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 4 in the
original case, described as follows:
Count 4 - Defendant Ledbetter violated
Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel
and unusual punishment by requiring him to
“grovel” by performing physical tasks in order to
receive his full tray.
Deandre Cavaness 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. His 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). Courts “should not accept as
adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of
action or conclusory legal statements.” Id.
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. (Doc. 14). Plaintiff's factual
allegations relating to Count 4 are as follows.
Plaintiff was confined at Menard, Officer Ledbetter routinely
subjected him to “Jim Crow based groveling” as a
prerequisite to receiving food. (Doc. 2, p. 3). More
specifically, Ledbetter would select “trays to be given
for groveling in the form of military drilling or
calisthenics.” (Doc. 2, p. 5). If the drills were not
completed, Ledbetter would give “shorted” meals.
(Doc. 2, pp. 3, 5).
requests monetary damages for the violation of his rights.
(Doc. 2, p. 9).
Review of Count 3 Pursuant to 28 ...