United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Nedrick Jeffrey Hardy, an inmate of the Illinois Department
of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently housed at
Menard Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 seeking injunctive relief and damages for
deprivations of his constitutional rights. The 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
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.
careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority
under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to
filed this action on December 14, 2017. (Doc. 1). On April 6,
2018, the Court determined that some of Plaintiff's
claims were not transactionally related to others and
dismissed Counts 12-23 without prejudice as improperly
joined. (Doc. 14). This screening order now addresses the
remaining Counts 1-11 against Rauner, the IDOC, Baldwin,
Butler, and Lashbrook, as well as some motions filed by
alleges that Menard is overcrowded and that the State of
Illinois knows about the problem. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6).
Plaintiff arrived at Menard in 2014. (Doc. 1, p. 7). As a
result of the overcrowding, Plaintiff has been housed in
double-man cells that were designed to house one inmate.
(Doc. 1, p. 19). Plaintiff has been unable to exercise in his
cell, and this has caused him arthritis, knee pain, back
pain, headaches, and constipation. Id. Specifically,
Plaintiff was assigned to the North 1 Upper Cell House, the
South Uppers, and the South Lowers during his time at Menard.
(Doc. 1, p. 31).
also was inappropriately placed in a cell with an inmate with
a history of violence. (Doc. 1, p. 19). Plaintiff's
cellmate threatened Plaintiff's life in front of an
unnamed officer, and the officer stated that he would take no
action. (Doc. 1, pp. 19-20). Plaintiff wrote a grievance and
was moved. (Doc. 1, p. 20).
also alleges that he is being denied access to the courts.
(Doc. 1, p. 21). Menard only permits inmates to visit the law
library once a week. Id. Plaintiff's visits with
his attorneys are non-contact visits, and when his lawyers
have documents for him to inspect, a guard must be present.
Id. On ten different occasions, Plaintiff has made a
privileged phone call with his attorney in a space where he
could be overheard by others. (Doc. 1, p. 22). Plaintiff also
objects to the use of a “runner system” in the
segregation units, in which other inmates carry legal
documents to the law library. Id. Plaintiff alleges
that the system permits inmates to read his privileged legal
documents. Id. Plaintiff's legal mail has been
opened outside of his presence on more than eighty different
occasions between 2014 and 2017. Id. His legal mail
was also held for up to a week. Id.
alleges that he only got to exchange his clothes once every
calendar year, despite having holes in his underwear. (Doc.
1, p. 23).
serves inmates soy products due to budget cuts, which has
caused Plaintiff to experience stomach cramps, constipation,
straining, and a hernia. Id. Plaintiff alleges that
he notified Defendants about these conditions, and they were
on notice of the conditions from other lawsuits. (Doc. 1, pp.
alleges that the grievance process is insufficient to address
problems with staff conduct. (Doc. 1, pp. 24-25). The State
of Illinois, the IDOC, Rauner, Baldwin, Butler, and Lashbrook
are violating their “carceral burden” in ignoring
all of the above issues. (Doc. 1, p. 25).
has no ventilation system, and Plaintiff was subjected to
extreme heat temperatures when he was housed in segregation
and placed behind a steel door. (Doc. 1, p. 26). At an
unspecified time, Plaintiff was not given his fan.
Id. He alleges that Defendants knew that the
segregation cells were dangerous because other inmates have
died. Id. Plaintiff wrote medical staff and spoke to
them face-to-face about his heat sensitivity due to his
medications. Id. Medical staff told Plaintiff he was
not heat sensitive. (Doc. 1, p. 27).
was also black mold in segregation, and specifically in
Plaintiff's cell, for three months. Id.
Plaintiff developed several sinus infections from the black
mold. Id. There was also black mold in the showers
of multiple cell houses. Id. The showers in the
South Uppers have a sign on the door warning people not to
close the door all the way, suggesting that
“they” know there is mold in the shower. (Doc. 1,
p. 31). Plaintiff caught an upper respiratory infection from
this mold and had to be taken to an outside hospital for an
IV and antibiotics. (Doc. 1, p. 27).
was placed in a cell with blood and feces on the wall without
adequate cleaning supplies. Id. He also fell as a
result of being assigned to the top bunk, which lacks a
ladder, and he hurt his back. (Doc. 1, p. 28).
further alleges that Menard has “ping-pong”
toilets which do not adequately flush and constitute a harm
to Plaintiff's health. Id.
water on the exercise yard is turned off in the winter, and
Plaintiff is not able to bring a water bottle out with him,
causing him to be without water for up to three hours, which
is bad for his high blood pressure. Id.
do not give Plaintiff the hour of exercise mandated by the
Illinois Administrative Code. Id. This causes
Plaintiff back pain, headaches, and constipation.
cell house is infested with vermin. Id. As a result
of the mice, roach, ants, black flies, and gnat infestation,
Plaintiff has lost commissary food. Id. The vermin
has also gotten in his face and property boxes. Id.
The kitchen is also infested with pests, including roaches,
mice, birds, flies, and gnats. (Doc. 1, p. 29).
are cracks in the walls. Id. The water in the sinks
and showers frequently smells bad; Plaintiff believes the
sewer lines are backing up into the sinks and showers.
Id. As a result, Plaintiff has itchy skin.
meal trays are falling apart and unsanitary. (Doc. 1, p. 30).
Plaintiff choked on a piece of plastic once and showed it to
the corrections officer, but he just laughed. Id.
Likewise, the cups that the inmates use are not properly
cleaned; Plaintiff once got diarrhea from drinking out of a
winter, the heating system does not distribute the air
evenly, and cold air blows in through broken windows, cracks
in the windows, and doors. Id. The maintenance men
will not fix these issues. Id.
Plaintiff was housed in the East and West cell houses at
Menard, he was discriminated against because the
administration did not allow these cell houses to go to night
yard, and their commissary purchases were subjected to a
dollar amount limit. (Doc. 1, p. 31).
has had to sleep on bedframes on several occasions that were
bent, dented, filthy, and/or lumpy causing him back pain, and
numbness in his legs and feet. (Doc. 1, p. 32). When
Plaintiff is sent to ...