United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court for merit review of the
Plaintiff's complaint. The Court is required by 28 U.S.C.
§1915A to “screen” the Plaintiff's
complaint, and through such process to identify and dismiss
any legally insufficient claim, or the entire action if
warranted. A claim is legally insufficient if it “(1)
is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
a pro se prisoner, claims Correctional Officer Ryan Eads,
Officer Gresham, and Adjustment Committee Members Stephany
Anguiano and Shannon Richno violated his constitutional
rights at Lincoln Correctional Center. Plaintiff says on
December 20, 2016, Defendant Eads shook down his cell.
Initially, the resulting shakedown slip did not list any
contraband. However, Defendant Gresham called Plaintiff to
the Internal Affairs Office later in the day.
Gresham questioned Plaintiff about personal information the
Plaintiff had in his cell concerning a female chaplain
including her home address. Plaintiff claimed it was the
address for her church and he was given the information as
part of a prison outreach program to help inmates after their
release. Nonetheless, Plaintiff received a disciplinary
report based on his possession of the information.
attached Adjustment Committee report indicates Plaintiff was
found guilty of the offense. The report notes the basis for
the finding was conflicting statements from Plaintiff and the
address did not match the location Plaintiff gave to the
officer. Consequently, Plaintiff lost six months of good time
credits and was transferred to another facility. (Comp.,
12/20/16 Report). Plaintiff says the hearing and discipline
rendered violated his due process rights.
disciplinary hearings satisfy procedural due process
requirements when an inmate is provided: (1) advanced written
notice of the charge; (2) the right to appear in person
before an impartial body; (3) a qualified right to call
witnesses and to present evidence; and (4) a written
statement of the reasons for the action taken. See Wolff
v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 563-69 (1974)(hearing must
meet four requirements, but no “investigation”
requirement). Plaintiff has not articulated a due process
addition, Plaintiff lost good time credits as a result of the
hearing. In order to bring a civil rights lawsuit for damages
based on a false disciplinary ticket, Plaintiff was first
demonstrate the discipline was expunged. See Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. (1994); Edwards v. Balisok,
520 U.S. 641, 648, 117 S.Ct. 1584, 137 L.Ed.2d 906 (1997);
see also Clayton-El v Fisher, 96 F.3d 236, 242-45
(7th 1996)(a prisoners claim that he was denied
procedural due process rights in disciplinary proceeding was
Heck-barred); Collins v Franks, 2004 WL
882155 at 6 (W.D.Wis. April 22, 2004)(plaintiff's claim
that he was denied due process before his good time credits
were taken may be pursued only in a habeas action);
Miller v Indiana Dept. of Corrections, 75 F.3d 330,
331 (7th Cir. 1996) (holding that a state
prisoners federal civil rights suit seeking damages for a
denial of due process when the prisoner claimed he was not
given a fair hearing is barred by Heck.)
next alleges when he returned to his housing unit from the
Internal Affairs Office, he asked Defendant Eads for a
grievance form. Defendant Eads then told Plaintiff he was
moving to the top bunk. Plaintiff protested noting Eads knew
Plaintiff had knee and back problems and Plaintiff had a
bottom bunk permit. Eads claimed he spoke with the Health
Care Unit and they were unable to confirm Plaintiff had a
bottom bunk permit.
says when he tried to climb into the bunk later in the day,
he fell aggravating his knee and back problems. Plaintiff was
then examined by medical staff and “was immediately
issued a bottom bunk permit, and medicated with strong pain
medication to assist with the pain and complications.”
(Comp., p. 4). In addition, the nurse confirmed
Plaintiff's records clearly indicated he had ongoing back
problems and “he was suppose to remain with a bottom
bunk permit.” (Comp., p. 4).
claims Eads was well aware of his disability, but forced him
to the top bunk in retaliation for Plaintiff telling him he
was going to write a grievance. In addition, Eads ignored a
substantial risk of injury when he moved Plaintiff to a top
bunk. Finally, Plaintiff says he reported Defendant Eads'
retaliatory conduct to Defendants Gresham, Anguaino and
Richno, but no action was taken.
establish a First Amendment claim, Plaintiff must be able to
demonstrate:: (1) he engaged in a protected activity, (2) he
suffered a deprivation likely to prevent future protected
activities, and (3) there was a causal connection between the
two. Watkins v. Kasper, 599 F.3d 791, 794 (7th Cir.
2010) citing Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546
(7th Cir. 2009). For the purposes of notice pleading,
Plaintiff has alleged Defendant Eads violated his First
Amendment rights when he retaliated against him by forcing
him to the top bunk. Plaintiff has also sufficiently alleged
Defendant Eads violated his Eighth Amendment rights when he
was deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of harm.
Plaintiff has not articulated a claim against any other
Defendant based on reporting Defendant Ead's conduct
after the incident occurred. In order to hold an individual
liable under Section 1983, Plaintiff must “show that
the defendants were personally responsible for the
deprivation of their rights.” Wilson v. Warren
Cty., Illinois, 2016 WL 3878215, at *3 (7th Cir. 2016).
“A defendant is personally responsible ‘if the
conduct causing the constitutional deprivation occurs at his
direction or with his knowledge and consent.'”
Id. quoting Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 561
(7th Cir. 1995). A Defendant can not cause or participate in
the violation if the alleged retaliation is reported after
the incident had occurred and was corrected.
THEREFORE ORDERED that:
Pursuant to its merit review of the complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court finds the Plaintiff alleges Defendant
Correctional Officer Eads retaliated against him in violation
of his First Amendment rights and was deliberately
indifferent to a substantial risk of harm on December 20,
2016. The claim is stated the Defendant in his individual
capacity only. Any additional claims shall not be included in
the case, except at ...