United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Benjamin Brokaw, an inmate at Chester Mental Health Center,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights.
Specifically, Plaintiff claims the defendants subjected him
to excessive force in violation of the Eighth Amendment and
violated his due process rights. (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.
makes the following allegations in his Complaint (Doc. 1): in
spring or early summer 2017, while he was incarcerated at
Chester Mental Health Center, Plaintiff was “beaten in
the stomach [and] penis while in four point restraints by
Erich Tucker [and] Dave Hunter in violation of the Eighth
Amendment.” (Doc. 1, p. 5). Russel Heck investigated
the incident and took a statement and photographs that showed
visible bruising. Id. Plaintiff's claim was
found unsubstantiated nonetheless. Id. Plaintiff
requests monetary damages. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
2 counts. 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.
Count 1 - Defendants Tucker and Hunter
subjected Plaintiff to excessive force in spring or early
summer 2017, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 2 - Defendant Heck took
Plaintiff's statement and photographed his injuries after
he was subjected to excessive force, and Plaintiff's
claim was found unsubstantiated nonetheless, in ...