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Williams v. Catt

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 21, 2019

MONTEZ RASHAAD WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
ANGELA J. CATT, RICHARD L. NIDEY, DAVID W. RAINS, PATTY THULL, JOHN R. BALDWIN, and ROBINSON CORRECTIONAL CENTER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Montez Rashaad Williams brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights that occurred when he was an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections incarcerated at Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”). He asserts claims related to a dispute over prison issued boots and disciplinary proceedings. He seeks monetary damages.[1] Id.

         This case is before the Court for preliminary review of the Amended Complaint[2] under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims.[3] 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Amended Complaint: When Plaintiff arrived at Robinson in 2016, he was issued items of clothing including state blues, underwear, socks, and boots. He was given documents to sign to acknowledge receipt of the items, but was not given notice that he would have to pay for the items. Plaintiff was assigned to a bunk bed with a small foot locker where he kept the boots. One day, he noticed the boots were missing and told a C/O the boots had been stolen.

         On February 6, 2018, Plaintiff was called to clothing to be processed for transfer to East Moline Correctional Center. He turned in the items of clothing in his possession. Clothing Room Supervisor Angela Catt asked for the boots and he told her they were stolen. Catt asked him why he had not reported them stolen and he replied that he had reported it to a C/O. Catt advised him he had to pay for the missing boots. He asked her for the law that states he has to pay for property that was stolen. In response, Catt yelled at him using profane language and ordered him to sit down. Other staff members arrived, and he was told he should not have asked Catt for the law and that he had been disrespectful. He later received a disciplinary ticket for disobeying a direct order.

         Plaintiff believes there were numerous due process and administrative code violations during the disciplinary hearing on the ticket: a counseling staff member should have been present; there should have been two people on the committee; Plaintiff had a right to call witnesses; and there should have been one minority on the committee. Program Committee Officer Richard Nidey told Plaintiff he would not investigate or call any witnesses.

         On February 7, 2018, Plaintiff told Warden David Rains about Catt's misconduct. Rains was dismissive and indifferent. Plaintiff went to the Internal Affairs Office to talk to them about a different matter and brought up Catt's misconduct. He was told not to question staff like he had done with Catt.

         After transfer to East Moline, Plaintiff filed a grievance directly with the Administrative Review Board. ARB member Patty Thull sent him a response denying the grievance and Director Baldwin concurred. At some point, $11.60 was taken from his trust account to pay for the boots.

         Based on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate the following Counts:

Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment claim against all Defendants for due process and administrative code violations in connection with the disciplinary proceedings.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment property loss claim for the $11.60 that was taken from Plaintiff's trust fund account to pay for boots.

         The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of the Court. The designations do not constitute an opinion regarding their merit.

         Preliminary ...


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