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Lisle v. Lawrence

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 3, 2019

STEVEN D. LISLE, #R40159, Plaintiff,
v.
FRANK LAWRENCE, LIEUTENANT G, MAJOR DOE, TAYLOR, Internal Affairs NURSE MARRYANN, JOHN DOE, Officer, JOHN DOE, Internal Affairs Officer, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Steven Lisle, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) is currently incarcerated at Dixon Correctional Center. He originally filed this civil rights action as Lisle v. Lieutenant G, et al., (No. 19-cv-427-SMY) related to incidents that occurred when he was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”). After screening the Complaint, the Court severed a number of Plaintiff's claims into a separate action against Defendants Warden Frank Lawrence, Lieutenant G, Major Doe, Taylor, Nurse MarryAnn, Officer John Doe, and Internal Affairs Officer Doe. (Doc. 1). The instant case contains Counts 1 through 5, described as follows:

Count 1: First Amendment retaliation claim against Major Doe for physically assaulting Plaintiff on March 29, 2019 in retaliation for filing a lawsuit against Nurse Chitty.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Major Doe and Officer Doe for slamming Plaintiff's hand in the chuckhole door and attempting to break his arm on March 29, 2019.
Count 3: Eighth Amendment claim against Nurse MarryAnn for failing to intervene to stop Major Doe and Officer Doe from using excessive force against Plaintiff on March 29, 2019.
Count 4: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Major Doe, Officer Doe, and Nurse MarryAnn for denying Plaintiff medical and/or mental health treatment for the injuries they inflicted and he self-inflicted on March 29, 2019.
Count 5: Illinois state law claim against Internal Affairs Officer Taylor, Internal Affairs Officer Doe, Lieutenant G, and Warden Lawrence for negligent spoliation of video footage of the physical assault that occurred on March 29, 2019.

         Plaintiff's claims in this severed case are now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint under 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).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint: Plaintiff is a seriously mentally ill inmate with a well-documented history of suicide attempts involving the ingestion of sharp objects. His struggles to obtain mental health and medical treatment, which is the subject of ongoing litigation in this District. (Doc. 2, p. 25) (listing cases).

         On March 29, 2019, Plaintiff was physically assaulted by Major Doe in retaliation for filing a lawsuit to challenge the manner in which his medication was administered.[1] (Id. at pp. 3-7). As Nurse MarryAnn handed Plaintiff his medication through the chuckhole door, Major Doe and Officer Doe slammed the door and punched the medication from his hand. They continued to punch and slam his arm in an attempt to break it. Plaintiff's arm was cut, bruised, and bloody. (Id. at p. 3). All three Defendants denied Plaintiff adequate medical treatment for his injuries. (Id. at pp. 6-7).

         In addition to the injuries he sustained during the staff assault, Plaintiff suffered self-inflicted injuries. The three Defendants were aware that Plaintiff was recently taken off of suicide watch and was still in a “fragile” mental state. They observed Plaintiff use sharp metal objects to cut his arm until it bled and swallow available glass, paper clips, metal, and screws until he coughed up blood. Even so, they refused to provide him with access to medical care or mental health treatment on March 29, 2019. (Id.). Internal Affairs Officer Taylor, Internal Affairs Officer Doe, Lieutenant G, and Warden Frank Lawrence were aware of the assault and Plaintiff's request that video evidence be preserved but failed to preserve video footage from March 29, 2019. (Id. at pp. 9-11).

         Preliminary Dismissals

         Plaintiff asserts claims against each defendant in his or her individual and official capacities (Doc. 2, p. 2). However, when a plaintiff seeks monetary damages against a state official, he must bring the suit against the official in his or her individual capacity. Brown v. Budz, 904 F.3d 904, 918 (7th Cir. 2005); Shockley v. Jones, 823 F.2d 1068, 1070 (7th Cir. 1987). This is because §1983 creates a federal remedy against any “person” who, under color of state law, deprives “any citizen of the United States...of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws.” Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc. v. Commissioner of Indiana State Dep't. Health, 699 F.3d 962, 972 (7th Cir. 2012) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). “Neither a State nor its officials acting in their official capacities are ‘persons' under [Section] 1983.” Will v. ...


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