United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TONY L. WEBSTER, #R71679, Plaintiff,
BALDWIN, ATKINS, JEFF DENNISON, CAMPBELL, WARDEN WALKER, MAJOR GRISSOM, and MAJOR HILLE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tony L. Webster, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently housed at Shawnee
Correctional Center (“Shawnee”), filed this
pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff's original Complaint (Doc. 1) did not survive
preliminary review, and his Amended Complaint (Doc. 8) is now
before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Section 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
original Complaint brought claims based on perceived
differences in the conditions of confinement at Shawnee,
compared with other medium security IDOC facilities.
Plaintiff claimed that the alleged disparities violate the
Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth
Amendment, amount to cruel and unusual punishment in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, and constitute retaliation
in violation of the First Amendment.
on the allegations in the original Complaint, the Court
divided Plaintiff's claims into the following counts:
Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment equal
protection claim against Defendants relative to the
conditions of confinement at Shawnee, as compared to other
medium security IDOC facilities.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment due process
claim against Defendants relative to the conditions at
Shawnee, as compared to other medium security IDOC
Count 3: Eighth Amendment claim against
Defendants for subjecting Plaintiff to conditions of
confinement constituting cruel and unusual punishment.
Count 4: First Amendment retaliation claim
against Defendants relative to the conditions of confinement
at Shawnee, as compared to other medium security IDOC
(Doc. 7, p. 3). Counts 1 and 2 were dismissed with prejudice.
(Doc. 7, pp. 3-6). However, Counts 3 and 4 were dismissed
without prejudice and with leave to amend. (Doc. 7, pp. 6-8).
Amended Complaint can be divided into four sets of claims:
(1) Eighth Amendment claims pertaining to Shawnee's food
service; (2) Eighth Amendment claims pertaining to the
conditions in Plaintiff's cell; (3) First Amendment
claims pertaining to Shawnee's alleged “universal
punishment” policy; and (4) Fourteenth Amendment claims
pertaining to the alleged “universal punishment”
policy. The relevant allegations are summarized below.
Food Service Conditions
worked in Shawnee's cafeteria in 2017 and 2018. (Doc. 8,
p. 5). During that time, he observed and experienced the
following conditions: (1) a dirty kitchen; (2) lack of hot
water to clean food service areas and pots and pans; (3) food
contaminated with bleach; (4) food that tastes like soap; (5)
food left sitting on trays for hours, without steam tables or
heaters; (6) food served in the same carts used to carry out
trash (without sanitizing the carts); and (7) food served by
workers with long facial hair who are not wearing beard nets.
Id. Plaintiff claims that, after eating in
Shawnee's cafeteria, he has experienced stomach cramps,
diarrhea, violent vomiting, burning in his throat, fever, and
body aches. Id. Plaintiff says he complained about
these conditions, in person or in writing, to Major Grissom,
Major Hille, Warden Dennison, Warden Campbell, and Warden
Walker. Id. He also claims that he spoke to
Assistant Director Atkins ...