United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
LARRY G. HARRIS, Plaintiff,
J. BALDWIN, ATCHINS, JEFF DENNISON, CAMPBELL, WALKER, GRISHAM, UNKNOWN PARTIES Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE
Larry G. Harris, an inmate in Shawnee Correctional Center,
brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks
injunctive relief and damages. 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 exercise its authority
under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary
December 7, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred from Danville
Correctional Center to Big Muddy Correctional Center for
disciplinary reasons. (Doc. 1, p. 3). The disciplinary ticket
that he was transferred on was ultimately expunged on
December 22, 2016. Id. However, after the
expungement, Plaintiff was not returned to Danville. (Doc. 1,
p. 4). Instead, he was transferred to Shawnee on March 8,
2017. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Shawnee is run as a
“punishment prison” to deter First Amendment
activity, and that as a result of his transfer, Plaintiff has
been subjected to harsher conditions of confinement.
Id. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he is being
retaliated against for filing 2 lawsuits: Harris v.
Calloway, 17-cv-2075-MMM, and Harris v.
Dempsey, 17-cv-2010-SLD. Id.
alleges that, when compared to Danville, Shawnee provides
prisoners with less out of cell time, less recreation time,
fewer opportunities to shop at the commissary, and a dollar
amount limit at each shop. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5). Shawnee also
does not use the e-file system, causing Plaintiff to spend
money to make copies of his lawsuits and pay for the postage
to mail them. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
conditions at Shawnee are also problematic. The paint is
peeling in Plaintiff's cell. Id. His window does
not open, and thus there is no ventilation. Id. The
ventilation system is not clean, and the vent in
Plaintiff's cell has dust and dirt. Id.
Plaintiff breathes the dust and dirt. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Prisoners must shower in cold water because the boiler system
is inadequate. Id. The mattresses are old, missing
padding, and have urine and sweat stains on them.
alleges that inmates are scheduled for 50 minutes of
recreation each day, but that they only receive 25 to 30
minutes, in order to punish the medium/minimum rated
prisoners housed at Shawnee. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
also alleges that the Shawnee kitchen also violates the
Constitution. Id. Shawnee lacks a steam line to keep
the food hot on the serving line, and there are no heaters to
store the food once it is prepared. Id. The food is
left sitting at room temperature for hours in the kitchen
before being moved to the serving line. Id. There is
also no hot water in the tray washing room, meaning that the
trays, cups, and sporks are washed in cold water. (Doc. 1, p.
8). The trays frequently have a greasy film of water on top
when they are served to the prisoner population. Id.
The inmate workers are not supplied with dietary whites.
Id. They do not wear beard nets or hair nets.
Id. Food is stored on dirty food carts, which are
also used to run trash. Id.
has Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Disease, which he alleges is
exacerbated by soy consumption. Id. Despite this,
the Shawnee Dietary department is allowed to deny
Plaintiff's no soy diet. Id. Warden Dennison
approves and sanctions this conduct. Id.
is not allowed to clean his living quarters weekly.
Id. He is scheduled to clean his cell twice a month,
but the assigned correctional officer will not leave the
control booth to supervise his wing assignment, thus denying
cleaning on the scheduled day. (Doc. 1, p. 9). The Majors