United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN Chief Judge United States District Court
George Jones, Jr., an inmate in Menard Correctional Center,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
deprivations of his constitutional rights that allegedly
occurred at Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”). In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims
the defendants retaliated against him and subjected him to
cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the First and
Eighth Amendments. (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 it appropriate to allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: on August 9, 2015 while he was incarcerated at
Lawrence, Plaintiff filed a grievance against C/O Navarrete
after he called Plaintiff a racially charged name. (Doc. 1,
p. 7). On September 5, 2015, C/O Navarrete called Plaintiff
to the control bubble and confronted Plaintiff about writing
grievances. Id. Plaintiff told him that he did not
want any problems, and Navarrete responded that Plaintiff
should have thought of that before he wrote a grievance
against him. Id.
sent Plaintiff back to the deck, where he saw Plaintiff
retrieve an oatmeal pie. Id. Navarrete called
Plaintiff to the bubble again and asked him for the oatmeal
pie. Id. Plaintiff refused, and Navarrete took no
further action at that time. Id. After day room
ended and the chow line was called, each of the inmates'
doors opened except for Plaintiff's. Id.
Plaintiff asked other inmates to tell Navarrete and the
lieutenant that his door did not open. Id. Once the
chow line returned, Navarrete and Lieutenant Wheeler came to
Plaintiff's door, and Navarrete told him that he should
think next time before he writes a grievance on an officer.
Id. Lieutenant Wheeler also added that the next time
an officer asks Plaintiff for something, he had better give
it to him. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
September 9, when the doors began to open for chow,
Lieutenant Buchner told Plaintiff to get into his cell.
Id. Plaintiff asked him what the problem was, and he
responded: “You [mess] with my officers, you [mess]
with me.” Id. Plaintiff told him that he had
not done anything to anyone, and Buchner replied that
Navarrete told him about Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff
was not allowed to go to chow that day. Id. On
September 10, 2015 during lockdown, C/O McFarland opened
chuckholes while C/O Navarrete passed out trays. Id.
When Navarrete got to Plaintiff's cell, he told C/O
McFarland not to open Plaintiff's chuckhole. Id.
Plaintiff did not get dinner that day. Id. On
September 30, 2015, Plaintiff filed three grievances against
C/O Navarrete, Lieutenant Wheeler, Lieutenant Buchner, and
C/O McFarland. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff's grievances
were denied by the counselor and the grievance officer. (Doc.
1, p. 8). On May 2, 2016, after Plaintiff appealed the denial
to the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”), the
Acting Director also denied it. Id.
November 28, 2016, Plaintiff filed a grievance against three
internal affairs officers, Hough, Molehour,  and Dewesse after
he was approached by them about writing grievances against
other officers. Id. They told Plaintiff that he
looks good in a brown jump suit, and Molehour told him to
stop writing grievances. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Molehour added that
“if something was to happen to you we might or might
now know who did it or how it happened.” Id.
Plaintiff's grievance was never answered. Id.
mid-November, internal affairs officers Harper and Hence
visited Plaintiff's cell, told his cellmate to get out,
and questioned Plaintiff about the outcome of grievances he
wrote against other officers in 2015. Id. Plaintiff
told them that he never got a response, and Hence told him to
stop lying. Id. Harper added: “Your
[sic] going to find yourself in a situation. What if
something was to happen to you then what?” Id.
On November 29, 2016, Plaintiff filed a grievance against
them, but he never received a response. Id.
Plaintiff filed a second grievance against Harper on November
29, 2016 in response to Harper confronting him on November
23, 2016. Id. That day, Harper told Plaintiff that
he gave him a fair warning but that ...