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Amaya v. Butler

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 30, 2017

DANIEL AMAYA, R72828, Plaintiff,


          STACI M. YANDLE Honorable United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Daniel Amaya, an inmate housed at Pinckneyville Correctional Center, brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was formerly housed at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”) and his claims relate to his time at Menard. He claims that on or about April 1, 2016, his constitutional rights were violated during a strip search and cell shake down conducted by members of the Orange Crush tactical team (the “shake down”). In connection with these claims, Plaintiff has named Kimberly Butler (Menard's former warden), John Doe 1 (Chief of Operations for IDOC) and John Doe 2 (unknown Orange Crush officer).

         The First Amended Complaint is now before the Court for a preliminary review 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 First Amended Complaint

         According to the First Amended Complaint, on April 1, 2016, members of the Orange Crush tactical team conducted a shakedown at Menard (in particular, Plaintiff references cell 20, gallery 10 in the east cell house). (Doc. 12, p. 3). According to Plaintiff, John Doe 2 sexually assaulted him during the shakedown. Id. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that John Doe 2 subjected him to a strip search. (Doc. 12, p. 4). During the strip search, John Doe 2 ordered Plaintiff to bend over and proceeded to blow air from his mouth into Plaintiff's exposed rectum. Id. Plaintiff objected and John Doe 2 told him to “shut the fuck up.” Id.

         John Doe 2 then ordered Plaintiff to put on his “blues” (blue pants and blue shirt). Id. However, Plaintiff was not permitted to wear any “whites” (underwear). Id. Plaintiff was handcuffed behind his back. Id. The handcuffs were so tight they dug into Plaintiff's skin and left bloody marks on his wrists. Id. Plaintiff asked John Doe 2 to loosen the handcuffs and was told to “shut the fuck up.” Id.

         Plaintiff was ordered out of his cell and lined up with other inmates. Id. At some point, John Doe 2 stopped to tuck Plaintiff's shirt into his pants. (Doc. 12, pp. 4-5). As he was tucking Plaintiff's shirt in, John Doe 2 grabbed Plaintiff's penis and buttocks saying things like “eyes down head down, ” “easy access, ” and “fuzzy wuzzy.” (Doc. 12, p. 5).

         The Orange Crush tactical unit paraded the inmates from their cells to the prison chapel. Id. The inmates were ordered to stand in such a way that their genitals were in direct contact with the buttocks of the inmate ahead of them. Id. During this time, Orange Crush officers yelled at the inmates to keep their heads and eyes down. Id. Plaintiff was also ordered to maintain a “stress position” for an unknown period of time. Id.

         When Plaintiff returned to his cell, all of his personal items were in disarray. (Doc. 12, pp. 5-6). He was provided with a shakedown slip. (Doc. 1, p. 6). However, the shakedown slip did not include an accurate account of things that were taken and was not associated with any particular officer. Id. Plaintiff believes the shakedown slips were purposely vague to conceal the Orange Crush officers' identities. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that John Doe 2 executed the shakedown on April 1, 2016 pursuant to a policy or practice implemented and overseen by Butler and John Doe 1. (Doc. 12, pp. 8-9). He asserts that Defendants engaged in a conspiracy to violate his constitutional rights and to cover up the violation. (Doc. 12, pp. 7-10). Plaintiff also alleges that Butler and John Doe 1 were aware of prior similar instances of abuse conducted by Orange Crush officers and nonetheless, failed to intervene to keep the officers from abusing inmates. (Doc. 12, pp. 11-12).

         Finally, Plaintiff asserts that the shakedown constitutes the intentional infliction of emotional ...

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