United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Rogelio Orozco, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Western Illinois Correctional Center
(“Western”), brings this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his
constitutional rights while at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”) and Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”). Plaintiff's claims arise from
being convicted of a disciplinary charge and confined in
disciplinary segregation. He seeks monetary damages and
injunctive relief expunging the underlying disciplinary
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10) 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).
case was previously dismissed on initial review (Docs. 9 and
12) but was remanded by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
for rescreening. (Doc. 32-1). The Seventh Circuit found that
Plaintiff should have been allowed to file an amended
complaint on the potential claims Plaintiff attempted to
assert in the first Complaint and that the case should not
have been dismissed in its entirety. Id., p. 5.
Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10) prior to
dismissal, which adds several parties and appears to restate
all of his claims. After remand, the Court views the First
Amended Complaint as the operative complaint and conducts its
Section 1915A analysis on that document. Should Plaintiff
wish to reassert any of the claims dismissed in the original
Complaint which were not included in the First Amended
Complaint, he may file a Second Amended Complaint.
alleges the following: On April 22, 2014, Plaintiff was
issued a disciplinary ticket by Defendant Erin Carter, an
Internal Affairs officer at Menard, for participation in
Security Threat Group (“STG”) or Unauthorized
Organizational Activity as a member of the Latin King Nation
gang. (Doc. 10, pp. 4, 7-8). Defendants Scott and Hart sat as
the Adjustment Committee on the charge on April 24, 2014, and
found Plaintiff guilty, sentencing him to three months of
disciplinary segregation, as well as loss of grade and some
privileges. Id., p. 8. Plaintiff alleges that Scott
and Hart did not adequately investigate the allegations
underlying the disciplinary ticket and were not impartial, as
they simply credited disciplinary ticket's account.
Id., pp. 9-14.
the Adjustment Committee's report from the April 24
hearing was forwarded to Defendant Butler (warden of Menard
at the time), she remanded it for additional information to
substantiate the charge and ordered the Adjustment Committee
to impose much harsher sanctions of one year in disciplinary
segregation and longer loss of grade and privileges.
Id., pp. 14-15. Scott and Defendant Cowan
subsequently held another hearing on May 9, 2014, at which
they found Plaintiff guilty and imposed harsher sanctions in
line with what Butler had specified, including one year in
disciplinary segregation. Id., p. 16. Butler
subsequently approved the Adjustment Committee's
findings. Id., p. 17.
was subsequently given a punitive disciplinary transfer to
Pontiac. On June 8, 2014, he filed a grievance regarding his
disciplinary hearings. Id., p. 18. At some point,
two personal property room officers or supervisors-one at
Menard (John Doe #1) and one at Pontiac (John Doe
#2)-confiscated or destroyed several boxes of Plaintiff's
excess legal materials, including materials from his criminal
case. Id., p. 18. Plaintiff believes that this was
done at the behest of Menard's Intelligence Unit in
retaliation for Plaintiff's refusal to become a
confidential informant. Id., pp. 18-19.
McCarty and Godinez responded to Plaintiff's June 8
grievance and directed that the matter be remanded back to
Carter for additional information on how Plaintiff was
identified as an active STG participant, and that the
rehearing be held at Pontiac. Id., p. 19. Carter
subsequently re-wrote the disciplinary report, and Plaintiff
requested a witness (Scott) be called at the rehearing.
Id., pp. 22-23. On November 20, 2014, Defendants
Holte and Salinas held the rehearing, refusing to call Scott
as a witness and incorrectly noting in the subsequent report
that no witnesses had been requested. Id., p. 24.
Holte and Salinas imposed the same punishments as had been
imposed at the May 9 hearing, which was approved by
Pontiac's warden, Defendant Pfister. Id., pp.
Anderson and Stolworthy subsequently reviewed and responded
to Plaintiff's June 8 grievance in light of the rehearing
and reduced Plaintiff's sanctions down to the level
originally imposed at the April 24 hearing. Id., pp.
specifically disclaiming any conditions-of-confinement
challenge, Plaintiff states that while in punitive
segregation he was subject to atypical hardships, including
an unsanitary cell and being housed with seriously mentally
ill inmates who would prevent him from sleeping.
Id., p. 31.
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the claims in this case into the
following six Counts:
Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment claim against
Carter, Scott, Hart, Butler, and Cowan, for deprivation of a
liberty interest without due process in connection with the
April 24 ...