United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
David H. Gharrett, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional
Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly
occurred at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”). In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims
the defendants failed to protect him from a serious risk of
harm at the hands of other inmates 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
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 the Complaint is subject to summary
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: on February 19, 2015, Plaintiff's cellmate,
Lason Elliot, informed him that they could no longer be
cellmates. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Elliot told Plaintiff that if he
did not leave the cell, he would be “‘dealt'
with by him and others from his gang.” Id.
That night, Plaintiff had a call pass to see the
psychiatrist. Id. Elliot told Plaintiff that once he
left, “he better not come back or something would be
waiting for [him].” (Doc. 1, pp. 2-3). Plaintiff
immediately began to fear for his safety. (Doc. 1, p. 3).
John Doe came to get Plaintiff for his psychiatrist
appointment, and on the way, Plaintiff told him about the
threats Elliot had made. Id. Plaintiff also
requested protective custody. Id. The officer told
Plaintiff that he would look into it during Plaintiff's
appointment, but after the appointment, the officer told
Plaintiff that he could go back to his cell or go to
segregation. Id. Plaintiff pleaded with him in fear
for his life, but the officer once again told Plaintiff that
his choice was to be celled with Elliot or in segregation for
refusing housing. Id.
chose to go to segregation to avoid Elliot, and after serving
his time there, he immediately requested protective custody.
Id. Plaintiff was transferred to the Protective
Custody Unit to await approval of his request. Id.
After about a week, Plaintiff was interviewed by officers
John Doe and Jane Doe. Id. They advised him that his
request for protective custody would be denied, despite the
threats made by Elliot. Id. They advised Plaintiff
that, despite the denial, they would make sure that he was
not placed in a cell with any gang members. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
Plaintiff was taken to a cell near where Elliot was housed
and immediately noticed that the person in his new cell was a
well-known gang member. Id. Plaintiff immediately
advised Officer John Doe that he had been told that he would
not be placed in a cell with a gang member, but Officer John
Doe sent him back onto the gallery. Id. On the way
to his cell, another gang member stated to him: “You
know you can't go in that cell with my king brother . . .
if you go in there your [sic] not coming out.”
once again left the gallery and advised Officer John Doe of
the threat he received. Id. Officer John Doe placed
Plaintiff into a holding cell and told him that he would look
into the situation. Id. The officer later told
Plaintiff that he would have to place Plaintiff in
segregation if he refused to go to his cell. Id.
Plaintiff requested protective custody but instead was
transferred to segregation for refusing housing. Id.
Upon his release from segregation, Plaintiff again requested
protective custody and was transferred to the Protective
Custody Unit to await approval. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5). About a
week later, Plaintiff was interviewed by officers John Doe
and Jane Doe. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He told them about the threats
he had received, but they denied his request for protective
custody nonetheless. Id.
filed a grievance about the denial, and he was seen by the
Administrative Review Board a few weeks later. Id.
Though he fully explained the situation, he was denied
protective custody once ...