United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Celester Edwards, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections currently housed at Danville Correctional Center,
filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff brings allegations pertaining to his incarceration
at Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”). (Doc. 1). In connection with
his claims, Plaintiff sues Karen Jaimet (Pinckneyville's
Warden), J. Selby (Counselor), Spiller (Correctional
Officer), and D. Flatt (Grievance Officer). Plaintiff seeks
monetary damages and any further relief that the Court deems
just. (Doc. 1, p.11).
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. 2009).
June 16, 2017, Spiller attempted to deliver Plaintiff's
legal mail (see Doc. 1, p. 6), but Plaintiff was not
in his cell. Id. Later that evening, on two
occasions, Plaintiff asked Spiller for his mail. Id.
(Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). On both occasions, Spiller indicated he
would give Plaintiff his mail later. Id. On June 17,
2017, Spiller told Plaintiff he could not find his legal
mail. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Spiller told Plaintiff he would look
for the mail and try to get it to Plaintiff that evening.
Id. When Plaintiff followed up with Spiller, Spiller
said, “I haven't found it yet, but you will have it
before I leave tonight.” Id. Plaintiff did not
receive his legal mail. Id.
26, 2017, Plaintiff received a letter from the attorney
handling the appeal in his criminal case. (Doc. 1, p. 8; Doc.
1-1, p. 12). The attorney confirmed that he did send
Plaintiff a letter dated June 13, 2017 (apparently the legal
mail that Spiller misplaced). Id. The attorney also
included a copy of the misplaced letter. Id. On June
29, 2017, Plaintiff received an order from the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
pertaining to his then pending civil rights action;
Edwards v. City of Chicago, No. 17-cv-3637 (N.D.
Ill). (Doc. 1, p. 8; Doc. 1-1, p. 13). The order stated:
Reference is made to Plaintiff's letter and
change-of-address notice dated June 18, 2017 (Doc. 11). The
court directs the Clerk to re-mail a copy of the Order of
June 12, 2017 (Doc. 10) to Plaintiff at his new address. On
the Court's own motion, the deadline for paying the full
statutory filing fee of $400.00 is extended to August 18,
2017. Failure to remit the filing fee by the extended
deadline will result in summary dismissal of this case.
Edwards v. City of Chicago, No. 17-cv-3637, Doc. 12.
Plaintiff's action was subsequently dismissed as
time-barred. Edwards v. City of Chicago, No.
17-cv-3637 (N.D. Ill) (Doc. 15).
18, 2017, Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding his lost
legal mail. Id. No one responded to Plaintiff's
grievance. (Doc. 1, p. 7). On July 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed
an emergency grievance pertaining to the lost legal mail.
(Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff did not receive a response from
Jaimet. Id. Accordingly, on August 4, 2017,
Plaintiff wrote a letter to Flatt asking about the status of
his emergency grievance. Id. He did not receive a
alleges that Spiller retaliated against him for filing
grievances pertaining to the lost legal mail. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
While incarcerated at Pinckneyville, Plaintiff served as an
ADA assistant for disabled inmates. Id. On July 20
and July 21, 2017, Plaintiff transported disabled inmates to
various locations at Pinckneyville. It was extremely hot on
both days, and when Plaintiff returned from transporting the
disabled inmates, he was exhausted and dehydrated. (Doc. 1,
p. 9). On both days, Spiller denied Plaintiff a shower and
ice. (Doc. 1, pp. 8-9). Plaintiff claims Spiller denied him a
shower and ice as retaliation for Plaintiff filing grievances
in June regarding the misplaced legal mail. Id.
Plaintiff claims that Selby and Flatt failed to properly
investigate his grievances pertaining to Spiller. (Doc. 1, p.
10). Specifically, both defendants failed to interview
witnesses requested by Plaintiff before concluding that
Plaintiff's grievances were unsubstantiated. Id.