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Bentz v. Hoppensted
United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
March 29, 2018
DAVID ROBERT BENTZ, #S03210, Plaintiff,
JAMES HOPPENSTED, JOSHUA BERNER, VERGIL SMITH, DONALD LINDENBERG, CHRISTOPHER FLEMING, N. BERRY, ANTHONY WILLS, ZANG, C. MAYER, SGT. HARRIS, MR. CONNER, HAYSEMEYER, WHITLEY, WILLIAM QUALLS, TONYA KNUST, LORI OAKLEY, G. MAYHUGH, C/O WEBB, C/O MARTIN, JOHN DOE #1, KENT BROOKMAN, JASON HART, and SUSAN HILL, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, United States District Judge.
David Bentz, currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional
Center (“Menard”), filed this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on June
23, 2017. (Doc. 1). Pursuant to this Court's Order at
Doc. 15, plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 1) was dismissed
without prejudice for failure to comply with Rule 8 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff was also
appointed counsel and ordered to file an amended complaint.
(Doc. 15). Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, by and
through counsel, on December 29, 2017. (Doc. 30). This case
is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the First
Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(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.
Court incorporates by reference the facts articulated in the
First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 30). Upon careful review of
the First Amended Complaint, the Court finds it appropriate
to allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.
First Amended Complaint divides this action into 6 counts,
outlined below. 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.
Count 1 - In April 2015, Berner, Smith, Lindenberg, and
Fleming retaliated against Plaintiff for filing grievances
and lawsuits by detaining and destroying Plaintiff's
personal items, law books, and legal files, in violation of
the First Amendment.
Count 2 - On June 27, 2016, in retaliation for Plaintiff
filing grievances, Hoppensted, Webb, Martin, and John Doe #1
subjected Plaintiff to excessive force, or failed to
intervene in the use of excessive force against Plaintiff, in
violation of the Eighth and First Amendments.
Count 3 - In July 2016, Hoppensted, Brookman, and Hart placed
Plaintiff in punitive segregation without due process in
retaliation for his filing lawsuits and grievances in
violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Count 4 - From April 2015 to August 2015, Berner, Smith,
Lindenberg, Fleming, Berry, Wills, Zang, Mayer, Harris,
Conner, Haysemeyer, Hoppensted, Whitley, Qualls, Knust,
Oakley, and Mayhugh subjected Plaintiff to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement in retaliation for his filing
lawsuits and ...