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Hoskins v. Spiller

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 5, 2018

JOSHUA LEE HOSKINS, #R-54570, Plaintiff,



         This matter is before the Court for case management. On January 2, 2017, the Court conducted a preliminary review of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to § 1915A. (Doc. 8). The Court divided the action into 10 counts. Counts 1 through 4 were referred for further review, Counts 5 through 8 were dismissed, and Counts 9 through 10 were severed into a new action. The Court also dismissed 8 defendants, without prejudice, because Plaintiff failed to include them in the case caption or list of defendants. See Myles v. United States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir. 2005) (holding that to be properly considered a party, a defendant must be “specif[ied] in the caption”). Upon further review, the Court has determined that 3 of these individuals - Officer Bump (identified as C. Bump in the case caption), Shaun Gree or Ghee (identified as S. Gree in the case caption), and Sara Johnson (identified as S. Johnson in the case caption) were actually identified as defendants in the case caption. Due to an oversight, however, these individuals had not been identified as defendants in the Court's docket and the Court failed to identify this oversight when conducting its preliminary review. Accordingly, it was error for the Court to dismiss Defendants Officer Bump (hereinafter, Bump), Shaun Gree or Ghee (hereinafter, Gree), and Sara Johnson (hereinafter, Johnson) pursuant to Myles.

         In light of this error, the Court, sua sponte, deems it appropriate to amend its prior order by interlineation. The Court has reviewed the allegations in the Complaint as they pertain to Defendants Bump, Gree, and Johnson. Considering these allegations, the Court revises its referral order as follows.

         Bump and Gree

         Counts 1, 2, 3, and 4 shall also proceed as to Defendants Bump and Gree.


         The Complaint fails to state a claim as to Johnson. Plaintiff claims that Johnson, the Chair of the Administrative Review Board, violated his rights by denying his grievances and/or failing to overturn the allegedly false disciplinary ticket and conviction. Generally, the denial of a grievance - standing alone - is not enough to violate the United States Constitution. See, e.g., George v. Abdullah, 507 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 2007) (“Ruling against a prisoner on an administrative complaint does not cause or contribute to the violation.”); Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 953 (7th Cir. 2011) (“[T]he alleged mishandling of [a prisoner's] grievance by persons who otherwise did not cause or participate in the underlying conduct states no claim.”). See also Estate of Miller by Chassie v. Marberry, 847 F.3d 425, 428-29 (7th Cir. 2017) (“inaction following receipt of a complaint about someone else's conduct is not a source of liability”). Nonetheless, a grievance official may be subject to liability for deliberate indifference if he or she “knows about unconstitutional conduct and facilitates, approves, condones, or ‘turn[s] a blind eye' to it.” Perez v. Fenoglio, 792 F.3d 768, 781 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing Vance v. Peters, 97 F.3d 987, 992-93 (7th Cir. 1996).

         Here, the claims pertaining to Johnson suggest nothing more than the denial of a grievance by an individual who was not involved in the underlying constitutional violation. There is no indication that Johnson is subject to liability under the standard articulated in Perez or related authority. As such, Plaintiff's claims pertaining to Johnson fall short of stating a constitutional claim.


         The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of the Court to amend the docket sheet by adding BUMP, GREE, AND JOHNSON as defendants in CM/ECF.

         IT IS ORDERED that Counts 1, 2, 3, and 4, shall also receive further review as to BUMP and GREE.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that claims directed against JOHNSON are DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to terminate JOHNSON as a party in CM/ECF.

         With respect to COUNTS 1, 2, 3, and 4, the Clerk of Court shall prepare for BUMP and GREE: (1) Form 5 (Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of a Summons), and (2) Form 6 (Waiver of Service of Summons).

         The Clerk is DIRECTED to mail these forms, a copy of the Complaint (Doc. 1), a copy of the original Referral Order (Doc. 8), and this Memorandum and Order to Defendants' place of employment as identified by Plaintiff. If Defendants fail to sign and return the Waiver of Service of Summons (Form 6) to the Clerk within 30 days from the date the forms were sent, the Clerk shall take appropriate steps to effect formal service on Defendants, and the Court ...

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