoke to several officers about the transmitter but they failed to document it. Id. Richard Harrington was the Warden of Menard during both the February 5th and 10th incidents. (Doc. 1, p. 11).

         On May 28, 2014, Odisa transported Plaintiff from a squad car, which he had been in due to a court writ, to segregation. (Doc. 1, p. 10). Odisa verbally threatened Plaintiff, telling him that he should only ask for help if he didn't remember what happened the last time. (Doc. 1, pp. 10-11).

         On April 8, 2015, Lee “called [Plaintiff] out” regarding the grievance he wrote on March 6, 2015 regarding being poisoned. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff alleges this violated his 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendment rights. Id.

         Plaintiff wrote a letter and a grievance that Butler failed to respond to between June 25, 2014 and March 6, 2015. Id. Plaintiff left Menard on May 21, 2015. (Doc. 1-1, p. 8).


         The Order severing this case found that 7 of Plaintiff's claims arose out of his time at Menard ...

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