United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JONATHAN W. BOHN, # 08570-025, Plaintiff,
FEDERAL BUREAU of PRISONS, LT. DUGDALE, and DR. SEARS, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge.
an inmate in the FCI-Greenville, brings this action for
alleged violations of his constitutional rights by persons
acting under the color of federal authority. See Bivens v.
Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). He claims
that Greenville officials negligently allowed him to attempt
suicide while he was on suicide watch. This case is now
before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint
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). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 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.
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. 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).
Although 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).
fully considering the allegations in Plaintiff's
complaint, the Court concludes that this action is subject to
summary dismissal. However, Plaintiff shall have an
opportunity to re-plead his claims in an amended complaint.
August 22, 2017, Dr. Sears (psychologist) ordered Plaintiff
to be placed on suicide watch in a “secured suicide
room.” (Doc. 1, p. 1). Dr. Sears escorted Plaintiff to
the medical department, where Lt. Dugdale conducted a
strip-search of Plaintiff, and then searched the suicide
room. Dugdale was satisfied with the search and locked
Plaintiff inside the room. These activities were recorded by
video camera surveillance, as were the ensuing events.
following day (August 23, 2017), Dugdale returned, placed
Plaintiff in handcuffs, and once again searched Plaintiff and
searched the room. Dugdale was “satisfied” that
Plaintiff and the room were “secured, ” so he
removed Plaintiff's handcuffs and departed at about 12:05
p.m. (Doc. 1, p. 1).
after Dugdale left, at about 12:45 p.m., Plaintiff sliced his
left wrist 5 times with a razor blade that he found inside
the suicide room. (Doc. 1, p. 2). At 1:00 p.m., the
“suicide companion” called for assistance and
other staff responded. Plaintiff was given medical attention
for his wounds. He does not say where in the room the razor
blade had been located.
Plaintiff's attempted suicide, Dr. Sears lied about the
incident and fired a suicide companion.
seeks to hold Sears and Dugdale responsible for leaving him
in the suicide room where he was able to locate a razor
blade, asserting that Dugdale and Sears were negligent in
failing to hold him in a safe place while he was on suicide
watch. (Doc. 1, pp. 2-3). The 3-page Complaint does not
contain a prayer for relief.
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
noted above, this action is subject to dismissal for failure
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, for the
lawsuit brought pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), is the federal
prisoner's equivalent to a § 1983 civil rights
action. See Glaus v. Anderson, 408 F.3d 382, 386
(7th Cir. 2005); Clemente v. Allen, 120 F.3d 703,
705 (7th Cir. 1997) (collecting cases). Plaintiff's claim
that the conditions of his confinement in ...