United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JOHN A. SANDERS, JR., Plaintiff,
MICHAEL HARE, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
GILBERT, DISTRICT JUDGE.
John Sanders, who is currently being held at Alton Law
Enforcement Center in Alton, Illinois, brings this action for
deprivation of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for events occurring at the Madison County
Jail. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.
case is now before the Court for a 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. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth
Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
makes the following allegations in his Complaint: Over the
course of several years, Defendant Sergeant Michael Hare, a
deputy jailer at the Madison County Jail
(“Madison”), has repeatedly made sexual
advancements toward Plaintiff throughout his time in and out
of Madison. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff recounts that between
December 2006 and May 2007, Sergeant Hare would watch
Plaintiff using the restroom while making sexual comments and
gestures. Id. at p. 6. When Plaintiff would tell
Sergeant Hare to leave him alone, Hare would punish Plaintiff
by taking away dayroom privileges or shaking down his cell on
a period while Plaintiff was not being held in Madison,
Plaintiff claims that Sergeant Hare approached him at a gas
station in 2012 and made sexually explicit remarks to him.
claims that because of the ongoing sexual harassment he lives
in fear of retaliation for refusing Sergeant Hare's
advancements and has suffered from mental trauma.
Id. at p. 7.
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following two counts.
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Hare
for sexual harassment.
Count 2: First Amendment claim against Hare
for retaliating against Plaintiff for protesting Hare's
sexual comments and advances.
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 other claim that
is mentioned in the Complaint but not
addressed in this Order should be considered dismissed
without prejudice as inadequately pleaded
under the Twombly pleading
Complaint does not survive preliminary review under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Although the courts are obligated to accept
factual allegations as true, courts “should not accept
as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause
of action or conclusory legal statements.” Brooks
v. Ross, 578F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009).
Plaintiff claims that he has been the victim of ongoing
sexual harassment from Sergeant Hare and fears retaliation
for rejecting his advances are vague and conclusory. Other
than alleging incidences of sexual harassment and retaliation
on the part of Hare that are time barred or not brought
properly under Section 1983,  Plaintiff does not include recent
substantive allegations. The reason that plaintiffs, even
those proceeding pro se, for whom the Court is
required to liberally construe complaints, see Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972), are required to
associate specific defendants with specific claims is so
these defendants are put on notice of the claims brought
against them and so they can properly answer the complaint.
“Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only
‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to
‘give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.' ”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (2007) (quoting Conley
v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Thus, where a
plaintiff has not included substantive allegations against 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. For these
reasons the Complaint is dismissed.