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Heninger v. Rains

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 26, 2018

DANIEL HENINGER, #S08458, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID RAINS, WEXFORD HEALTH CARE, MICHELLE NEECE, and JOHN BALDWIN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Daniel Heninger, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) current housed in Robinson Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants have failed to accommodate his disability and have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical issues in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Doc. 1). 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 allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: Plaintiff has 90% hearing loss, and he is “not being provided with the accommodations [he] need[s] in order to have access to the same programs, education, work assignments, and activities that are offered to the other inmates.” (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff has “followed all the procedures in order to receive a set of ‘working' hearing aids or a sign language translator but [has] been ignored and denied by the contracted health-care provider Wexford.” Id. Warden Rains and Assistant Warden Neece “have been made fully aware of the need for [Plaintiff] to receive this accommodation . . . and have acted with ‘deliberate indifference' to the significant hardship the refusal to accommodate [Plaintiff] has caused.” Id. Since March 22, 2017, Plaintiff has had meetings with Wexford employees, Rains, and Neece about this issue. Id. Despite this, Plaintiff has been denied a set of working hearing aids. Id. He claims to have suffered from humiliation as a result. Id.

         Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and an “emergency injunction” ordering Robinson Correctional Center to comply with Plaintiff's prescription for a working set of hearing aids. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into two counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion regarding their merit.

         Count 1 - Defendants showed deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical need involving his hearing ...


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