United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JOHN D. HAYWOOD, Plaintiff,
LT. BAYLOR, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN United States District Court Chief Judge
case was severed on March 2, 2018 from Haywood v.
Finnerman, Case No. 18-cv-21-JPG-SCW (S.D. Ill.). (Doc.
1). It contains the claim designated as Count 10 in the
original case, described as follows:
Count 10: Eighth Amendment claim against
Beyler/Baylor for denying Plaintiff a wheelchair or
assistance to board the transfer bus to Lawrence on March 9,
John D. Haywood, an inmate of Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”), filed the original civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on January 4, 2018,
alleging that officials at several prisons violated his
constitutional rights. Count 10 is directed against Lt.
Beyler/Baylor, a correctional officer at Lawrence.
Plaintiff's claim is now before the Court for a
preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
Complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that
is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks money damages from a
defendant who by law is immune from such relief, must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir.
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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on
its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true,
see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir.
2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not
accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a
cause of action or conclusory legal statements.”
Id. At the same time, however, the factual
allegations of a pro se complaint are to be
liberally construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that Plaintiff's claim
survives threshold review under § 1915A.
Complaint (Doc. 2)
factual allegations relating to Count 10 are as follows.
mid-1990s, while incarcerated in Illinois, Plaintiff suffered
from a back injury that left him paralyzed from the waist
down. (Doc. 2, p. 5). Additionally, Plaintiff's foot was
partially amputated due to bone cancer. Id.
Eventually, after receiving physical therapy, Plaintiff was
able to walk with quad canes. Id. However, in 2007,
Plaintiff suffered a re-injury to his back, leaving him
paralyzed again and necessitating the use of a wheelchair.
(Doc. 2, p. 6).
March 9, 2016, Plaintiff was told he was being transferred.
(Doc. 2, p. 15). His request for a wheelchair was initially
refused, but eventually an officer took him in a wheelchair
to the chapel, where the outgoing inmates were strip
searched. (Doc. 2, p. 16). However, the wheelchair was then
taken away, forcing Plaintiff to crawl on the floor until he
fell and some fellow inmates carried him outside where the
bus was waiting. An officer threatened those inmates with
segregation, so they put Plaintiff down, and he crawled
across the pavement to the bus, where the driver helped him
to board it. Plaintiff had to change buses at Lincoln
Correctional Center, where he was given a wheelchair at