United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case was severed on October 31, 2017 from Cavaness v.
Delancy, et al., Case No. 17-cv-480-SMY-RJD (S.D. Ill.).
(Doc. 1). It contains the claim designated as Count 3 in the
original case, and described as follows:
Count 3 - Defendant Ellenberg violated
Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel
and unusual punishment by maliciously and continuously
shutting off Plaintiff's drinking water despite
Plaintiff's need for it in order to take his medications.
filed the original civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 on May 8, 2017, while he was incarcerated at
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”). He was
released from prison later that month. Plaintiff's
claim is now before the Court for a preliminary review
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
Complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that
is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks money damages from a
defendant who by law is immune from such relief, must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir.
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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on
its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true,
see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir.
2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not
accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a
cause of action or conclusory legal statements.”
Id. At the same time, however, the factual
allegations of a pro se complaint are to be
liberally construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that Plaintiff's claim
survives threshold review under § 1915A.
Complaint (Doc. 2)
operative Complaint was filed in the original action as the
Second Amended Complaint where it was docketed as Doc. 14.
Plaintiff's factual allegations relating to Count 3 are
Plaintiff was confined on 2 and 4 galleries at Menard,
Ellenberg routinely cut off his cold drinking water every day
for 2 months. (Doc. 2, p. 3). This continued up to
Plaintiff's release (MSR) date of May 26, 2017. Plaintiff
is “mentally ill and dyslexic.” (Doc. 2, p. 5).
He needs to have water available to take his medication.
(Doc. 2, p. 7). Since Plaintiff arrived at Menard, Ellenberg
had been “racist and belittlingly belligerent”
toward him. Id. Despite the fact that Plaintiff
explained to Ellenberg that he required drinking water for
his medication, and requested that he leave the water on,
Ellenberg continued to shut off the drinking water to
Plaintiff's cell. Id.
requests monetary damages for the violation of his rights.
(Doc. 2, p. 9).
Review of Count 3 Pursuant to 28 ...