United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JAMES E. WALKER, #R02343, Plaintiff,
NICK LAMB, GOUNS, KEVIN KINK, A. BLAKE, T. KITTLE, JANE DOE 1, JANE DOE 2, JANE DOE 3, JANE DOE 4, and JOHN DOE 1, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
James E. Walker, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights. He asserts claims
for the denial of access to the grievance process, the law
library and legal materials, and the courts. (Doc. 8, p. 12).
He seeks monetary damages. (Id.)
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Amended 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 requests money damages from a
defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Amended
Complaint: Jane Doe 1, John Doe 1, and Loy failed and/or
refused to respond to Plaintiff's grievances. (Doc. 8,
pp. 10-11). Grievances he filed about the improperly handling
of his grievances were denied by Blake, Kittle, and Kink.
(Id.). Lamb and Kink concurred in the denials of
those grievances. (Id.). Kittle removed and/or
altered documents in two of his grievances. (Id. at
11). Jane Doe 2, who was Jane Doe 1's supervisor, took no
action regarding Jane Doe 1's failure to process his
grievances. (Id. at 10). Law library staff refused
to provide copies of grievances and other legal documents
needed in connection with the filing of grievances.
(Id. at 10). Jane Doe 3 refused to supply Plaintiff
with a copy of a grievance. Plaintiff filed a grievance about
the refusal, Blake denied the grievance, and Lamb concurred
in the denial. (Id.). On one occasion, Kittle
refused to supply Plaintiff with a copy of a grievance during
lockdown. (Id. at 11).
2017 and January 2019, his repeated requests to access the
law library and for copies of legal materials were ignored by
library officials, Jane Doe 4, and Kittle. (Id.) The
denial of access was endorsed by Lamb, Gouns, and Kink.
which require Plaintiff to be confined to his cell for 24
hours a day, impede Plaintiff's access to the law
library. (Id. at 10). He has no access to legal
books and legal exchange where his pleadings and exhibits for
his litigation are stored. (Id.) This practice is
endorsed by Lamb and Gouns. (Id.)
Plaintiff makes allegations against Loy but did not identify
him in the case caption or list of Defendants. Accordingly,
any claim Plaintiff intended to bring against Loy is
dismissed without prejudice. See Myles v. United
States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir. 2005) (holding
that to be properly considered a party, a defendant must be
specified in the caption).
sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities
but seeks only monetary damages. When a plaintiff seeks
monetary damages against a state official, he must bring the
suit against the official in his or her individual capacity.
See Shockley v. Jones, 823 F.2d 1068, 1070 (7th Cir.
1987). Therefore, to the extent Plaintiff attempts to bring
claims for monetary damages against Defendants in their
official capacities, those claims are dismissed with
asserts that the access he has been given to the grievance
process and to the courts is constitutionally inadequate in
violation of the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The
Court cannot discern, and Plaintiff does not articulate, how
the Fifth Amendment applies to the events described in his
Amended Complaint. Thus, Plaintiff's claims shall be
analyzed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and any
claim under the Fifth Amendment is dismissed without
on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, the Court finds
it convenient to divide this action into the following
Count 1: First Amendment claim against Defendants Lamb, Kink,
Blake, Kittle, Loy, Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, and
John Doe 1 for failing to respond to and/or process
Plaintiff's grievances, impeding his ability to file
grievances, denying his grievances, and/or concurring in the
denial of his grievances.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Defendants Lamb,
Kink, Blake, Kittle, Loy, Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3,
and John Doe 1 for failing to respond to and/or process
Plaintiff's grievances, denying his grievances, and/or
concurring in the denial of his grievances.
Count 3: First Amendment claim against Defendants Jane Doe 4,
Kittle, Lamb, Gouns, and Kink for denying Plaintiff access to
the courts by failing to provide plaintiff with access to ...