United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Justin Collins brings this action for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff alleges he was assaulted by another inmate on two
occasions in November 2018 when he was an inmate of the
Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”)
incarcerated at Big Muddy River Correctional
Center. (Doc. 9, p. 6). He asserts claims under
the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and seeks monetary
damages. (Doc. 9, pp. 6-7).
28 U.S.C. § 1915A review, Plaintiff's Complaint was
dismissed without prejudice, and he was granted leave to file
an Amended Complaint (Doc. 7), which he has done (Doc. 9).
This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of
the Amended Complaint pursuant to Section 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).
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations:
On November 25, 2018, Plaintiff was involved in a verbal
altercation that escalated into a physical altercation. (Doc.
9, p. 6). Plaintiff later learned that correctional officers
John Doe #1, John Doe #2, and John Doe #3 witnessed the
altercation. Id. Pursuant to IDOC rules and
regulations, the inmates involved in the altercation should
have been handcuffed and escorted to segregation to await
punishment. Id. The correctional officers who
witnessed the altercation took no action. Id. On
November 28, 2018, Plaintiff was assaulted by the same inmate
who struck him several times in the head with a fan motor
concealed in a sock. Id. The same correctional
officers witnessed the altercation and intervened because a
weapon was involved. Id.
on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, the Court finds
it convenient to designate the following counts:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for
failing to intervene and/or protect Plaintiff during an
inmate assault on November 25, 2018.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for
failing to protect Plaintiff from an inmate assault on
November 28, 2018.
Count 3: Fourteenth Amendment claim for failure to follow
IDOC rules and regulations following the first altercation
which required the inmates involved to be handcuffed and
escorted to segregation to await punishment, which would have
prevented the subsequent assault.
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. The designations do not
constitute an opinion regarding their merit. Any other claim
that is mentioned in the Amended Complaint but not addressed
in this Order should be considered dismissed without
prejudice as inadequately pled under the Twombly
1 and 2
officials owe inmates a duty to protect them from violence at
the hands of other inmates. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 833 (1994); Guzman v. Sheahan, 495 F.3d
852, 856- 57 (7th Cir. 2007). To state an Eighth Amendment
failure to protect claim, a prisoner must allege that (1)
“he is incarcerated under conditions posing a
substantial risk of serious harm, ” and (2)
defendant(s) “acted with deliberate indifference to
that risk.” Brown v. Budz, 398 F.3d 904, 909
(7th Cir. 2005). A plaintiff also must prove that prison
officials were aware of a specific, impending, and
substantial threat to his safety. Pope v. Shafer, 86
F.3d 90, 92 (7th Cir. 1996).
screening purposes, the allegations are sufficient to allow
Counts 1 and 2 to proceed against Defendants. They witnessed
the altercation on November 25, 2018 taking place and did
nothing to intervene. They took no action after the
altercation, and Plaintiff was assaulted by the same
individual on November 28, 2018. Defendants knew that both
inmates were housed in “Three house.” The claims
against Defendants will proceed against them in their
individual capacity, but the official capacity claims will be
dismissed without prejudice. See Will ...