United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Gilbert United States District Judge.
is currently incarcerated at the Fayette County
Jail. He has brought this pro se
action, invoking the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C.
§ 2671 et seq., and claiming violations of his
rights while he was detained in 2015-2016 at the Williamson
County Jail and undergoing treatment at the Centerstone
Half-Way House. He claims that necessary prescription
medication was withheld from him while he was housed in the
Williamson County Jail, and asserts that Rose violated his
civil rights by causing his federal supervised release to be
revoked. 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).
these standards, the Court finds that this action is subject
to summary dismissal.
end of December 2015, Plaintiff entered a 120-day treatment
program at the Centerstone Half-Way House
(“Centerstone”), at the direction of his federal
parole officer. (Doc. 1, p. 5). During this program,
Plaintiff was housed at the Williamson County Jail
(“the Jail”) when he was not attending the
program at Centerstone. For the first several weeks, he was
attending regular meetings and doing well in the program.
February 2016, Plaintiff had a disagreement with Clinical
Assistant Rose (a Centerstone employee) and another
Centerstone staff member, when he attempted to leave the
Centerstone property with the permission of his counselor to
take his vehicle to a nearby car wash to vacuum broken glass
from the floorboards. Rose stopped Plaintiff and told him he
could not leave the premises. Plaintiff went back into the
office to talk to another staff member, and the issue was
resolved when Plaintiff was allowed to use a shop-vac on the
Centerstone property. However, Plaintiff believes the
incident prompted Rose to target him for unfair treatment.
(Doc. 1, p. 5).
weeks later, Plaintiff was with his girlfriend in her vehicle
while she was visiting him, and the engine caught fire.
Plaintiff's hands were severely burned when he put the
fire out. He went to the emergency room, and a call was made
to Centerstone to inform staff he would be late getting back
to the Jail that night. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
returning to the Jail, Plaintiff was held there with
“no movement.” (Doc. 1, p. 6). A guard who
observed the blisters on Plaintiff's hands called
Centerstone to get permission to take Plaintiff back to the
emergency room. Rose instructed the guard to make Plaintiff
wear a jail jumpsuit for his trip to the hospital; this
request was against normal policy because Plaintiff was not
serving a sentence, but was merely housed at the Jail
pursuant to a contractual arrangement. Id. Plaintiff
wore the jumpsuit to the hospital.
way back to the Jail, the driver stopped at Centerstone,
where Rose had Plaintiff sign a paper to take a drug test, to
which he did not object. Rose then made Plaintiff empty his
pockets, taking his phone and truck keys. He claims that
normally, these items would be returned to him before he went
to the drug testing area. However, Rose refused to give back
Plaintiff's phone because “she found evidence of
unaccountability on it.” (Doc. 1, p. 6). After
Plaintiff objected, she told him he would not get his truck
keys back either. Plaintiff became very upset and asked to
call the police or his federal parole officer, but Rose
refused to allow this. Rose then escorted Plaintiff back to
the Jail, gave Plaintiff's truck keys to the guard, and
instructed the guard not to give Plaintiff his keys. The drug
test was not done.
leaving Centerstone following the ER visit, Plaintiff had
given Rose the prescription paperwork he received from the
emergency room doctor for a cream to treat his burns. Rose
promised to get the prescription filled for Plaintiff, but
she failed to do so. As a result, Plaintiff never received
the prescribed treatment for his painful burned hands. (Doc.
1, p. 7). Similarly, Centerstone staff failed to obtain a
refill of Plaintiff's medicine for nerve damage to his
back after his supply ran out.
after Plaintiff's confrontation with Rose, he was taken
from the Jail to the ER again for panic attacks and to check
his heart condition. While there, he had blood and urine
tests that showed he was not under the influence of drugs or
alcohol. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff was given several other
prescriptions for anxiety and chest pain. The prescription
orders were given to Centerstone staff to be filled and
brought to Plaintiff at the Jail, but he never received the
point, Rose allegedly informed Plaintiff's federal parole
officer that he had refused to undergo a drug test. This was
not true, however; Plaintiff had agreed to take the test, but
claims that Rose would not allow him to go through with it
after their argument over his phone and keys. Plaintiff was
“unlawfully detained” for another couple weeks at
the Jail, and then was served with a petition to revoke his
supervised release. Plaintiff claims this petition was
triggered by Rose's allegation that he refused the drug
the petition was heard (in this Court, No. 07-cr-30180-DRH),
Plaintiff's attorney produced the clean results from
Plaintiff's drug test in the ER, and the prosecutor
dismissed the allegation that Plaintiff had refused the test.
However, Plaintiff's supervised release was still
revoked, and he was sentenced to serve 1 year and 1 day in
prison. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff asserts that Rose's
false accusation regarding the drug test refusal was the
reason why the revocation petition was filed. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
He believes that but for that false claim, there would not
have been a revocation hearing, and he would not have been
sent back to prison. As a result of the supervised release
revocation, Plaintiff lost his home, his job, and the
opportunity to seek custody of his 8-year-old son.
seeks compensatory damages for his lost wages, “illegal
detention” at the Williamson County Jail, the suffering
he endured from his medical conditions, and intentional
infliction of emotional distress, as well as other relief.
(Doc. 1, p. 9).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the prose action into
the following counts. The parties and the Court will use
these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as
to their merit. Any other claim that is ...