United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
RONALD M. VAN PELT, #R00514, Plaintiff,
C/O URASKI, MAJOR MALCOM, C/O SHURTZ, CHARLES HECK, and JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Court Judge
Ronald Van Pelt, an inmate at Pinckneyville Correctional
Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights.
Specifically, Plaintiff claims that the defendants violated
his due process and equal protection rights under the
Fourteenth Amendment. (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 summarily dismiss this
makes the following allegations in his Complaint (Doc. 1): on
August 26, 2016, Defendant Uraski and an unknown corrections
officer questioned Plaintiff about a confrontation between
him and his cellmate. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff told them
that he had a fight with his cellmate. Id. The
corrections officers did not accept Plaintiff's account,
and Uraski wrote Plaintiff a ticket charging him with 102 -
Assaulting any person. Id. Plaintiff “was only
guilty of 301 - Fighting, a much less serious
infraction.” Id. “The story typed in the
offense report is a fabrication by C/O Uraski, and a biased
view of what actually occurred.” (Doc. 1, p. 6).
August 27, 2016, C/O Tyson Swarts, #9443, slid a copy of
Plaintiff's offense sheet through the segregation door
without asking Plaintiff whether he wanted to sign the ticket
or call any witnesses. (Doc. 1, p. 8). The box indicating
that Plaintiff did not want to sign or call any witnesses was
already checked. Id. Plaintiff did not have the
chance to mark otherwise although he had two witnesses he
wanted to call that would have verified his account.
Plaintiff's adjustment committee hearing on August 30,
2016, Defendant Heck did not allow Plaintiff to call
witnesses. Id. Plaintiff explained to Heck that no
assault took place and that the confrontation was “only
a simply fight.” Id. Heck asked Plaintiff if
he was fighting with his cellmate, to which Plaintiff
replied: “Yeah, but I am not guilty of assaulting any
person, I'm only guilty of fighting.” Id.
Heck then told Plaintiff: “Fighting and Assaulting Any
Person are the same thing, you are guilty, and you've
pled guilty.” Id. Heck falsified
Plaintiff's adjustment committee statement by denying him
the right to present witnesses and not allowing him to enter
a plea of not guilty. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Heck should have
amended Plaintiff's charge before sentencing him to two
months segregation and one month loss of good time.
Id. On September 4, 2016, Defendant Lashbrook signed
off on the Final Summary Report, despite knowing that
Plaintiff's 102 - Assaulting Any Person offense was
rightfully a 301 - Fighting offense. Id.
requests monetary ...