United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JAMES R. KAMMEYER, JR., Plaintiff,
WILLIAM TRUE, D. STICKELS, DANIEL HUGGINS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge.
James Kammeyer, an inmate with the Federal Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) who is currently incarcerated at the
United States Penitentiary located in Marion, Illinois
(“USP Marion”), brings this action for alleged
violations of his constitutional rights by persons acting
under the color of federal authority that occurred in
connection with prison restrictions imposed after several
incidents involving drug overdoses. See Bivens v. Six
Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) and the
Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1346, 2671 -2680. Plaintiff seeks injunctive and
monetary relief and has filed a motion to certify the
Complaint as a class action on behalf of all inmates housed
at USP Marion.
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint 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. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations: In
March of 2019, a number of inmates at USP Marion suffered
overdoses from ingesting mixtures of synthetic drugs and
industrial chemicals. (Doc. 1, pp. 3-4). As a result of the
overdoses, USP Marion was placed on lockdown status from
March 30, 2019, until April 8, 2019, and additional
restrictions were implemented. Id. at p. 4.
Plaintiff received a memo written and signed by Warden True,
on April 1, 2019, announcing that the entire inmate
population would be sanctioned for the drug abuse.
Id. Specifically, inmates would be limited to one
five-minute phone call and five outgoing emails per day, and
the monthly commissary spending limit would be reduced from
$360 a month to $100. Id.; see also Doc. 1-1, p. 3.
Additionally, any inmate caught with drugs would be referred
for prosecution. Id. The next day, Plaintiff
received a second memo directing all inmates to pack three
trash bags with their personal belongings: (1) one for
personal property; (2) one for institution-issued clothing;
and (3) one for excess personal property, which could be
mailed home at the inmate's own expense. (Doc. 1, p. 4;
see also Doc. 1-1, p. 5). After all inmates packed
their bags, USP Marion staff conducted a shakedown of the
entire facility on April 3 and 4, 2019. Id. Captain
Stickles supervised staff during the shakedown in
Plaintiff's housing unit. Id. at p. 5. During
the shakedown, staff threw away excess personal property that
did not fit into a bag into trash bins. Id. Staff
did not provide information regarding the ability to mail
excess property home or provide confiscation forms for any
property seized in accordance with BOP policy. Id.
Staff also destroyed all microwave ovens in inmate housing
units that had been purchased with inmate funds. Id.
the lockdown ended on April 9, 2019, more inmates overdosed
and Warden True issued another memo lowering the monthly
commissary spending limit to $75. Id.; see
also Doc. 1-1, p. 7.
the week of April 8, 2019, Plaintiff witnessed Warden True in
the lunchroom become hostile toward inmates trying to speak
with him. Id. at p. 6. He also heard Warden True
tell inmates that “he wanted the drug problem solved
‘however [inmates] have to do it, '… and
that if the inmates wanted the mass sanctions lifted, inmates
should ‘enforce the rules' against other inmates
who were suspected drug users or distributors.”
True, Captain Stickles, and Chief Technician for the Special
Investigative Services Huggins met collectively and
individually with the heads of various inmate groups around
April 11, 2019, and “instructed them to ‘police
[their] own.' If inmates continued overdosing, they said,
just drag them into a cell ‘so we don't see
it.'” Id. Warden True stated that there
would not be consequences for anyone who acted, even
violently, against drug users. Id. This authorized
self-enforcement has resulted in an increased number of
violent attacks at USP Marion. Id. at p. 7. After
one violent incident between inmates, staff had to close an
entire housing unit and temporarily relocate the occupants
for hours to clean up the blood. Id.
True has since threatened to implement further restrictions
and lockdown the facility if inmates do not take part in
stopping the drug abuse problem. Id. Inmates,
including Plaintiff, attempted to organize a food strike in
protest of the restrictions. Id. at p. 8. Plaintiff
was threatened with retaliation by True, Stickles, Huggins,
and other staff if he participated, and also threatened with
violence by other inmates if he did not participate.
Id. Ultimately, Plaintiff did not participate.
the threats of violence by other inmates instigated by True,
Stickles, and Huggins and the retaliation against inmates by
staff, Plaintiff has suffered severe anxiety. Id.
Plaintiff claims that the various forms of mass punishment
and directing inmates to self-regulate the drug problem on
the part of Defendants has caused fear, mental anguish, and
misery, exacerbating the violent conditions of prison life.
Id. at pp. 1, 8-9. True, Stickles, and Huggins have
displayed deliberate indifference by encouraging the violence
and “turning a blind eye when such assaults
occur.” Id. at p. 9.
claims that because Defendants have used mass punishment and
encouraged inmate self-enforcement of the antidrug policy the
safety of the general inmate population is threatened and
violent attacks, tension, and anxiety among the population
have increased. (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 6, 7, 9). He also alleges
that during the shakedown, staff destroyed all microwave
ovens in inmate housing units purchased with inmate funds and
disposed of other inmates' property. Id. at p.
5. Plaintiff, however, is only entitled to assert his own
rights. Massey v. Helman, 196 F.3d 727, 739-40 (7th
Cir. 1999). Thus, the Court will only consider the alleged
harms to Plaintiff, not to the inmate population generally.
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following seven counts:
Count 1: First Amendment retaliation claim
against True, Stickles, and Huggins.
Count 2: First Amendment claim for violating
Plaintiff's right to access the courts.
Count 3: Fifth Amendment claim against True
and Stickles for seizing and discarding Plaintiff's
property during the penitentiary wide shakedown on April 3
and 4, 2019.
Count 4: Eighth Amendment claim for cruel
and unusual punishment against True, Stickles, and Huggins
for implementing mass punishment on the entire inmate
Count 5: Eighth Amendment claim against
True, Stickles, and Huggins for failure to protect Plaintiff
from threats ...