United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 35). Plaintiff did not file a response. For
the following reasons, Defendants' motion is
Alexander Osborne is an Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) inmate and Defendants are IDOC
employees. Osborne filed suit on May 6, 2016 (Doc. 1).
Osborne asserts states in his Complaint that he is a
Rastafarian and that it is against his religious beliefs to
cut or comb his hair. He alleges that in late December 2013,
Defendants violated his constitutional rights by subjecting
him to excessive force, forcibly cutting off his dreadlocks
and denying him medical treatment for his injuries.
Court screened Osborne's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A and found that Osborne articulated the following
COUNT 1: Defendants Goins, Hodge, Lamb,
Buchner, Harper, Zollars, Jenkins, Stout, Vaughn, Carie, and
Ginder violated Plaintiff's First Amendment rights when
they ordered him to cut his hair and then forcibly cut his
hair, which is forbidden by Plaintiff's religious
COUNT 2: Defendant Duncan violated
Plaintiff's rights under the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) when his staff
forcibly cut Plaintiff's hair, which is forbidden by
Plaintiff's religious beliefs.
COUNT 3: Defendants Harper, Ginder, Jenkins,
Stout, Vaughn, and Carie used excessive force on Plaintiff,
in violation of the Eighth Amendment, when they pepper
sprayed him, jumped on him, hit him with their shields,
pushed his face into the wall, and forcibly cut his hair and
COUNT 4: Defendants Harper, Ginder, Jenkins,
Stout, Vaughn, and Carie were deliberately indifferent to
Plaintiff's serious medical needs in violation of the
Eighth Amendment when they denied him medical care for his
injuries after the December 31, 2013 incident. (Doc. 12).
events that give rise to this litigation occurred while
Osborne was an inmate at Lawrence Correctional Center. He
alleges the following in his Complaint. He has been a
Rastafarian for more than 30 years and pursuant to his
religious beliefs, does not cut or comb his hair (Doc. 1, p.
5). Osborne is also 61 years old and physically disabled.
Id. at p. 4. He suffers from diabetes, neuropathy
and has limited mobility. Id. at p. 4.
2013, Osborne was ordered by Lawrence staff to cut his hair.
Id. at p. 8. He refused, and as a result, he was
placed in the disciplinary segregation unit. Id. at
p. 8. Lawrence staff again ordered Osborne to cut his hair
and he refused to consent. Id. at p. 8. The prison
administration then directed a tactical team to cut
Osborne's hair. Id. at p. 8. The tactical team
went into Osborne's cell, sprayed him with pepper spray,
pushed him against a wall and cut his hair. Id. at
p. 9. Defendants then refused to provide medical treatment
for his resulting injuries. Id. at p. 9.
to Defendants' motion for summary judgment, Osborne filed
two relevant prison grievances pertaining to the events in
this lawsuit. First, Osborne drafted a grievance dated
February 12, 2014 (Doc. 36-3, p. 2). Under “Nature of
Grievance, ” Osborne marked “Staff
Conduct.” Id. In the “Summary of
Grievance” portion of the grievance form, Osborne wrote
in part that the prison tactical unit “came to my cell,
A-L-11, pepper sprayed me, chained me up and forcible [sic]
cut my dreadlock.” Id. at p. 3. Osborne sent
the grievance directly to the IDOC Administrative Review
Board (“ARB”), thereby bypassing his prison
counselor and the Lawrence grievance officer. Id. at
p. 1. As a result, the ARB rejected the grievance on the
basis that it was procedurally defaulted. Id. at p.
second grievance also challenges staff conduct (Doc. 36-4, p.
3). In the “Summary of Grievance” portion of the
form, Osborne wrote:
On 12-20-13 I was sent an emergency [illegible], 6 days later
Major Goin [sic] told me that I had to cut my dreadlock or go
to seg. I am a Rastafarian cutting my hair is against my
religion, so I was taken to seg. From the cell house 4 C
[illegible] which started the process of my dreadlocks being
forcibly cut violating my 1 (First), 8th and
14th Amendment [sic]. I[n] total received ...