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Thompson v. Myers

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 19, 2018

RICHARD THOMPSON, #Y15704, Plaintiff,
v.
MAJOR MYERS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Richard Thompson, an inmate in Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly occurred at Big Muddy River Correctional Center (“Big Muddy”). In his Complaint, plaintiff claims the defendant subjected him to excessive force 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: on January 17, 2018, plaintiff was in bed in his cell when Myers forced him out of bed and slammed him repeatedly against it (doc. 1, pp. 5, 7). His back was injured by this, and he presently cannot bend or twist it (doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff is in a lot of pain and is certain he will need back surgery. Id. “All this could have [been] avoided if Major Myers hadn't [slammed his] back repeatedly against the bed” even after plaintiff told him that he had back problems (doc. 1, pp. 5, 7). Myers cuffed plaintiff so that his arms were “bent over forcefully all the way over the Plaintiff's head.” [Doc. 1, pp. 7-8]. This reinjured plaintiff's right shoulder that he had surgery on in January 2015. Id.

         It took the nurse a week to give plaintiff pain medication, and when he received X-rays after the attack, they showed that plaintiff's back was fractured from his being slammed against an object (doc. 1, p. 8). When plaintiff told the doctor about the incident with Myers, the doctor agreed with plaintiff that Myers slamming him against the bed caused the fractures (doc. 1, pp. 8-9). Plaintiff seeks monetary damages from Myers (doc. 1, p. 6).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate a single count in this pro se action. The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of this count does not constitute an opinion regarding its merit.

Count 1 - Myers subjected Plaintiff to excessive force on January 17, 2018 in violation of the ...

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