United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tony Terrell Robinson, an inmate in Federal Correctional
Institution Greenville, brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to Bivens v. Six
Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)
and the Federal Torts Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346.
Plaintiff seeks declarative relief, damages, and equitable
relief. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary
review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
(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 exercise its authority
under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to
originally brought suit in case No. 17-cv-1381-JPG, but
certain claims were deemed misjoined and severed into the
present action on February 2, 2018. (Doc. 1). As relevant to
the claims present in this suit, Plaintiff has alleged that
he had a job in the prison law library starting on or around
March 1, 2017. (Doc. 2, p. 7). Plaintiff worked without
incident during the month of March 2017, and received
positive work performance ratings for that month. (Doc. 2, p.
April 14, 2017, Defendant Morris posted a notice of a change
of policy. Id. The new policy allowed inmates to use
the law library after 4 pm, with the understanding that
choosing to do so would require them to remain in the library
during the evening meal. Id. Plaintiff complained to
non-defendant Patterson that the new policy was unfair
because it forced inmates to choose between law library
access and eating. Plaintiff put his concerns in writing on
April 25, 2017, and requested that inmates who went to the
library at 4 pm be allowed to leave to go to chow.
4, 2017, having not received a response to his concerns,
Plaintiff wrote an e-mail to Warden Werlich, which
re-iterated Plaintiff's argument that inmates should not
have to choose between library access and food. (Doc. 2, p.
10). As a result of his email, Plaintiff was called to the
Lieutenant and/or Captain's office to discuss his
concerns. Id. When Plaintiff returned to the
library, his supervisor asked him why he was called away, and
Plaintiff explained his position on the new policy. (Doc. 2,
p. 11). Plaintiff was later called to Morris' office in
response to his email to the Warden. Id. They
discussed the law library schedule, and then Morris asked
Plaintiff if he knew why the library was closed Tuesday.
(Doc. 2, p. 12). Plaintiff replied that it was closed for
storylink, annual training, and security. Id. Morris
said he would have to let Plaintiff go because he was paying
too much attention to staff comings and goings, which was a
security issue. Id. Morris told Plaintiff he would
be reassigned. Id.
started the administrative remedies process about his
termination. (Doc. 2, pp. 13-16). During this process, he
repeatedly sent requests to Morris asking questions regarding
his termination. (Doc. 2, pp. 13-17). On July 27, 2017,
Plaintiff sent an email to Morris referring to his previous
inquiries, and asking Morris 1) whether he would still have a
job if he hadn't emailed the warden; 2) whether there
would have been a security issue if he hadn't written the
email; 3) what security concern the email specifically
raised; 4) why, if there was a security concern, Morris did
not discipline Plaintiff. (Doc. 2, pp. 17-18). Plaintiff
demanded a detailed response, and when he heard nothing for a
week, sent a follow-up email asking why there was a delay.
(Doc. 2, p. 18).
August 4, 2017, the same day Plaintiff sent his follow-up
email, Plaintiff was called into the lieutenant's office,
where Morris, Varney, Smith, and Van Grundy were present.
(Doc. 2, p. 18). Smith asked Plaintiff why he was questioning
staff schedules. Id. Plaintiff stated he was not
questioning staff schedules, he just thought that staff could
do more to have the library open. Id. Plaintiff
stated that he had never inquired into staff schedules.
Id. Smith dismissed Plaintiff. Id.
Immediately after the meeting, Plaintiff received a ...