United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ANTRELL A. TEEN, Plaintiff,
M. LAZANTE and SGT. COOK, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Antrell Teen, who is currently detained at St. Clair County
Jail (“Jail”) in Belleville, Illinois, filed a
civil rights action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights at
the Jail. See Teen v. St. Clair Cnty. Jail, No.
17-cv-594-JPG (S.D. Ill.) (“original action”).
The Court severed the claims in the original action into
three new cases pursuant to George v. Smith, 507
F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007). (Doc. 1). The instant case
addresses a single claim (“Count 8”) against
Officer Lazante and Sergeant Cook for subjecting Plaintiff to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement at the Jail. (Doc.
1, p. 7; Doc. 2, p. 6). In connection with this claim,
Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment and monetary relief
against the defendants. (Doc. 2, p. 7).
severed case is now subject to preliminary review 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.
2009). Count 8 survives screening under this standard and
shall receive further review.
to the allegations in the Complaint, Plaintiff was housed in
Cell Blocks G and H for ten months. (Doc. 2, p. 6, ¶
21). The individual cell doors in both cell blocks did not
lock. Id. Consequently, inmates roamed freely at
inmates sustained serious injuries during late night fights.
(Doc. 2, p. 6, ¶ 21). Plaintiff regularly had to defend
himself and his belongings. Id. During one such
incident, he was physically injured. Id.
complained about these conditions on numerous occasions.
(Doc. 2, p. 6, ¶ 21). Officer Lazante received written
complaints, and Sergeant Cook received verbal complaints.
Id. Even so, they took no steps to address the
unsafe conditions. Id.
severed case focuses on the following claim, which was
designated as ...