United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Avery Singleton, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections currently incarcerated at Vienna Correctional
Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly
occurred at Robinson Correctional Center
(“Robinson”). In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims
the defendants retaliated against him and violated his due
process rights by issuing him a false disciplinary ticket and
removing him from a culinary arts class, in violation of the
First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution. (Doc. 1).
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 allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: around January 24, 2017, Plaintiff started in
the culinary arts class at Robinson. (Doc. 1, p. 15).
Defendant Shook was the instructor for the class.
Id. On January 25, 2017, Plaintiff sought help from
Shook with one of his assignments, and she “got upset
because [Plaintiff] was continually coming to her desk in the
front of the class asking her questions about the math
assignments that she did not know the answers to.”
Id. Shook told Plaintiff to “just do
them” in a “very hostile manner.”
Id. After Plaintiff saw Shook and the teacher's
aide talking and pointing at him, he asked the aide what
Shook had said, and he replied, “Mrs. Shook said that
you are needy.” (Doc. 1, pp. 15-16). After this
occurred, Shook “began to single [Plaintiff]
out.” (Doc. 1, p. 16).
January 26, 2017, Plaintiff “was observing the class as
the senior students were prepping their food for the
presentation. [He] noticed that the students did not have the
scale calibrated to zero as instructed, so [he] brought it to
Mrs. Shook's attention.” Id. Shook replied
that she did not need Plaintiff's input, and she told him
to go elsewhere because he should not be standing by a
certain door. Id. “All of the other students
were standing there and Mrs. Shook did not say to them to
leave the area.” Id. Later, while Plaintiff
was observing the senior students, Shook shouted at him that
he was supposed to be washing the dishes, though Plaintiff
had just finished washing them. Id. Shook told him
to stay in the dishwashing area. Id.
January 27, 2017, Plaintiff washed the dishes while all the
other students were preparing for their final presentations
or observing those preparing. (Doc. 1, p. 17). Once Plaintiff
finished washing the dishes, Shook instructed him to set up
the tables. Id. He followed Shook to the front of
the class because he thought she was going to show him how to
set the tables up. Id. When Shook noticed him, he
told her that he did not know how to set up the tables.
Id. She told him to ask one of his classmates and to
stop following her. Id. When Plaintiff finished
setting up the tables, he went back to the dishwashing area
and proceeded to dry the dishes another inmate had washed.
Id. Shook noticed that Plaintiff was drying the
dishes and told him that he was going to wash the dishes that
evening. Id. Plaintiff then responded that he had
been washing dishes all morning and that it would not be a
went to Defendant Klier's office to tell him, for the
second time, that Shook had been singling him out in class
and making him feel uncomfortable. (Doc. 1, p. 18). On
January 25, 2017, Plaintiff had written a grievance regarding
the issue and had also informed Klier. Id. Plaintiff
assumes Klier spoke to Shook about Plaintiff's
complaints, because Shook held Plaintiff after class on
January 29 to ...