United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE
Rinaldo Bankston, an inmate in Shawnee Correctional Center,
brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for events that
occurred at Vandalia Correctional Center. Plaintiff requests
financial compensation. 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
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.
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
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the buildings and
facilities at Vandalia Correctional Center are not “up
to code” and thus he is at risk to be harmed. (Doc. 1,
pp. 4-9). Specifically, he alleges that he might be subjected
to lead poisoning, that someone (including him) might break
one of the glass windows at the prison and use it to make a
weapon, that the lack of air conditioning might cause him to
become dehydrated, that he might get an infection, that the
building is at risk of fire, that he can smell the toilets in
the dormitory, that his soda is too hot in the summer, that
the use of fans might exacerbate his allergies, that
there's a scabies outbreak, that he caught toe fungus
from used boots, and that Vandalia does not have security
stage, Plaintiff's Complaint fails because he has not
named a proper defendant. Vandalia Correctional Center, which
is a division of the Illinois Department of Corrections, is
not a “person” within the meaning of the Civil
Rights Act, and is not subject to a § 1983 suit.
Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S.
58, 71 (1989). See also Wynn v. Southward, 251 F.3d
588, 592 (7th Cir. 2001) (Eleventh Amendment bars suits
against states in federal court for money damages);
Billman v. Ind. Dep't of Corr., 56 F.3d 785, 788
(7th Cir. 1995) (state Department of Corrections is immune
from suit by virtue of Eleventh Amendment); Hughes v.
Joliet Corr. Ctr., 931 F.2d 425, 427 (7th Cir. 1991)
(same); Santiago v. Lane, 894 F.2d 219, 220 n. 3
(7th Cir. 1990) (same). The Court will allow Plaintiff to
amend the Complaint in order to name a proper defendant.
should take note that there is no supervisory liability in a
§ 1983 action; thus to be held individually liable, a
defendant must be “‘personally responsible for
the deprivation of a constitutional right.'”
Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740 (7th Cir.
2001) (quoting Chavez v. Ill. State Police, 251 F.3d
612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001). Plaintiff may only name those who
were directly involved in the actions he complains of.
should also be aware that many of his allegations are mere
speculation. Plaintiff has not alleged that he was actually
harmed by many of the conditions he complains of; he only
alleges that he “might” be harmed. Plaintiff
cannot recover compensatory damages unless he has suffered a
physical injury. 42 U.S.C. 1997e(e) (“No Federal Civil
action may be brought by a prisoner confined in a jail,
prison, or other correctional facility, for mental or
emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior
showing of physical injury. . .”). The ...