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Haywood v. Maue

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 5, 2018

JOHN D. HAYWOOD, #B44617, Plaintiff,



         In Haywood v. Finnerman, Case No. 18-cv-21-JPG (S.D. Ill. Jan. 5, 2018), Plaintiff John Haywood, an inmate at Lawrence Correctional Center, filed an action for deprivations of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007), three claims against Defendants Maue, Estato, and Butler were severed from the initial action to form the basis for this action, Case No. 18-cv-524-SMY.

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of those claims 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).

         After fully considering the relevant allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court concludes that Count 7 in this action shall survive past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         The allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 2) relevant to this severed action are as follows: in May 2014, Plaintiff had been moved to a cell with another inmate (Doyle) who, like Plaintiff, had a bottom bunk permit. Rather than report the problem, Doyle tried to force Plaintiff out of the cell by starting an argument and accusing Plaintiff of acting aggressively. (Doc. 2, p. 11). Plaintiff was not aggressive, however. He packed his property so that he could request another cell, which he explained to C/O Mrs. K (not a defendant).

         Later that day, Defendant Maue and several other officers came to the cell with Doyle (who had been at work), and Maue sent Doyle into the cell to fight Plaintiff. Plaintiff swung first, Doyle ran out of the cell, and the force of Plaintiff's swing caused him to fall. Maue caught Plaintiff in a headlock, and then a chokehold that Plaintiff felt was an attempt to break his neck. (Doc. 2, p. 11). A Lieutenant arrived and ordered Maue to let Plaintiff go before he killed him. (Doc. 2, p. 12). Maue released Plaintiff but then shoved his face into the floor and put his knee on the back of Plaintiff's neck. The Lieutenant ordered Maue to stop, and took Plaintiff to Health Care in a wheelchair.

         Plaintiff believes he suffered a broken elbow, and he could not speak for 4 days because of his neck injury. X-rays were not taken until 3 weeks later, and Plaintiff got no medical treatment. Plaintiff was told nothing was wrong with his elbow or neck, but he insists he can still move a piece of his elbow, and claims the X-ray report he received showed a fracture. (Doc. 2, p. 13).

         Plaintiff was charged with a disciplinary infraction for the “fight” with Doyle. (Doc. 2, p. 12). On the day his ticket was to be heard, Defendant C/O Chandler (Estato)[1] told Plaintiff to get ready as he would be back to get him. Plaintiff requested a wheelchair. (Doc. 2, p. 12). Chandler never returned, and when Plaintiff questioned him later that day, Chandler responded that Plaintiff had “refused” to attend the hearing when he asked for a wheelchair. (Doc. 2, p. 13).

         Plaintiff was found guilty of a staff assault for the incident with Maue. He was moved from the Health Care Unit (where he had spent the previous 3 weeks) to segregation, thinking he had been given a 30-day segregation punishment. However, he spoke to Defendant Warden Butler when she visited the wing, and she informed him that his punishment was for 90 days in segregation. Plaintiff disputes that the incident amounted ...

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