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Ragsdale v. Allen

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 22, 2018

ROSS RAGSDALE, Plaintiff,
v.
S. ALLEN, CUNNINGHAM, TRIBBLE, WEAVER, HOFF, JOHN COE, and STEVE DUNCAN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Ross Ragsdale, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections currently housed in Illinois River Correctional Center, brings this action seeking damages for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The events at issue occurred at Lawrence Correctional Center.

         The 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).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff worked as an inmate porter and, in that position, he frequently did favors for other inmates. (Doc. 1, p. 5). On May 30, 2016, one inmate, Ray-Ray, became angry at Plaintiff for refusing to do him a favor. Id. Ray-Ray threatened Plaintiff. Id. The next day, Plaintiff refused to leave his cell because he feared a confrontation with Ray-Ray. Id.

         On June 1, 2016, Plaintiff told S. Allen that he was having problems with Ray-Ray and asked to be moved. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). Allen told Plaintiff that the Lieutenant would not authorize movement because he didn't like doing the paperwork. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff also told Cunningham about the situation, but she just advised him to “beat his ass and get it over with.” Id.

         On June 2, 2016, Plaintiff told Officer Tribble about the situation. Id. Tribble told Plaintiff he couldn't move him instantly and that Plaintiff needed to write to the placement office. Id. Plaintiff followed that advice and wrote to Mrs. Weaver in the placement office, but she never responded. Id.

         Plaintiff raised the issue with Allen again on June 3, 2016, and she told him not to worry about the situation any more since Ray-Ray had not acted. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff went to chow that night, and Ray-Ray sucker punched him in the left side of his face, knocking him down. Id.

         Plaintiff was taken to the health care unit and examined; he was then taken to segregation. (Doc. 1, p. 8). In segregation, Plaintiff's face began to swell and darken. Id. Plaintiff suspected he had broken bones in his face. Id. Plaintiff was taken to the health care unit once more, where a nurse examined him and failed ...


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