United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DEWAUN A. BERRY, No. K56415, Plaintiff,
JEFF DENNISON, BOB ALLARD, B. NEIGHBORS, JOHN DOE, S. ENGLER, AND IDOC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, United States District Court Judge.
DeWaun A. Berry, formerly an inmate at Shawnee Correctional
Center (“Shawnee”), brings this action for
deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff contends that his constitutional
rights were violated when Shawnee officials failed to repair
a hole in his mattress.
original Complaint named Jeff Dennison (Shawnee's Warden)
as the sole defendant. The Complaint, however, failed to
allege that Dennison was personally involved in the alleged
constitutional violation. Accordingly, the Court dismissed
the Complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted.
November 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Doc.
12). The Amended Complaint names as defendants Dennison, B.
Neighbors (Shawnee's Chief Engineer), John Doe
(Shawnee's Facility Carpenter), IDOC, Bob Allard
(Grievance Officer) and S. Engler (Counselor). Plaintiff
seeks monetary damages in connection with his claims. The
Amended Complaint is now before the Court for a preliminary
review 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
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.
14, 2017, Plaintiff was transferred to a new cell. (Doc.
12-1, p. 3). When he entered the cell, he “noticed that
the bunk springs [were] missing out of the middle of the
bunk.” Id. According to the Amended Complaint,
so many springs were missing that sleeping on the mattress
“caused injury to [Plaintiff's] back.”
Id. At some point, Plaintiff went to the
healthcare unit and received treatment for a sore and swollen
back. (Doc. 12-1, p. 4). Plaintiff remained in the cell,
sleeping on the “dangerously” damaged mattress
from July 2017 through September 11, 2017. (Doc. 12-1, p. 3;
Doc. 12, p. 7).
Plaintiff complained to Sams,  a correctional officer, about the
damaged mattress. (Doc. 12-1, p. 3). Sams indicated that he
would submit a request to have the mattress repaired.
Plaintiff also filed a grievance on the same day.
Id. Engler, a counselor, responded to the grievance
on July 26, 2017, stating “the facility carpenter will
inspect the bed in 2C65 today and make necessary
repairs.” (Doc. 12-1, p. 3; Doc. 12, p. 8). In light of
the pending repair, Engler denied the grievance as moot.
claims that the “facility carpenter” (identified
as John Doe in the Amended Complaint) did not come to his
cell or make any repairs that day. (Doc. 12-1, p. 3).
Therefore, on August 11, 2017, Plaintiff submitted another
grievance. (Doc. 12-1, p. 4; Doc. 12, p. 9). Allard, a
grievance officer, denied the grievance as moot on August 22,
2017. Id. According to the denial, “Per Chief
Engineer - B. Neighbors - the facility carpenter inspected
the bed in 2C-65 on July 26th and made necessary
appealed the denial of his grievance on August 24, 2017.
(Doc. 12, p. 9). He claimed that his mattress was not
inspected by the facility carpenter and was still damaged.
Id. The appeal was denied as moot by Ann Lahr, a
member of the Administrative Review Board (not a defendant in
this action), on October 5, 2017 because Plaintiff had been
transferred to a new cell. (Doc. 12, p. 7).
claims that Defendants “lied about fixing the bed,
declared his grievance moot and made him sleep in a bed that
was broken once it was brought to their attention.”
(Doc. 12-1, p. 5). He also alleges that Dennison is liable
because he is Shawnee's warden, because he is responsible
for implementing policies at Shawnee and/or because he failed
to train his staff “to avoid constitutional