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Hennn v. Madison County Jail

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 2, 2018

STEVEN HENN, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
MADISON COUNTY JAIL, MIKE HARE, JOHN D. LAKIN, and CHRISTOPHER EALES Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Steven Henn, Jr., an inmate Madison County Jail, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks damages for pain and suffering and for Defendant Mike Hare to lose his job. 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 exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff is a pre-trial detainee at the Madison County Jail. (Doc. 1, p. 8). On March 9, 2018, Mike Hare hit Plaintiff multiple times on the side of his face and then stomped and stood on Plaintiff's face while Plaintiff was in handcuffs. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff received medical attention and x-rays. Id. Plaintiff was placed on suicide watch in a small cell with 7 other individuals. Id. The cell lacked hot water and Plaintiff was forced to sleep on the floor. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Lakin and Eales “let[] it be that way.” Id. Plaintiff also alleges that Eales and Lakin have failed to train the deputies at the Madison County Jail. Id.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into 3 counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The following claim survives threshold review:

Count 1 - Hare used excessive force on Plaintiff on March 9, 2018 in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment; Plaintiff has also attempted to bring other Counts, but for the reasons listed below, these claims do not survive threshold review:
Count 2 - Eales and Lakin had an unconstitutional policy of failing to adequately train staff in the use of force in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and allowed staff ...

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