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Terrell v. Lashbrook

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 8, 2018

RONNIE TERRELL, #N-83826, Plaintiff,
v.
LASHBROOK, and JOHN BALDWIN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Ronnie Terrell, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”), brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants failed to protect him from another inmate who attacked him, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Doc. 22). This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Second Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening - The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         An 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 any reasonable person would find meritless. 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. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         Upon careful review of the Second Amended Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

         The Second Amended Complaint

         In his Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 22), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: the Department of Corrections, as well as the staff of Pinckneyville, allowed dangerous and violent inmates to interact with minimum and medium security inmates, “which led to the attack on Inmate Terrell” on April 25, 2016. (Doc. 22, p. 7). These inmates “came from a super max facility to Pinckneyville.” Id. Plaintiff believes “the Department of Corrections should and must be held liable under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment because they are directly responsible for operating the Department of Corrections.” Id.

         “The warden [knew] that these detainee[s] had a very high aggressive level so the warden formulated a plan to keep those detainee[s] separate.” Id. This plan only lasted for six months. Id. After the plan “collapse[d], ” Plaintiff had his first encounter with Terrance Kirksey, his assailant. Id. This attack “could have been prevented if the lieutenant would have separated either one of us.” (Doc. 22, p. 8). He “didn't take [Plaintiff's] request seriously” which “ultimately would [cause] inmate Terrell to be assaulted.” Id.

         Discussion

         To reflect the allegations in the Second Amended Complaint, this Court will modify Count 3, the only remaining count in this case. The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court.

Count 3 - Defendants failed to protect Plaintiff in violation of the Eighth Amendment by allowing inmates from a super max facility to interact with minimum and medium security detainees, ...

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