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Alvarado-Gonzalez v. Thompson

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 27, 2019




         Plaintiff Juan Alvarado-Gonzalez, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”), brings this action for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). He asserts an Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim and a state law intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 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). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         The following allegations are taken from the Complaint and the attached documents: Plaintiff entered IDOC in 2018 and was incarcerated at Pinckneyville. (Doc. 1-1, p. 11). He was sexually assaulted in January and February 2018 by his first cellmate and in March and/or April 2018 by his second cellmate. (Doc. 1, p. 8; Doc. 1-1, p. 6-8). On May 14, 2018, his cellmate choked him. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 18, 20-21). He complained to Defendants and was placed in segregation under the guise of an investigation. (Doc. 1, p. 8). During a psychiatric exam on May 30, 2018, he told Dr. Kathryn Adams that his cellmate choked him because of the nature of his criminal conviction. (Id. at 22). He also told her that he had been sexually abused by other inmates. (Id. at 26). In August 2018, he wrote grievances to Counselor Hill “about PREA” and the incident where his cellmate choked him. (Id. at 7).

         In October 2018 another cellmate broke his nose. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 29-30, 39). During a psychiatric exam on November 19, 2018, he told Dr. Phyumar Hla that he was feeling more depressed because his cellmate broke his nose before being released and now he is in segregation. (Id. at 30, 34).

         On November 29, 2018, he wrote to Frank/IA Office asking to be moved to another cell but no one responded. (Doc. 1-1, p. 7). He wrote a grievance in December 2018 regarding the sexual assaults by his first two cellmates. (Doc. 1-1, p. 38). On December 14, 2018, during a mental health exam, he told Molly McElvain he had been assaulted three times while in prison. (Doc. 1-1, p. 39). In January 2019, he wrote a grievance complaining that he had been sexually assaulted and had his nose broken but staff will not protect him because of the nature of his criminal conviction. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 9-10). Also, his claims have been misinterpreted because there is not a Spanish interpreter. (Id. at 10).

         Plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress because of Defendants' extreme, outrageous conduct. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Defendants failed to intervene to prevent Plaintiff's cellmates from sexually and physically assaulting him because of the nature of his criminal conviction. (Id. at 9).

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court divides this action into the following counts:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants for failing to protect him from the sexual and physical assaults by his cellmates.
Count 2: State law intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.

         The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designations do not constitute an opinion regarding their merit. 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 standard.[[1]]


         For the reasons explained below, the Complaint does not survive preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and will be dismissed. Plaintiff's statement of claim, which contains only three numbered paragraphs, does not provide any factual detail and fails to associate his allegations with any individual Defendants. (Doc. 1, pp. 8-9). Instead, it contains conclusory and collective allegations that Defendants violated his constitutional rights because he was sexually and physical assaulted by his cellmates. (Id.) Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on personal liability and predicated upon fault. Therefore, “to be liable under § 1983, the individual defendant must have caused or participated in a constitutional deprivation.” Pepper v. Village of Oak Park,430 F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005). To state a claim against a defendant, a plaintiff must describe what the defendant did or failed to do that violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights. The plaintiff is also required to associate specific defendants with specific claims so that defendants are put on notice of the claims brought against them and they can properly answer the Complaint. Twombly, 550 at 555; FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 pleading standards, the Complaint must include a short, plain statement of the case against each individual. An allegation that a group of ...

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