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Roberson v. Rock Island County Jail

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

December 12, 2017

ROCK ISLAND COUNTY JAIL, et. al., Defendants



         This 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. §1915A.

         Plaintiff, a pro se prisoner, claims his constitutional rights were violated by the Rock Island County Jail, Officer Prine, Officer Moore and Officer Singleton. The Court notes the jail is not a proper Defendant since it is a building and not a “person” amenable to suit under § 1983. See Powell v. Cook County Jail, 814 F.Supp. 757 (N.D.Ill. Mar. 2, 1993); Pope v Racine Correctional Inst., 2012 WL 4470214 at 2 (Sept. 27, 2012) (correctional center is not a proper defendant). Therefore, the Court will dismiss this Defendant.

         On August 10, 2017, Plaintiff was located in the A-Block housing unit. However, Plaintiff voluntarily signed himself into segregation so he could “catch up on some sleep due to the early hours we have to awake in the mornings…” (Comp., p. 5).

         On August 11, 2017, Plaintiff asked to go back to general population, but staff members refused stating “they don’t move (inmates) on first shift.” (Comp., p. 5). Plaintiff says it “was a lie,” but he waited for second shift. (Comp., p. 5). Plaintiff was again told staff would not move inmates during second shift, so he waited for third shift.

         Plaintiff was still in segregation on August 12, 2017, and he again asked first shift officers to move him. Plaintiff was told he would move at shift change, but nothing happened.

         During second shift, Plaintiff asked Officer Singleton to move him back to general population and the Defendant agreed Plaintiff could move after dinner. Defendant Singleton confirmed Plaintiff would be moving back to A-block. Plaintiff then asked if he was going back to his old cell. “‘[I]nstead of him answering me, C/O Prine come through the intercom yelling at me and stating I’ll go where I’m told…” (Comp., p. 6). Plaintiff told Defendant Prine he was not talking to him and to “mind his business.” (Comp., p. 6). Prine became angry and refused to move Plaintiff.

         On August 13, 2017, Plaintiff “demanded” to speak with a Lieutenant or Sergeant. (Comp., p. 6). When the officers ignored him, Plaintiff then “stuck my arm out the chuck to prevent it from being closed.” (Comp., p. 6). When Officer Utz attempted to close it, Plaintiff repeated his demand, but the officer said he could “care less and never brought me a lieutenant or sergeant.” (Comp., p. 6). Ultimately, Officer Boswell agreed if would check whether Plaintiff could still move back to general population after dinner, and Plaintiff “let him close the chuckhole.” (Comp., p. 6).

         After dinner, Plaintiff asked Officer Boswell about moving, but the officer informed Plaintiff he could not move because Officer Utz had written a disciplinary ticket accusing Plaintiff of throwing a tray at the officer. Plaintiff asked Officer Boswell to get a sergeant or lieutenant to find out why Plaintiff had not been moved and why Officer Utz wrote a “false ticket” against him, (Comp., p. 6). No one came to Plaintiff’s cell.

         Plaintiff was let out of his cell for an hour during the evening and the “whole time I was pressing the intercom requesting to speak with a lieutenant/sergeant,” but officers stopped answering the intercom. (Comp., p. 7).

         Plaintiff then asked for a shower which he was allowed, but within “two seconds” Defendants Moore and Singleton were standing outside “threatening to snatch me out…” (Comp., p. 7). Plaintiff again asked to see a sergeant or lieutenant, but the officers told him he better lock up before things got “ugly.” (Comp., p. 7).

         Defendant Prine and another officer then arrived with tasers ant told Plaintiff to lock up. Plaintiff responded by putting his hands on his head and stating he was not a threat to anyone. He just wanted to speak to a sergeant or lieutenant.

C/Os Moore and Singleton used this time to advance on me from behind and snatch my hands from over my head, pulled me under the camera and play tug of war with me and made it appear as if I was resisting and C/O Prine seized the opportunity and did what his evil heart desired to taze me. (Comp, p. 7).

         Plaintiff says he has had “several encounters” with Defendant Prine in the past. (Comp., p. 7). In addition, since he the incident, Plaintiff claims his nerves have been jumping and he wakes up at ...

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