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Walker v. Kink

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 2, 2019

JAMES E. WALKER, Plaintiff,
v.
KEVIN KINK, NICK LAMB, A BLAKE, L. LIVINGSTON, JOHN DOE CORRECTIONAL OFFICER #1, JOHN DOE CORRECTIONAL OFFICER #2, JOHN DOE NURSE #1, JOHN DOE NURSE #2, JOHN DOE NURSE #3, GOWNS, INBODEN, BRASHEAR, MCQUEEN, and JOHN DOE CORRECTIONAL OFFICER #3, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Staci M. Yandle United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff James E. Walker, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings this action for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges Defendants deprived him of property without due process of law.

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Amended Complaint[1]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 seeks money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in his Amended Complaint (Doc. 8): While at Lawrence, Plaintiff receives $10 per month from the State of Illinois in unassigned pay. (Doc. 8, p. 11). During lockdowns at Lawrence, that unassigned pay is confiscated despite Plaintiff not being responsible for the lockdown or receiving any hearing or due process before losing the funds. Plaintiff's unassigned pay was confiscated during a June 2017 lockdown. Nick Lamb, Gowns, and Iboden denied Plaintiff's grievances related to the confiscation. (Id.).

         Plaintiff has also had property taken from his cell without due process. In December 2016, John Doe #1 conducted a search of Plaintiff's legal storage box and removed legal documents and case law purchased from the library at Menard Correctional Center. (Doc. 8, p. 11). Plaintiff did not receive a shakedown slip for the confiscation, and Lamb denied his grievance related to the confiscation.

         In May 2018, Defendant McQueen conducted a “selective” shakedown of Plaintiff's cell in retaliation for Plaintiff filing a number of grievances. (Doc. 1, pp. 11-12). McQueen confiscated a power adopter, 15-20 ink pens, and a hair trimmer that had been purchased at Menard. (Id. at p. 12). McQueen failed to record the adapter and ink pens on the shakedown slip. Kevin Kink, L. Livingston, and Brashear were aware of the confiscation but refused to take action.

         Plaintiff was subject to another shakedown in July 2018 conducted by John Doe #2. (Doc. 8, p. 12). When Plaintiff returned to his cell after the shakedown, he noticed that his headphone cord was broken off into his television. John Doe #2 failed to document the damage on the shake down slip and failed to reimburse Plaintiff for the damaged property. (Id.).

         In August 2018, Plaintiff's extension cord, which he purchased at the commissary from John Doe #3, was deemed defective and dangerous by Plaintiff. Plaintiff wrote a grievance regarding the defective cord. L. Livingston and Kevin Kink denied the grievance and neither Livingston, Kink, nor John Doe #3 corrected the issue.

         Plaintiff also alleges that his funds were improperly restricted by several Jane Doe Nurses at Lawrence: On April 12, 2017, Plaintiff's funds were restricted because Jane Doe #1 made him sign a voucher for a co-pay during his visit despite the fact that his medical condition was chronic and he did not have to pay a co-pay. (Id. at pp. 12-13). Jane Doe #1 never reimbursed Plaintiff for the co-pay. In August 2018, Plaintiff's funds were again restricted as a result of a healthcare visit with Jane Doe #2. His funds were restricted in November 2018 when he signed a co-pay voucher during a healthcare visit with Jane Doe #3. None of the Jane Doe nurses reimbursed Plaintiff for the co-pays. Nick Lamb also failed to provide Plaintiff with any relief. (Id. at p. 13).

         Based on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into the following Counts:

Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Lamb, Gowns, and Iboden for the deprivation of Plaintiff's unassigned pay without due process.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment claim against John Doe #1, John Doe #2, John Doe #3, McQueen, Kink, Livingston, Lamb, and Brashear for deprivation of Plaintiff's property without due process.
Count 3: First Amendment claim against McQueen for selectively shaking down Plaintiff's cell in May 2017 in ...

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