United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge
Middendorf v. McLaurn, Case No. 17-cv-538-JPG (S.D.
Ill. Oct. 4, 2017), Plaintiff Dustin Middendorf, an inmate in
Sheridan Correctional Center, brought suit for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Pursuant to George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th
Cir. 2007), two claims against Defendants Smith and Straub
were severed from that initial action to form the basis for
this action, Case No. 17-cv-908-JPG.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
those claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(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.
fully considering the relevant allegations in Plaintiff's
Complaint, the Court concludes that this action is subject to
allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 2) relevant to
this severed action are as follows: on March 3, 2017, Officer
Straub told Plaintiff he had authority “to do as he
pleased” while searching Plaintiff's cell. (Doc. 2,
p. 8). Officer Smith and Lieutenant Prinler took batteries
that Plaintiff purchased from the commissary and other
personal belongings without any explanation or documentation.
Id. Officer Wagner called inmates
“bitches” over the intercom in March 2017.
Id. Officer Knipp told another inmate that he
“would shoot him in the head.” Id. As a
result of this harassment and the lack of emergency call
buttons in the cells, Plaintiff felt unsafe. Id.
February 2, 2017, St. Clair County was allegedly subject to a
“boil order.” (Doc. 1, p. 9). At 8:00 a.m. on
that date, Plaintiff began requesting fresh water.
Id. Officer Green, who worked at the command center,
was unresponsive. Id. A nurse who was passing out
bottled water with medication refused to give Plaintiff any.
Id. Officer Smith told Plaintiff that the
“administration” said he could drink the water
because the boil order was not in effect for St. Clair
County. Id. When Plaintiff asked why the nurse was
passing out bottled water, Officer Smith said that the boil
order “was over.” Id. When Plaintiff
asked the nurse if Officer Smith's statements were true,
the nurse said, “if he says so.” Id.
Plaintiff began drinking the water. Id. At 11:00
a.m., Officer Green used the intercom to instruct inmates not
to drink the water. Id. Signs to this effect were
also posted, and bottled water was distributed at lunch.
Id. Plaintiff began suffering from stomach pain and
headaches in the hours after drinking the Jail's water.
(Doc. 1, p. 9). He submitted sick call slips and
“captain complaints” to complain about Officer
Smith's actions. Id. Plaintiff received no
Severance Order (Doc. 1), the Court designated the following
counts to be severed into this pro se action. The
parties and the Court will continue to use these designations
in all future pleadings and ...