United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Herndon United States District Judge
Jackie Roberson, an inmate in Pinckneyville Correctional
Center, brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff requests money and equitable relief. 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.
alleges that he tried to kill himself by taking pills on May
1, 2018. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Although he was initially taken to
the Health Care Unit, he was then escorted to the back where
defendant Cleland started to beat him, while defendants
McBride, King, and Uraski stood by and failed to intervene.
Id. Plaintiff was handcuffed with his hands behind
his back at the time. Id.
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 these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. The following claim survives
Count 1 - Cleland beat Plaintiff while he
was handcuffed, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, while
McBride, King, and Uraski failed to intervene.
intentional use of excessive force by prison guards against
an inmate without penological justification constitutes cruel
and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment
and is actionable under § 1983. See Wilkins v.
Gaddy, 559 U.S. 34 (2010); DeWalt v. Carter,
224 F.3d 607, 619 (7th Cir. 2000). An inmate must show that
an assault occurred, and that “it was carried out
‘maliciously and sadistically' rather than as part
of ‘a good-faith effort to maintain or restore
discipline.'” Wilkins, 559 U.S. at 40
(citing Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6 (1992)).
The factors relevant to this determination include: (1) the
need for the application of force; (2) the amount of force
that was used; (3) the extent of injury inflicted; (4) the
extent of the threat to the safety of staff and inmates, as
reasonably perceived by the responsible officials on the
basis of the facts known to them; and (5) any efforts made to
temper the severity of a forceful response. Lewis v.
Downey, 581 F.3d 467, 477 (7th Cir. 2009); Outlaw v.
Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833, 837 (7th Cir. 2001) (citation
inmate seeking damages for the use of excessive force need
not establish serious bodily injury to make a claim, but not
“every malevolent touch by a prison guard gives rise to
a federal cause of action.” Wilkins, 559 U.S.
at 37-38 (the question is whether force was de minimis, not
whether the ...