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Jordan v. Lashbrook

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 19, 2019

DONALD JORDAN, #B66331, Plaintiff,
v.
JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff Donald Jordan's request for a preliminary injunction. (Docs. 6 and 19). For the reasons set forth below, relief is denied at this time, but Jordan may renew his request if it becomes necessary to do so during the pending action.

         Findings of Fact

          Donald Jordan is an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center (“Pontiac”). (Docs. 1 and 18). Jordan filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 while he was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”) on March 14, 2019. (Doc. 1). In the Complaint, Jordan brings claims against Menard officials who failed to protect him from other inmates (including Inmate Peoples) after his status as a former government informant was revealed. Jordan seeks money damages and injunctive relief that includes: (A) a transfer to Pontiac or Stateville; (B) placement in protective custody (“PC”); (C) single cell status without a cellmate; (D) a “keep separate from” (“KSF”) order with respect to Inmate Peoples; and (E) an order prohibiting retaliation by prison staff. (Id.).

         The Court screened the Complaint and allowed Jordan to proceed with the following claims:

Count 1: John Baldwin, Jacqueline Lashbrook, Officer Purdue, Officer Lauer, Officer Taylor, Officer McCarthy, and Officer Childs failed to protect Jordan from a known risk of harm, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, when they denied his request for protective custody after Menard inmates learned of Jordan's status as a former government informant on and after May 2018.
Count 2: John Baldwin, Frank Lawrence, Krista Alsup, Officer Lauer, Officer Taylor, Officer Gee, and Officer Childs failed to protect Jordan from a known risk of harm, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, when they denied his request for protection (including a “keep separate order”) from Inmate Peoples and determined his PREA complaint was unfounded on and after January 31, 2019.

(Doc. 11, pp. 9-10). Five other claims (Counts 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) were dismissed at screening. (Id.). Jordan's request for interim relief was separately docketed as a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 6) and scheduled for a hearing. Jordan filed a Supplemental Motion (Doc. 19) prior to the hearing.

         Motion Hearing (Docs. 6 and 19)

         At the hearing on April 4, 2019, Jordan testified that he transferred to Pontiac and was placed in PC on or around March 20, 2019-less than a week after filing the Complaint. For reasons unknown to the Court, Inmate Peoples transferred to Pontiac as well and was placed in a cell near him. But Jordan testified that the two inmates had gone “their own way, ” and he expressed no concerns about Inmate Peoples or anyone else. Jordan also indicated that his personal property was initially confiscated by Menard officials during his transfer and returned before the hearing. Given this testimony, the Court denied Jordan's TRO request without prejudice, and Jordan has not renewed the request. (Doc. 22). The Court deferred a decision on the preliminary injunction until Defendants responded. (Doc. 23).

         Defendants' Response (Doc. 40)

         Defendants filed a Response to the Motions for Preliminary Injunction on June 17, 2019. (Doc. 40). They characterized several of Jordan's requests as moot, including his request for a prison transfer and placement in PC. (Id. at pp. 3-4). Defendants further argued that Jordan failed to satisfy the requirements for obtaining preliminary injunctive relief with respect to his request for a single cell with no cellmate and a KSF order with respect to Inmate Peoples. (Id. at pp. 3-5). And his remaining requests for relief-i.e., to stop retaliation by Menard staff or misconduct involving non-parties-exceed the scope of this action. (Id. at pp. 4-5). Given the mootness claim, the Court ordered Jordan to file a reply identifying what, if any, requests are moot.

         Plaintiff's Reply (Doc. 46)

         In the Reply filed July 15, 2019, Jordan confirmed that he is still housed in Pontiac's PC. (Doc. 46, p. 1). And, although he remains in a cell without a cellmate, Jordan would like to formalize this arrangement by receiving single cell status. (Id. at pp. 2-3). He believes this formal designation is necessary to avoid an assault like one he endured at Menard. (Id. at p. 3). Jordan also still seeks a KSF order from Inmate Peoples. (Id. at p. 2). He reported harassment and threats by this inmate on or around April 17, 2019. (Id.). At the time, the two inmates were housed next to (or near) one another. (Id.). Pontiac officials (Lieutenant Boland and Sergeant Lewis) responded to Jordan's complaints by moving him to another gallery, and this “relieved the frequent harassment, but not completely.” (Id.). Jordan offers no specifics about ongoing harassment by Inmate Peoples and indicates that ...


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