United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
CARLOS H. GARCIA, #M41479, Plaintiff,
JOHN BALDWIN, SANDRA FUNK, MIKE FUNK, JOHN/JANE DOE, and JEFFREY MOLENHOUR, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Carlos Garcia, an inmate at 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”). Plaintiff claims the defendants
have failed to protect him from a sexual assault,
discriminated against him based on his sexual orientation,
and punished and suppressed his speech in violation of the
Eighth, Fourteenth, and First 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). 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).
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed
past the threshold stage.
makes the following allegations in his Complaint (Doc. 1):
Plaintiff is a member of the LGBTQ community who was raped by
a member of an Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) Latino Security Threat Group. (Doc. 1,
p. 5). Plaintiff remains at “very high risk of being
brutally assaulted or/and violently raped.”
Id. Defendants Doe, Molenhour, and M. Funk
“were each presumably placed on notice that Plaintiff
had been brutally assaulted and raped.” (Doc. 1, p. 7).
However, because of his membership in IDOC's LGBTQ
community, they failed or refused to meaningfully intervene
by implementing preventative or corrective measures. (Doc. 1,
p. 8). These defendants mishandled the facts surrounding
Plaintiff's assault and rape. Id. Plaintiff was
also found ineligible for placement in protective custody.
Baldwin, S. Funk, M. Funk, and Molenhour have a
“practice of punishing ‘out, loud, and proud'
gay men by knowingly placing them in living situations where
they're at an increased likelihood of physical assault
and/or violent rape.” (Doc. 1, p. 11). They also have a
practice of “ignoring risk screening information to
determine housing, bed, work, education, and program
assignments, with the goal of keeping those inmates at high
risk of being sexually victimized separate from those at high
risk of being sexually abusive.” Id. The
actions of these defendants resulted in Plaintiff's
assault, which has left him feeling as if he is “going
crazy, disrupted, overwhelmed, and unable to cope.”
(Doc. 1, pp. 11-12).
M. Funk, Doe, and Molenhour discriminated against Plaintiff
because he is gay. (Doc. 1, p. 14). These defendants
“are fully aware that their token investigatory
measures and perfunctory administrative proceedings have not
(and will not) resolve either purposeful gender
discrimination, or the disproportionate impact on members of
the LGBTQ community, yet they persist unimpeded in their
unlawfulness.” (Doc. 1, pp. 14-15). Plaintiff requests
declaratory, monetary, and permanent injunctive relief. (Doc.
1, pp. 10, 12, 16, 18)
Court will adhere to the 3 Counts designated by the Plaintiff
in this pro se action, as articulated below. 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 designation of these
counts does not constitute an opinion regarding their merit.
1 - First Amendment claim against Defendants Doe,
Molenhour, and M. Funk for placing Plaintiff in a dangerous
housing situation and failing to implement corrective
measures to protect Plaintiff after he was ...