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Conwell v. Marvin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 4, 2018

LUKE D. CONWELL, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Luke Conwell, an inmate in Shawnee Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks compensatory relief, punitive relief, and declarative relief. 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).

         The Court's initial review of the Complaint suggests that there are parties and claims that are improperly joined in this action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20 and 18. Thus, the Court must sever this action into separate cases.

         The Complaint

         On March 20, 2017, Defendants Hope and Marvin were making rounds passing out evening medication in the intake area, where Plaintiff was housed. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2). Plaintiff asked Marvin for some toilet paper. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Marvin refused. Id. Plaintiff stuck his hand out of the chuckhole clutching the empty roll to show Marvin that he was truly out of toilet paper. Id. Marvin refused. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Plaintiff asked Marvin for a grievance form. Id. Marvin then began slamming the chuckhole cover on Plaintiff's hand and stabbing him with the large chuckhole key. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 12). Plaintiff's hand began bleeding and swelling immediately. Id. Plaintiff alleges he had a large gash in the shape of the chuckhole key on his hand. Id. Marvin said “[n]ow write that up.” (Doc. 1, p. 3).

         Hope witnessed the entire incident and failed to intervene. Id. Hope also turned a deaf ear to Plaintiff's repeated requests for medical attention over the next 3 days. (Doc. 1, p. 4). She told him to place a sick call slip, but Plaintiff alleges that his sick call slips and grievances to Warden Dennison went unanswered. Id. A day shift nurse finally noticed Plaintiff's hand was infected on March 27, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff was diagnosed with a severe infection and his injuries prompted an investigation against Marvin by internal affairs. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7).

         Defendants Pickford and Pearl investigated the incident, but Plaintiff alleges that they were biased against him from the start and tried to cover it up. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9).

         Plaintiff alleges that after he reported the incident, Defendants Marvin, Hope, Pickford, Pearl, Dennison, Hillard, Dunning, David, and Wexford all conspired to retaliate against him. (Doc. 1, pp. 9-10). In support of his conspiracy allegations, Plaintiff alleges that Dennison stamped Plaintiff's grievance “received” on April 6, 2017, when Plaintiff submitted it on March 20, 2017. (Doc. 1, pp. 13-14).

         Plaintiff believes that Dennison deliberately back-dated his grievance and contacted Marvin so that Marvin could retaliate against Plaintiff. (Doc. 1, p. 14). Plaintiff alleges that Marvin retaliated against him by moving him to a cell without power, when he knew that Plaintiff had a TV. (Doc. 1, pp. 14-15). Plaintiff believes Marvin further retaliated against him by causing the B. of I. officer to charge Plaintiff $500 for a new prison ID when the cost is $5.00. (Doc. 1, p. 15). Plaintiff alleges that it took weeks to have his trust fund account corrected. Id. Plaintiff also alleges that he was prevented from shopping at the commissary on July 7, 2017 by non-defendant Ashmore, which he believes is a further act of retaliation on Marvin's behalf. (Doc. 1, pp. 15-16). Plaintiff wrote a grievance about this issue, but Defendant Hillard, as part of the conspiracy, refused to process it because Plaintiff had requested demotions and transfers as his relief. (Doc. 1, p. 17). Hillard and Dennison refused to respond to other grievances Plaintiff filed. (Doc. 1, p. 18).

         On August 17, 2017, Orange Crush conducted a shakedown of Plaintiff's housing unit. Id. Dunning shook down Plaintiff's cell. Id. Plaintiff complied with all of his orders. (Doc. 1, pp. 18-19). As Plaintiff exited the cell, Dunning pushed his head down in a violent manner. (Doc. 1, p. 19). Plaintiff told Dunning that he had “decentagrading” disc disease, but Dunning didn't listen and threw Plaintiff into the wall outside of Plaintiff's cell. Id. Dunning then pushed Plaintiff's head down again as he was walking. Id. Plaintiff told Dunning not to put his hands on him. Id. Dunning pushed Plaintiff's head down again. (Doc. 1, p. 20). Plaintiff told Dunning to “relax, it's not that serious.” Id. Dunning then pulled Plaintiff out of line, and slammed him into the concrete. Id. Plaintiff again tried to tell Dunning about his back problems, but Dunning began punching him in the head. Id. Dunning continued to assault Plaintiff while escorting him to segregation. Id. Dunning wrote Plaintiff a false disciplinary report. (Doc. 1, p. 22).

         Plaintiff wrote multiple grievances and letters to Dr. David requesting medical care for his injuries after the August 17th incident, but David never responded. (Doc. 1, p. 23). The assault had aggravated Plaintiff's back condition, but David never renewed Plaintiff's pain medication. Id. Plaintiff apparently saw David at some point after he was released from segregation. (Doc. 1, p. 24). Plaintiff requested an MRI and referral to a specialist. Id. ...

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