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Hamptonn v. Meyer

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 19, 2017

DEON HAMPTON, Plaintiff,
v.
MEYER, SCRO, ELIJAH B. SPILLER, PESTKA, LAWLESS, ADAMS, HENLLY, KAYS, KENNEDY, MERCKS, PORTER, JAMES, HOMOYA, BENNETTT, LIND, FRANK MAL SHANE, BRANDON JUSTICE, CHARLES W. HECK, LOVE, THOMAS, DUDEK, WILLIAMS, MCBRIDE, JONES, MARCUS D. MEYERS, MAJOR LIVELY, JAIMEK KERAN, M. JONES, S. WALLER, JOHN JOE, BOWLES, JOHN BALDWIN, and WEXFORD MENTAL HEALTH Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. Chief District Judge.

         Plaintiff Deon Hampton, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for events that allegedly occurred at Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Plaintiff seeks damages, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief. 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; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         As an initial matter, Plaintiff's Complaint has many pages that are completely illegible due to poor photocopying and the sloppiness of Plaintiff's handwriting and grammar. To the extent that Plaintiff attempted to bring claims not described in this Order, those claims are DISMISSED without prejudice for the reasons of sound judicial administration because they were illegible. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint in an attempt to clarify any claims he intended to bring; any amended complaint should also include claims already pending in this case and follow all applicable local rules and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         Plaintiff is a transsexual woman, yet resides in a male prison. (Doc. 1, p. 10). On March 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm, Meyers, Scro, Spiller, Henlly, Pestka, Lawless, Adams, Porter, Dudek, and Jones, came to Plaintiff's cell and told him[1] to put on a bra and thong and perform sexual dance moves. (Doc. 1, p. 10, 20). Plaintiff was forced to reveal his breasts and buttocks. (Doc. 1, p. 20). The defendants taunted him and called him names like “sissy, ” “faggot, ” “cocksucker, ” etc. (Doc. 1, p. 10, 20). Meyers, Scro, Adams, Spiller, and Henlly took Plaintiff to an office and directed Plaintiff to sing happy birthday and have phone sex with a person on the other end of a call. (Doc. 1, p. 10, 20). Plaintiff was told not to tell anyone about the incident. (Doc. 1, p. 10). But later, Plaintiff reported the incident. (Doc. 1, p. 11).

         Plaintiff also alleges that staff, including Homoya, Porter, Mercks, Kennedy, Henlly, Adams, Lawless, Pestka, Spiller, Scro, Meyers, Jones, and Dudek, have been forcing him to expose himself and have paid him for sexual favors. (Doc. 1, p. 21). James, Meyer, Homoya and Scro would continually come to Plaintiff's cell and degrade him in front of other inmates by calling him names like “dick sucker.” (Doc. 1, p. 11) (Doc. 1-1, p. 7).

         On May 24, 2017, staff assaulted Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 11). The incident started when Homoya came to Plaintiff's cell and began making comments of a sexual nature. (Doc. 1, p. 12). Plaintiff felt degraded and feared for his life. Id. He told Homoya he was going to invoke the Prison Rape Elimination Act, (“PREA.”) (Doc. 1, p. 12) (Doc. 1-1, p. 9). Homoya responded that he would put Plaintiff in segregation on a bogus ticket. Homoya returned with Scro, Adams, Meyer, Pestka, Henlly, Kays, Kennedy, Mercks, Porter, James, Bennett, Lively, Jones, and Williams. (Doc. 1, p. 13). They told Plaintiff to cuff up and then once he did so, they attacked him. (Doc. 1, pp. 12-13). Plaintiff was kicked, spit on, and dragged from his cell. (Doc. 1, p. 13). He begged the guards not to kill him. Id. He was taken to a cloth room where Adams, Lively, Porter, and Bennett beat him some more. Id. Porter and Henlly then took out a knife and proceeded to cut all of Plaintiff's clothes off, including his bra, and then began to cut off his hair. (Doc. 1, pp. 14, 23). Plaintiff was finally left alone; the guards yanked his wrists when they un-cuffed him through the chuck hole. Id. Plaintiff was left completely naked without a bedsheet, a blanket, or a jumpsuit. Id. As a result of the attack, Plaintiff suffered from a broken tooth and a bruised chest. (Doc. 1, p. 17).

         Plaintiff reported the attack to the med line nurse the next morning. Id. He was then taken to Internal Affairs to be interviewed by Defendant Frank Bowles. Id. Bowles became angry at Plaintiff's accusations and began to hit him on his head. (Doc. 1, p. 15). He then told Plaintiff he would write him a bogus ticket and instruct the others to give Plaintiff the max. Id. Plaintiff has named Charles Heck and Meyer as defendants in this lawsuit because they found Plaintiff guilty of the bogus ticket. (Doc. 1, p. 18). Plaintiff was sent to segregation, lost good time, and was assigned to C-grade status. (Doc. 1, p. 19). Plaintiff alleges that Heck and Meyer violated his due process rights, retaliated against him, and assigned excessive punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they found him guilty of a bogus ticket. (Doc. 1, pp. 18-19).

         While in segregation, Plaintiff was denied meals and showers. (Doc. 1, p. 25). He specifically alleges that Dudek and Waller condoned this conduct. (Doc. 1, p. 29).

         Plaintiff alleges that on July 4, 2017, Warden Love walked through the segregation unit. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 5, 16). Plaintiff attempted to speak with Love, but Love refused to come over and speak with Plaintiff, calling him a “faggot” and stating that he doesn't condone a gay lifestyle and that Pinckneyville is a men's prison. Id.

         Plaintiff also wrote grievances about the events at issue in this lawsuit. (Doc. 1, p. 15). He wrote grievances to Warden Keren (Jaimek), but she failed to respond. Id. Plaintiff also wrote to the director of the IDOC and sent him grievances regarding the mistreatment, but he failed to respond. (Doc. 1, p. 18). He alleges Wardens Love and Thomas are liable for failing to respond to grievances. (Doc. 1, p. 25).

         Plaintiff named Wexford Mental Health as a Defendant because they allowed all of the above conduct to happen and did not report it or intervene to stop it. (Doc. 1, p. 27). He further alleges that all of the named defendants conspired to cover up his sexual abuse and sexual assault. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into 6 counts. 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 following claims survive threshold review:

Count 1 - Homoya, Porter, Mercks, Kennedy, Henlly, Adams, Lawless, Pestka, Spiller, Scro, Meyer, Jones, Dudek, James, Love, Keren, and Baldwin subjected Plaintiff to cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment when they engaged in a campaign of harassment against him, including calling him derogatory names, forcing him to engage in sexual dances for their amusement, forcing him to expose himself, forcing him to engage in phone sex, and otherwise paying him to engage in sexual behavior, specifically on March 4, 2017, and at other times;
Count 2 - Homoya, Scro, Adams, Meyer, Pestka, Henlly, Kays, Kennedy, Mercks, Porter, James, Bennett, Lively, Jones, Williams, Keren, and Baldwin used or condoned the use of excessive force on Plaintiff in violation of the Eighth Amendment and committed a state law battery ...

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