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Anderson v. Lashbrook

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 5, 2019

JABRIEL ANDERSON, #M49462, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Jabriel Anderson, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights arising from the issuance of an Inmate Disciplinary Report. He seeks monetary damages.

         Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section 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 asks for 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 of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriquez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff alleges the following: On April 2, 2018, while leaving the shower room, an officer[1] handcuffed Plaintiff's left hand and directed him to pull up his pants. (Doc. 1, pp. 7, 8, 11, 21). After pulling up his pants, the officer told him to pull them up higher and then tightly cuffed both hands. Id., p. 11. When Plaintiff told the officer that the cuffs were too tight, the officer responded that they would be removed upstairs. Id. Plaintiff then proceeded to leave, but Corrections Officer Fenton told him to step out of line and wait in the corner. Id., pp. 11, 22. After exchanging words with Fenton, Plaintiff said he was going to his cell and kept walking. Id., pp. 11-12. While walking away he heard Sergeant Fitzgerald call him, but proceeded to his cell. Id. p. 12. A few minutes after arriving to his cell, Plaintiff was handcuffed again and taken to the Special Housing Unit. Id., pp. 8, 12.

         Plaintiff was issued an Inmate Disciplinary Report (“IDR”) for refusing to comply with a direct order. Id., p. 8. He signed the IDR before he could provide witnesses and so later sent a list of witnesses to the Adjustment Committee through institutional mail. Id., pp. 8-9. A disciplinary hearing was conducted on April 10, 2018, in which the Adjustment Committee, composed of Chairperson Brookman and Committee Member Hart, found Plaintiff guilty and sanctioned him to six months in segregation, grade revocation, and loss and restriction of various privileges such as commissary, visitation, law library, religious services, and mental health programs. Id. pp. 9, 10. Plaintiff claims that because the Adjustment Committee did not call or interview any witnesses in his favor, his procedural due process rights have been violated and a loss of his privileges has caused unnecessary mental and emotional anguish. Id. p. 10.

         Preliminary Dismissals

         Plaintiff names Chief Administrative Officer of Menard Jacqueline Lashbrook in the caption as a defendant, but makes no allegations against her in the body of the complaint. Plaintiffs are required to associate specific defendants with specific claims, so that defendants are put on notice of the claims brought against them and can properly answer the complaint. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Where a plaintiff has not included a defendant in his statement of the claim, the defendant cannot be said to be adequately put on notice of which claims in the complaint, if any, are directed against him or her. Furthermore, merely invoking the name of a potential defendant is not sufficient to state a claim against that individual. See Collins v. Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998). And, in the case of those defendants in supervisory positions, the doctrine of respondeat superior is not applicable to Section 1983 actions. Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740 (7th Cir. 2001) (citations omitted). Plaintiff has not alleged that Lashbrook was “personally responsible for the deprivation of a constitutional right, ” Id.., and a defendant cannot be liable merely because he or she supervised a person who caused a constitutional violation. Accordingly, Defendant Lashbrook will be dismissed from this action without prejudice.


         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the claims in this case into the following two Counts:

Count 1 : Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim against Brookman and Hart for prohibiting Plaintiff from calling witnesses during his hearing before the Adjustment Committee.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim against Fitzgerald for filing a false Inmate Disciplinary Report.

         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. Any claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed in this Order is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under the Twombly[2] pleading standard.

         When a plaintiff brings an action under Section 1983 for procedural due process violations, he must show that the state deprived him of a constitutionally protected interest in “life, liberty, or property” without due process of law. Zinermon v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 125 (1990). A court reviewing a due process claim must, therefore, engage in a two part inquiry: (1) was there a protected interest at stake that necessitated the protections demanded ...

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