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Teen v. Kenney

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 24, 2017

ANTRELL A. TEEN Plaintiff,
v.
CAPTAIN KENNEY, MASSEO, NICHOLS, and BOUJACK Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Antrell A. Teen, an inmate in St. Clair County Jail, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests damages and injunctive relief. As relevant to this suit, Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief is that the defendants “to rectify the law library procedure.” (Doc. 2, p. 7). 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 originally brought these claims in Case No. 17-594, filed on June 5, 2017. On August 28, 2017, the Court severed the claims into this action. (Doc. 1). As relevant to the claims present in this case, Plaintiff alleges that he was denied access to the law library from February 2016 until April 2016; June 2016 until July 2016; and between February 2017 and May 2017. (Doc. 2, p. 5). During those time period, Plaintiff submitted multiple captain complaints. He received a response from Captain Kenny, which stated “out of good faith we allow detainees to use the law library but it is up to the shift supervisor if they allow you to go or not.” Id. Plaintiff gave copies of his request slips to Sgt. Nichols in February 2017, and in May he made complaints to Sgt. Masseo.

         Plaintiff alleges that he needed law library access between January and April 2016 in order to prepare for trial. Id. Without such access, Plaintiff was unable to educate himself on speedy trial violation issues, ineffective assistance of counsel issues, or due process issues. Id. The lack of access in June and July 2016 kept him from raising post-trial motions regarding juror bias, “non-IPI” issues and other post-conviction issues. Id. From February to May 2017, the denial of law library access “hindered [Plaintiff] from prosecuting his conviction.” Id. Plaintiff complained to Boujack, but nothing was done. Id. Everest refused to fill out IFP forms; and in general there is minimal assistance in filing legal documents. Id.

         Plaintiff also alleges that the showers have peeling paint and mold. (Doc. 2, p. 6). Plaintiff believes that the particles become airborne during showers and that he has inhaled them. Id. On one occasion, a speck got into his eye. Id. Plaintiff told Sgt. Nichols, but nothing was ever done. Id.

         Plaintiff also alleges that another inmate, Arthur Munzinger, developed large boils on his neck and leg that began to spread. Id. Boujack looked at the infection and then put Munzinger back in the cell. Id. Munzinger was later given bandages and antibiotics, but he was kept in general population until May 11, 2017, when he was moved to the ...


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