United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
action contains eight claims that were severed from
Plaintiff's original lawsuit filed in this Court on May
16, 2017, now pending as Coleman v. Lashbrook, et.
al., Case No. 17-cv-518-DRH-SCW. (Doc. 1).
Plaintiff's claims arose from his incarceration at Menard
Correctional Center, where he was confined when he brought
this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Among other claims, Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants violated his constitutional rights by
sexually harassing him, retaliating against him when he
complained about that treatment, and depriving him of due
Court's initial case management order (Doc. 1), Counts
1-8 of the Complaint were severed into the instant case
pursuant to George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir.
2007). Four other claims against different Defendants
remained in the original action.
1-8 are now before the Court for the mandatory merits review
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Section 1915A requires the
Court to screen prisoner complaints to filter out non-
meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The Court must dismiss any portion of the complaint that is
legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a
defendant who by law is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b). As explained below, the Court finds that
some of Plaintiff's claims survive threshold review under
portions of the Complaint (Doc. 2) that relate to Counts 1-8
are as follows:
arrived at Menard on March 1, 2017, and was placed in cell
814 on North Two Segregation. On March 17, 2017, Sgt.
Lindenberg “threatened and sexually harassed”
Plaintiff. (Doc. 2, p. 6). Plaintiff made a PREA (Prison Rape
Elimination Act) complaint against Lindenberg. On March 18,
2017, Lindenberg retaliated against Plaintiff by
“taking [his] outside recreation.” Id.
March 30, 2017, Officers Wasson and Cornstobble told other
inmates that Plaintiff “was a homosexual snitch for
making a PREA report on Sgt. Lindenberg.” Id.
Wasson and Cornstobble also walked past Plaintiff's cell
saying “PREA I suck dick” in an antagonistic
manner. Id. Plaintiff requested a crisis team. Sgt.
Taylor retaliated against Plaintiff for this request by
stripping Plaintiff of all his property, without Plaintiff
being found guilty of any rule violation or receiving a
shakedown or inventory slip listing the items confiscated.
was moved to cell 417, where Taylor, Cornstobble, and Wasson
had “rigged” his sink “so water would
explode and soak [Plaintiff's] cell.” (Doc. 2, p.
6). Plaintiff was injured when, while attempting to avoid the
“exploding” water, he fell and hurt his head,
neck, and back. Id. He was given no medical
attention, and was in the cell “wet and in pain”
for two days.
Unknown Party #2 Intel Officer “insinuated retaliation
for [the] PREA report and ridiculed [Plaintiff] and closed
both investigations [“first time” and water
incident] without talking to any of [Plaintiff's] listed
witnesses.” (Doc. 2, p. 6).
has created a policy that emboldens bad acts against inmates
on the part of its members. This is evidenced by AFSCME
members who “routinely brag” that they can kill
inmates without repercussions. Plaintiff quotes Cornstobble
as claiming that he could “kill one of you scumbags and
the union will protect me and even get me paid leave for my
emotional distress for murdering you.” (Doc. 2, p. 7).
seeks declaratory and monetary relief. (Doc. 2, p. 9).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court's initial
order (Doc. 1) divided the pro se action into a
number of claims. Of these, Counts 1-8 are included in this
lawsuit. The parties and the Court will use these
designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as
to their merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in the
Complaint but not addressed in this Order (or in the Order at
Doc. 1) should be considered dismissed without prejudice.
Count 1: Lindenberg subjected Plaintiff to
cruel and unusual punishment by threatening and sexually
harassing him in violation of the Eight Amendment;
Count 2: Lindenberg retaliated against
Plaintiff for making a PREA report in violation of the First
Amendment by taking his outside recreation on March 18, 2017;
Count 3: Wasson and Cornstobble retaliated
against Plaintiff for making a PREA report in violation of
the First Amendment by telling other inmates Plaintiff was a
homosexual and antagonizing him outside of his cell on March
Count 4: Taylor retaliated against Plaintiff
for requesting a crisis team in violation of the First
Amendment by stripping him of his property without his being
found guilty of any rule violations;
Count 5: Taylor violated Plaintiff's
Fourteenth Amendment right to due process by stripping him of
his property without his being found guilty of any rule
violations and without providing him with a shakedown or
inventory slip for confiscated property;
Count 6: Taylor, Cornstobble, and Wasson
subjected Plaintiff to cruel and unusual punishment in
violation of the Eighth Amendment by tampering with his sink
causing water to erupt from it, which ...