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Williams v. Big Muddy Correctional Center

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 20, 2017

FELTON WILLIAMS, #M41136, Plaintiff,
v.
BIG MUDDY CORRECTIONAL CENTER, LT. CLARK, C/O HYDE, and C/O McANN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE, DISTRICT JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         Plaintiff Felton Williams, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Big Muddy River Correctional Center (“Big Muddy”), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was involved in an altercation with another inmate at Big Muddy on May 18, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He was injured when several correctional officers intervened and broke up the fight. Id. Plaintiff claims that the officers violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment. Id. He now sues the prison and three correctional officers for monetary damages. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2, 6).

         This case is before the Court for 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 in 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 survives screening under this standard.

         The Complaint

         According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was involved in an altercation with another inmate at Big Muddy on May 18, 2017. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 7). As inmates in the C-Wing walked to the chow hall for lunch, Plaintiff allegedly defended himself against an inmate attack. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Correctional officers quickly intervened and took steps to stop the fight. Id. They forced Plaintiff to the ground and placed him in cuffs. Id. After doing so, the officers continued to beat Plaintiff while he was restrained on the ground. Id. In the process, Officer Hyde allegedly broke Plaintiff's nose and another officer broke his tooth. Id.

         Plaintiff identifies the following officers in connection with the incident: C/O Hyde, C/O McAnn, C/O Anderton and Lieutenant Clark. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He claims that the officers were “in cahoots” with the health care unit (HCU), but does not elaborate. Id. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages against Big Muddy, C/O Hyde, C/O McAnn and Lieutenant Clark. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         Discussion

         To facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(e) and 10(b), the Court has reorganized the claims in Plaintiff's pro se Complaint into the following enumerated counts:

Count 1 - Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for using excessive force against Plaintiff on May ...

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