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Walker v. Butler

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 26, 2019

JAMES E. WALKER, #R02343, Plaintiff,
v.
KIM BUTLER, RICHARD HARRINGTON, SALVADOR GODINEZ, MICHAEL SMITH, DAVID CHILDERS, R.D. MOORE, TIMOTHY MORRIS, JOHN DOE 1, and JOHN DOE 2, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Nancy J. Rosenstengel Chief U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff James Walker, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff claims that while at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”) officials deprived him of property without due process of law. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief. (Doc. 2, p. 1).

         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: While incarcerated at Menard, Plaintiff would receive ten dollars per month from the State of Illinois in unassigned pay. (Doc. 1, p. 3). During lockdowns at the facility, Menard would often withhold or confiscate inmate's pay. Id. Despite not being responsible for the lockdown and not receiving a hearing or any due process procedures, Menard officials confiscated Plaintiff's unassigned pay during a lockdown in August 2013. Id. Plaintiff filed a grievance, but the grievance was denied by the previous Warden, Harrington, and the previous IDOC Director, Godinez. Id.

         In retaliation for filing grievances, Corrections Officer Smith selectively shook down Plaintiff's cell in November 2013, and confiscated personal property. Id. Smith did not record the confiscation on a shake down slip as required. Corrections Officers Moore, Childers, and Morris knew about the incident, but refused to take any action to correct the wrongful taking of property without due process. Plaintiff filed another grievance, but it also was denied by Warden Harrington. Id.

         In 2014, corrections officers confiscated Plaintiff's personal property on two separate occasions following shake downs of his cell. Id. at pp. 3-4. After both shake downs, officers did not provide him a shake down slip or reimbursement for the value of the property taken. Id. at p. 4.

         Discussion

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

Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Harrington, Godinez, Smith, Childers, Moore, Morris, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2 for the deprivation of Plaintiff's personal property without due process of law in November 2013, April 2014, and September 2014 following the shakedown of his cell.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Harrington and Godinez for the confiscation of Plaintiff's unassigned pay without due process of law during the lockdown at Menard in August 2013.
Count 3: First Amendment claim against Smith for selectively shaking down Plaintiff's cell in November 2013 in retaliation for Plaintiff filing grievances.
Count 4: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Harrington, Godinez, and Butler for denying Plaintiff's grievances regarding the confiscation of his property without due process of law.

         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 theComplaint but not addressed in this Order is considered dismissed without ...


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