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Lindsey v. Compton

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 27, 2018

DEVONTE LINDSEY, #462404, Plaintiff,
v.
C/O COMPTON, C/O HERNDON, and SGT. COLLINS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Devonte Lindsey, an apparent pretrial detainee currently housed at St. Clair County Jail (“Jail), filed this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that three Jail officials failed to protect him from an attack by other detainees at the Jail in November 2016. He seeks monetary relief.

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review[1] of the Complaint (Doc. 1) 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 such relief.

         An 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. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint: In November 2016, Plaintiff was housed in H-Block at the Jail. (Doc. 1, p. 5). The cell doors in H-Block do not lock, and Plaintiff was housed with “foes” he had “previous altercations with.” Id. According to Plaintiff, some inmates had a habit of exiting their cells after lockdown to “taunt, bully, and fight” other inmates, and, at times, “multiple aggressors would fight one inmate.” Id. Plaintiff claims that “this” happened to him around 11:00 pm, when he was “slammed on [his] neck and head.” Plaintiff also claims that, during another fight, presumably under similar circumstances, he was injured, requiring stitches in his face. Id. After the second incident, Plaintiff was transferred to another section of the Jail. Id.

         According to the Complaint, prior to being housed on H-Block, Plaintiff told “jail staff” that he had been in altercations with other inmates housed in H-Block. But, “they” disregarded Plaintiff's concerns. Id. Plaintiff also claims he told C/O Compton, C/O Herndon, and C/O Collins about “these dangerous conditions before they occurred, ” and claims that these individuals knew the doors on H-Block did not lock and knew that an incident was likely. Id. Plaintiff also claims that he turned in complaints to C/O Compton. Id. Despite Plaintiff's complaints, Defendants did not take any steps to prevent the alleged altercations.

         Plaintiff claims that dangerous conditions at the Jail persist because inmates are housed in cells that do not lock. Id. As a result, Plaintiff does not feel safe when he sleeps and is experiencing emotional and physical stress. Id.

         Merits Review Under § 1915(A)

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the prose action into the following Count. The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The ...


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