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Teen v. Smith

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 7, 2017

ANTRELL A. TEEN, Plaintiff,
v.
R. SMITH, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge.

         In Teen v. St. Clair County Jail et al., Case No. 17-cv-594-JPG (S.D. Ill. June 5, 2017) (“Original Action”), Plaintiff Antrell A. Teen, an apparent pretrial detainee incarcerated at St. Clair County Jail (“Jail”), brought suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly occurred at St. Clair County Jail. Pursuant to George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007), two conditions of confinement claims pertaining to boil orders issued at the Jail in February 2016 (Count 4 directed against unspecified parties) and February 2017 (Count 5 directed against Smith) were severed from that initial action to form the basis for this action, Case No. 17-cv-916-JPG.

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of that claims 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).

         After fully considering the relevant allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court concludes that this action is subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         The allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 2) relevant to this severed action are as follows:

         On February 18-19, 2016, St. Clair County had a boil order in effect. (Doc. 2, p. 4). Plaintiff was not notified that the water was unsafe to drink, and he did not receive fresh water until the last day of the boil order after he complained. Id. There were no announcements made or signs placed instructing inmates not to drink the water. Id. Plaintiff put in sick call forms to the nurse on February 18 for nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and vomiting, but he was never seen by medical. Id. Plaintiff asked C.O. Riley Rilo about procedures during boil orders, but he was unresponsive. Id. Plaintiff believes the supervisors and administrators on duty at the time are at fault for knowing of the boil order and not acting. Id.

         On February 2, 2017, there was another boil order in effect for St. Clair County. Plaintiff was not notified that the water was unsafe to drink. Id. Plaintiff became aware of the order while watching the news. Id. At that point, he began to complain, and requested bottled water from Nurse Barbara, though she denied his request. Id. C.O. Smith then told Plaintiff that the boil order was not for “this county” and that the water was safe to drink. Id. Plaintiff relayed what he had just heard on the news and requested to speak to a supervisor. Id. C.O. Smith left the area. Id. C.O. Green then came on the intercom and ...


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