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Battle v. Kunatan

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 26, 2018

BOBBY LEE BATTLE, #M12177, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Bobby Lee Battle, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Illinois River Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff's claims relate to his prior incarceration at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). According to the Complaint, officials violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by subjecting him to humiliating treatment.

         This matter is now before the Court for a preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such relief, must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations in 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

         According to the Complaint, on April 29, 2018, from approximately 5:00 p.m. until 5:55 p.m., Officers Kunatan and Miles subjected Plaintiff to humiliating treatment. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Specifically, Plaintiff claims that Kunatn and Miles ordered him and his cellmate to “put on a[n] adult [diaper] and walk the whole tier.” Id. Defendants allegedly told Plaintiff he would be punished with segregation and loss of good conduct credit if he refused to comply with the order. Id. Plaintiff also claims that both officers have directed racially charged statements at him and that, because the officers often spend time in Plaintiff's cell (to “fake fight” with him or “sit[ting] on [his] bed and talk[ing] about lots of things every day”), other inmates and his family members have accused him of being a “bitch” and a homosexual. Id.


         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into a single 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 designation of this count does not constitute an opinion as to its merit. Any claims that are not identified below are dismissed without prejudice from this action.[1]

         Count 1 - Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for ordering Plaintiff to walk the tier in an adult diaper.

         The Complaint articulates a viable Eighth Amendment claim against Kunatn and Miles for ordering Plaintiff to walk, in front of other prisoners, in an adult diaper. It is difficult to discern any possible penological purpose for such a directive, and taking Plaintiff's allegations as true, it appears that the directive was issued to humiliate and harass him. Accordingly, Count 1 shall receive further review as to Kunatn and Miles. See e.g., Mays v. Trancoso, 412 Fed.Appx. 899, *3 (7th Cir. 2011); Mays v. Springborn, 575 F.3d 643, 649 (7th Cir. 2009); Whitman v. Nesic, 368 F.3d 931, 934 (7th Cir. 2004). The Complaint, however, fails to state a claim as to Warden Dennison; there is no indication that he was personally involved in the alleged constitutional violation. Accordingly, he shall be dismissed from Count 1, and from the Complaint, without prejudice. See Kinslow v. Pullara, 538 F.3d 687, 692 (7th Cir. 2008); Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740 (7th Cir. 2001).

         Pending Motions

         Plaintiff's Motion for Recruitment of Counsel (Doc. 3) is REFERRED to United States Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams.


         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Complaint, which includes COUNT 1, shall proceed against KUNATN and MILES. COUNT 1 is DISMISSED without prejudice as to DENNISON. The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to terminate DENNISON as a defendant in CM/ECF.

         The Clerk of Court shall prepare for KUNATN and MILES: (1) Form 5 (Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of a Summons), and (2) Form 6 (Waiver of Service of Summons). The Clerk is DIRECTED to mail these forms, a copy of the Complaint, and this Memorandum and Order to each Defendant's place of employment as identified by Plaintiff. If a Defendant fails to sign and return the Waiver of Service of Summons (Form 6) to the Clerk within 30 days from the date the forms were sent, the Clerk shall take appropriate steps to effect formal service on ...

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