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Johnson v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 8, 2018

DEVON JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN BALDWIN, ANITA BAZILE-SAWYER, and JOSEPH KINSEY Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Devon Johnson, an inmate in Graham Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for events that occurred at Southwestern Correctional Center. Plaintiff seeks damages, restoration of his good time credit, and an adjustment to his disciplinary record. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the 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 Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff arrived at Southwestern Correctional Center on August 9, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 4). On August 20, 2017, Kinsey subjected Plaintiff to a strip search. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Kinsey struck him several times during the course of the search. Id. Plaintiff reported the incident to the administration and filed grievances. Id. Kinsey then began harassing Plaintiff and his witness in retaliation for the report. Id. The harassment was mostly verbal, but Kinsey would also frequently subject Plaintiff to cell shakedowns during which Plaintiff's personal property would be “accidentally” damaged. (Doc. 1, p. 5).

         When Plaintiff's original grievance was denied by the grievance officer, he appealed to Warden Bazile-Sawyer on September 8, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 4).

         As a result of Kinsey's harassment, Plaintiff decided to arrange for a transfer out of Southwestern by refusing to participate in the substance abuse program there. (Doc. 1, p. 5). His decision not to participate caused him to draw a series of disciplinary reports. (Doc. 1, pp. 10- 14). Plaintiff was punished by loss of privileges, loss of 1 month good time credit, and a disciplinary transfer out of Southwestern. (Doc. 1, p. 5).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into 2 counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a ...


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