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Lisle v. Melvin

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

March 21, 2018

STEVEN D. LISLE, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL MELVIN, ET AL. Defendants.

          MERITREVIEW ORDER

          HAROLD A. BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case is before the court for a merit review of the plaintiff's amended complaint. The court is required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A to “screen” the plaintiff's complaint, and through such process to identify and dismiss any legally insufficient claim, or the entire action if warranted. A claim is legally insufficient if it “(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         In reviewing the amended complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in the plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to “state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.” Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(citation omitted).

         Plaintiff alleges in his amended complaint that, on March 1, 2017, unidentified members of the Orange Crush tactical team twisted, yanked, and bent his wrist while placing him in handcuffs despite Plaintiff's compliance with their orders. Plaintiff alleges the Orange Crush members then slammed him against a wall, smashed his face into the floor, stripped searched him, digitally penetrated his anus, and then marched him through the gallery with his genitals exposed while he endured ridicule from other inmates. Plaintiff alleges these officials then denied him medical care for a broken knee and bloody nose. Based on these allegations, Plaintiff states an Eighth Amendment claim for excessive force, humiliating strip search, and deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6 (1992); King v. McCarty, 781 F.3d 889, 897 (7th Cir. 2015); Petties v. Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 729-30 (7th Cir. 2016) (en banc).

         Plaintiff does not state a claim for relief as it relates to his remaining allegations: a prison official's failure to follow state rules and regulations does not create a federally enforceable right, see Lennon v. City of Carmel, 865 F.3d 503, 509 (7th Cir. 2017); Plaintiff failed to identify a constitutionally protected activity that motivated the alleged retaliatory actions, see DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607 (7th Cir. 2000); no plausible inference arises that the John Howard Association, or its employees, are state actors for purposes of section 1983, or that they had contracted to perform a state function; plaintiff does not allege how he was treated differently than other inmates because of his race; plaintiff cannot sue the wardens simply because they are in charge, see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009); and, any remaining allegations are unrelated to the claims for excessive force, see Owens v. Godinez, 860 F.3d 434, 436 (7th Cir. 2017).

         Plaintiff does not identify the members of the Orange Crush who used excessive force against him. Therefore, Defendant Melvin, the warden, will remain a defendant solely for purposes of identifying the proper defendants. Donald v. Cook Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't, 95 F.3d 548, 555-56 (7th Cir. 1996) (Court may name high level administrators as defendants for purposes of identifying Doe defendants).

         IT IS THERE FORE ORDERED:

1) Plaintiff's motion to amend complaint (#46) is granted. Clerk is directed to docket the amended complaint attached to plaintiff's motion.
2) Pursuant to its merit review of the amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff states an Eighth Amendment claims for excessive force, humiliating strip search, and deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against the John Doe Defendant. Defendant Melvin shall remain a defendant solely for purposes of identifying the Doe defendants. All remaining Defendants are dismissed. Any additional claims shall not be included in the case, except at the court's discretion on motion by a party for good cause shown or pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15.
3) This case is now in the process of service. The plaintiff is advised to wait until counsel has appeared for the defendants before filing any motions, in order to give the defendants notice and an opportunity to respond to those motions. Motions filed before defendants' counsel has filed an appearance will generally be denied as premature. The plaintiff need not submit any evidence to the court at this time, unless otherwise directed by the court.
4) The court will attempt service on the defendants by mailing each defendant a waiver of service. The defendants have 60 days from the date the waiver is sent to file an answer. If the defendants have not filed answers or appeared through counsel within 90 days of the entry of this order, the plaintiff may file a motion requesting the status of service. After the defendants have been served, the court will enter an order setting discovery and dispositive motion deadlines.
5) With respect to a defendant who no longer works at the address provided by the plaintiff, the entity for whom that defendant worked while at that address shall provide to the clerk said defendant's current work address, or, if not known, said defendant's forwarding address. This information shall be used only for effectuating service. Documentation of forwarding addresses shall be retained only by the clerk and shall not be maintained in the public docket nor disclosed by the clerk.
6) The defendants shall file an answer within 60 days of the date the waiver is sent by the clerk. A motion to dismiss is not an answer. The answer should include all defenses appropriate under the Federal Rules. The answer and subsequent pleadings shall be to the issues and claims stated in this opinion. In general, an answer sets forth the defendants' positions. The court does not rule on the merits of those positions unless and until a motion is filed by the defendants. Therefore, no response to the answer is necessary or will be considered.
7) This district uses electronic filing, which means that, after defense counsel has filed an appearance, defense counsel will automatically receive electronic notice of any motion or other paper filed by the plaintiff with the clerk. The plaintiff does not need to mail to defense counsel copies of motions and other papers that the plaintiff has filed with the clerk. However, this does not apply to discovery requests and responses. Discovery requests and responses are not filed with the clerk. The plaintiff must mail his discovery requests and responses directly to defendants' counsel. Discovery requests or responses sent to the clerk will be returned unfiled, unless they are attached to and the subject of a motion to ...

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