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McClurkin v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 15, 2017

BRYAN McCLURKIN, #B13440, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Bryan McClurkin, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center (“Stateville”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against several current and former high-ranking officials at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”) and the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”). (Doc. 1). Plaintiff asserts claims against each of the defendants for violating his rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments and Illinois state law. He seeks declaratory judgment and monetary damages.[1] (Doc. 1, pp. 18-27).

         This case is now before the Court for 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.

Id. 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 in the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009). The Complaint does not survive screening under this standard and shall be dismissed.

         The Complaint

         In the Complaint, Plaintiff names several high-ranking prison officials in connection with alleged violations of his rights at Menard under federal and state law. (Doc. 1). These officials include the current and former IDOC Directors, the current and former prison wardens, the prison's healthcare administrator, and a private medical corporation. (Doc. 1, p. 1). Plaintiff asserts claims against each defendant under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as Illinois state law. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-27).

         Although the Complaint is voluminous, it contains few factual allegations against the defendants. Instead, it reads like a memorandum of law. Plaintiff devotes most of the Complaint to a discussion of the applicable law and citations to decisions issued by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

         Pages 9 through 13 of the Complaint contain some factual allegations, but few actually refer to individual defendants. (Doc. 1, pp. 9-13). In place of detailed factual allegations, Plaintiff refers to exhibits instead. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-26). The exhibits include grievances that he filed over the course of more than three years and medical records spanning the same time period, among other things. Id. The exhibits address many issues and touch upon numerous potential claims. Id. Few involve the named defendants. Id.

         Plaintiff's claims seem to arise from injuries he sustained on or around April 10, 2014, when he fell from a chair at Menard. (Doc. 1, pp. 9-13, 32-36; Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-46). At the time, he was handcuffed and sustained injuries to his wrist and neck. Id. His neck injury apparently grew worse over time. Id. Plaintiff began to experience intense pain in his neck and back and even numbness in his left arm and hand. Id. He submitted multiple requests for medical care during his incarceration at Menard and was not satisfied with the treatment he received. Id.

         Plaintiff brings a claim of retaliation under the First Amendment, deliberate indifference under the Eighth Amendment, and denial of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment against the defendants. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-26). He also asserts claims against Wexford for breach of contract and consumer fraud under Illinois law. (Doc. 1, pp. 22-27). He names none of the individual medical providers he saw at Menard in connection with these claims. Id. All named defendants are high-ranking ...

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