United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Robert Minerly, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), brings
this action for alleged deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks
relief for restrictions on his ability to access the courts
or utilize grievance procedures while incarcerated at Big
Muddy River Correctional Center (“BMRCC”).
Complaint is subject to preliminary review under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, which requires the Court to filter out
non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any
portion of a Complaint that is legally frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or asks for money damages from a defendant who 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 liberally construed.
Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816,
821 (7th Cir. 2009).
claims he was retaliated against and prevented from having
full access to the grievance system or legal system at BMRCC.
Based on the allegations set forth in the Complaint (Doc. 1,
pp. 1-90), which will be addressed in more detail herein, the
Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se
action into the following Counts, consistent with
Plaintiff's designation of his claims in the Complaint:
Count 1: Defendant Nalley seized
Plaintiff's legal materials, issued a disciplinary
ticket, and engaged in a course of harassing conduct against
Plaintiff as retaliation for Plaintiff's grievances about
Count 2: Defendants Nalley, Yates, and
Aparicio entered a conspiracy to prevent Plaintiff from
bringing any claims against them.
Count 3: Defendant Valdez violated
Plaintiff's due process rights when he confronted him in
the shower area of the prison about a disciplinary ticket and
gave him a short disciplinary hearing.
Count 4: Class action claim regarding the
adequacy of the grievance procedures in the IDOC.
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 pled under
the Twombly pleading
alleges that his trouble began as early as 2016 when he
initiated a lawsuit against various IDOC employees (Case No.
16-CV-782). (Doc. 1, p. 8). On April 24, 2017, Nick Nalley
allegedly rummaged through Plaintiff's legal property,
made derogatory comments, and seized the materials in a
plastic trash bag. (Id. at 9). Plaintiff alleges
that among the materials seized, he lost a full draft of a
case he intended to file, as well as his legal books and
dictionary. (Id. at 10). He complained to Warden
Sullivan and other defendants and was ultimately granted a
pass to visit Nalley's office. (Id.). Nalley
allegedly verbally harassed Plaintiff about existing lawsuits
and the possibility that Plaintiff would file more in the
future. (Id.). Plaintiff was allowed to retrieve
some of his legal materials from a cart. (Id.).
Nalley ultimately wrote Plaintiff a ticket for possession
next day, Plaintiff learned from another inmate that Mezo and
Nalley were planning to move him from one cell to another as
retaliation. (Id.). Plaintiff complained to the
librarian, Jenny Wilson, and wrote to his lawyer about the
retaliation. (Id.). On April 26, 2017, Plaintiff was
summoned from the prison kitchen to move his belongings to a
new cell. (Id.). During the move, he notified Mezo
that he would conduct a hunger strike to protest the move.
(Id.). In response, Mezo wrote a disciplinary ticket
on April 27, 2017 and put Plaintiff in segregation.
Plaintiff was in segregation, Valdez came to the shower area
on April 28, 2017 and briefly asked Plaintiff about the
contraband disciplinary ticket from Nalley. (Id. at
12). Shortly after his shower, Plaintiff was taken to a
disciplinary hearing about the ticket from Mezo.
(Id.). He was found not guilty of the Mezo ticket.
(Id.). He continued a hunger strike during this
April 29, 2017, Lieutenant Berkley tried to speak to
Plaintiff about the hunger strike to no avail. (Id.
at 13). On the same day, Warden Jason Garnett spoke with
Plaintiff about the hunger strike and his housing location.
(Id.). Plaintiff informed Garnett about the
retaliation and other conduct by Mezo and Nalley.
(Id.). Garnett indicated that he did not want to
return Plaintiff to his normal housing unit because of
potential retaliation, but he agreed to move Plaintiff's
old cellmate so that they could be housed together in
exchange for ...