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Croom v. Lashbrook

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 6, 2017



          David R. Herndon United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Christopher Croom, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks declarative relief and monetary damages. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Amended 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).

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff originally filed suit on June 9, 2017. (Doc. 1). After Plaintiff filed this case, the Court determined that Plaintiff had attempted to proceed on unrelated claims in the same lawsuit. (Doc. 4). The Court dismissed some defendants and severed some claims into separate lawsuits. (Doc. 4). The Court then conducted a threshold review of this case and considered Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. 9). The Court found that Plaintiff had not adequately pleaded personal involvement of any defendant in his conditions of confinement claim and dismissed the Complaint accordingly. (Doc. 9). The Court noted, however, that Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration contained additional facts not available in the Complaint, and encouraged him to file an Amended Complaint containing those facts. (Doc. 9). Plaintiff submitted an Amended Complaint on August 7, 2017; it was docketed on August 24, 2017. (Doc. 12).

         The Amended Complaint alleges that Plaintiff's constitutional rights were violated when he was confined in a 36 square foot cell on February 13, 2017. (Doc. 12, p. 5). The mattress had a urine stain on it, and Plaintiff was deprived of cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and showers for 18 days. (Doc. 12, pp. 5-6). He did not receive clothes or his eye glasses for 10 days. (Doc. 12, p. 5). Plaintiff asked correctional officers for hygiene products, but they told him to “ask your homeboys” or “don't come to seg.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that the cell was too small to exercise in because the majority of the space is taken up by the furniture. (Doc. 12, p. 6).

         Plaintiff submitted 13 grievances to Dia Rodely on his conditions of confinement issues; only 2 were answered. Id. Plaintiff also alleges that Chief Administrative Officer Lashbrook conducts rounds in segregation and has seen the cell sizes with her own eyes. (Doc. 12, p. 7). Plaintiff also alleges that he has sent Lashbrook letters, and she failed to respond. (Doc. 12, p. 8). Plaintiff further alleges that Lashbrook knows that counselors at Menard throw away grievances and condones the practice. Id.

         As a result of the cell size, Plaintiff has suffered a neck and back injury because he cannot do stretching exercises in the cell. (Doc. 12, p. 7). Plaintiff also suffers from depression. Id.


         Based on the allegations of the Amended Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into 2 counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a ...

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