United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Fabian Greyer, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently housed at Dixon
Correctional Center (“Dixon”), filed this pro
se action directing claims against officials at two
different Illinois prisons: (1) Graham Correctional Center
(“Graham”) and (2) Pinckneyville Correctional
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under
§ 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).
Court also must consider whether misjoinder is an issue. The
Court retains authority to sever unrelated claims against
different defendants into one or more additional lawsuits for
which Plaintiff will be assessed a filing fee. See George
v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). In
George, the Seventh Circuit emphasized that the
practice of severance is important, “not only to
prevent the sort of morass” produced by multi-claim,
multi-defendant suits “but also to ensure that
prisoners pay the required filing fees” under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act. Id. The Seventh
Circuit strongly encourages district courts to use severance
when faced with an omnibus or scattershot complaint,
Owens v. Evans, -- F.3d --, 2017 WL 6728884, *1 (7th
Cir. Dec. 28, 2017), and discourages courts from allowing a
prisoner “to flout the rules for joining claims and
defendants, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 18, 20, or to
circumvent the Prison Litigation Reform Act's fee
requirements by combining multiple lawsuits into a single
complaint.” Owens v. Godinez, 860 F.3d 434,
436 (7th Cir. 2017). In a misjoinder situation, severance may
occur before preliminary review, allowing the district court
to create multiple suits, which can then be separately
screened. Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.,
689 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2012).
Plaintiff is a paranoid schizophrenic and is presently
incarcerated at Dixon. (Doc. 1, p. 10). Plaintiff's
claims relate to his prior incarceration (between 2016 and
2017) at Graham and Pinckneyville. Many of Plaintiff's
claims involve the treatment he received (or failed to
receive) for his psychiatric condition. According to the
Complaint, when Plaintiff was sentenced, the judge ordered
officials to provide Plaintiff with mental health treatment
while in custody. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff claims officials
at Graham and Pinckneyville ignored that directive, exhibited
deliberate indifference to his mental health needs, and
repeatedly ignored his requests for mental health treatment.
(Doc. 1, pp. 5, 8-9, 11). Plaintiff also alleges that he has
been the victim of excessive force, harassment, retaliation,
and racial discrimination. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-13).
at the time of filing, Plaintiff was frustrated because
officials had not answered his request to be transferred to
Dixon - a facility where Plaintiff believed he would receive
appropriate mental health treatment. On October 30, 2017,
however, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Change of Address
stating that he has been transferred to Dixon. (Doc. 5).
generally alleges that he was “always harassed and
treated unfair by all staff members of Graham” because
he had been filing grievances. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff
describes several incidents involving what he describes as
harassment. (Doc. 1, p. 13). However, the Complaint does not
allege that the specifically described incidents were
motivated by retaliatory animus.
first incident occurred on May 17, 2016, when Plaintiff was
issued a clothing pass and requested a new jacket. (Doc. 1,
pp. 4, 13). According to the Complaint, John/Jane Doe 1
(Unknown Clothing Officer, Graham CC), who seemed very upset,
refused to give Plaintiff a new jacket because it was summer.
Id. As a result, Plaintiff was forced to walk in the
rain without a jacket. Id.
second incident occurred on August 10, 2016, when
Correctional Officer Busby stopped Plaintiff from filling his
tortilla bag with ice. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 13). Officer Busby
indicated Plaintiff had enough ice. Id. However,
Officer Busby allowed other inmates to take additional ice.
third incident occurred on November 29, 2016, when
Correctional Officer Miller wrote Plaintiff a disciplinary
ticket for talking. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 13). Plaintiff told
Miller he was mentally ill and did not realize he had been
talking. Id. He further explained that he was
hearing voices and sometimes answered the voices without
realizing he was talking. Id. Plaintiff also
objected because other inmates did not receive disciplinary
tickets for talking. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
fourth incident occurred on December 2, 2016, when Lieutenant
Same wrote Plaintiff a ticket for yelling. Id.
Plaintiff explained that he was mentally ill and was only
yelling at the voices in his head. Id. At the time
of this incident, Plaintiff was not receiving mental health
repeated requests for mental health treatment, Plaintiff did
not receive necessary treatment. (Doc. 1, pp. 10-11).
Plaintiff requested his psychiatric medication on two
occasions in 2016, but was ignored. (Doc. 1, p. 5). For a
period of time beginning on November 23, 2016, Plaintiff was
not allowed to return to his housing unit because he had been
hearing voices. Id. These claims appear to be
associated with John/Jane Doe 3 (Unknown Mental Health Staff,
Graham CC), IDOC, and/or Graham Correctional Center. (Doc. 1,
pp. 6, 8-11).
Force and Related Harassment
claims he was assaulted on March 3, 2017. (Doc. 1, pp. 7,
12). According to the Complaint, the assault was initiated by
correctional officers Wright and Badman. Id. Badman
allegedly lunged at Plaintiff's chest with his shoulder
and, using his forearm, pushed Plaintiff in the back.
Id. Lt. Gibson then approached Plaintiff and said,
“You better cuff up nigga.” Id.
Plaintiff complied. Id. At that point, Lt. Gibson
dragged Plaintiff out of the housing unit backwards.
Id. Plaintiff could not walk backwards and, as a
result, was dragged by Lt. Gibson. Id. Plaintiff
lost his balance and fell to the ground. Id. He
begged Lt. Gibson to allow him to walk forward. Id.
Lt. Gibson responded saying, “Fuck you. You assaulted
an officer.” Id. Lt. Gibson then ordered other
officers to bring a cart used to move personal property and
directed them to transport Plaintiff to segregation using the
cart. Id. The officers slammed Plaintiff, who was
still restrained, onto the cart. (Doc. 1, p. 8). After that,
“all sorts of things was being done to hurt [Plaintiff]
the alleged assault, Plaintiff was placed on suicide watch.
Id. While Plaintiff was on suicide watch, Lt.
Picherel dressed Plaintiff in a smock, joking that it looked
like a dress. Id. Plaintiff contends that Lt.
Picherel did this to humiliate him. Id.
to the Complaint, when Plaintiff was housed at Pinckneyville,
he did not receive appropriate mental health treatment. (Doc.
1, p. 11). For unknown reasons, officials stopped giving
Plaintiff his Prolixin shots. (Doc. 1, p. 8). On September 17,
2017, Plaintiff wrote a grievance complaining that he was not
receiving proper mental health treatment. (Doc. 1, p. 8). The
claims pertaining to Plaintiff's mental health treatment
appear to be associated with John/Jane Doe 4 (Mental Health
Staff, Pinckneyville CC), Pinckneyville Correctional Center,
and/or IDOC (Doc. 1, pp. 8-11).
September 23, 2017, an unidentified correctional officer did
not allow Plaintiff to shower. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Plaintiff
asked a correctional officer to speak with a lieutenant, but
his request was denied. Id.
September 28, 2017, Plaintiff did not receive his dinner
tray. (Doc. 1, p. 9). When he asked why, Correctional Officer
Menendez said it was because he did not like Plaintiff.
Plaintiff has grieved these issues, but has not received a
response. Id. Plaintiff personally delivered one
grievance to John/Jane Doe 5 (Unknown Counselor of
Pinckneyville CC of 6-House), but the grievance was never
of Improper Defendants
Graham Correctional Center, and Pinckneyville Correctional
claims against IDOC are barred because IDOC, as a state
agency, is not a “person” that may be sued under
§ 1983. Thomas v. Illinois, 697 F.3d 612, 613
(7th Cir. 2012). Defendants Graham Correctional Center and
Pinckneyville Correctional Center are divisions of a state
agency (IDOC). Accordingly, claims against these entities are
Graham Correctional Center, and Pinckneyville Correctional
Center shall be ...