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Walker v. Thompson

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 4, 2019

ARDELL WALKER, Jr., #M53100, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Ardell Walker, Jr., an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") who is currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center ("Pinckneyville"), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement at Pinckneyville. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6, 8). Plaintiff complains about his placement in an unsafe and unsanitary cell. (Id). He seeks money damages and release from confinement.[1] (Id. at p. 9).

         The Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner Complaints and filter out non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § l9l5A(a). Any portion of a 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. § l9l5A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations are liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint: Plaintiff has been diagnosed with a seizure disorder and takes medication to manage the condition. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6, 8). Despite this diagnosis, he was placed in a single cell without a cellmate at Pinckneyville on May 3, 2019. (Id). Two days later, he suffered a seizure that caused him to fall and bruise his face. (Id). When Plaintiff regained consciousness, he discovered that no one was in the area to assist him. (Id).

         Plaintiff filed an emergency grievance with Warden Thompson 25 days later on May 30, 2019. (Id). He pointed out that he could have suffered more serious injuries, including death on May 5, 2019. (Id). He also complained about his dirty cell and the lack of available cleaning supplies. (Id). Plaintiff did not request any relief such as a cellmate, a cell transfer, medication adjustment, or cleaning supplies. (Id). Warden Thompson denied the emergency grievance on June 4, 2019 and instructed Plaintiff to resubmit it in the normal manner. (Id. at p. 5). Plaintiff filed this action the same month. (Id. at p. 9).

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se Complaint into the following Counts:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim for unconstitutional conditions of confinement against Warden Thompson for allowing Plaintiff to be placed in a single cell without a cellmate despite his diagnosis with a seizure disorder at Pinckneyville on May 3, 2019.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim for unconstitutional conditions of confinement against Warden Thompson for allowing Plaintiff to be placed in a dirty cell without access to cleaning supplies at Pinckneyville on May 3, 2019.
Count 3: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against Warden Thompson for ignoring Plaintiffs need for additional medical treatment for his seizure disorder following his seizure on May 5, 2019.
Count 4: Fourteenth Amendment due process claim against Warden Thompson for denying, delaying, or otherwise mishandling Plaintiffs emergency grievance dated May 30, 2019.

         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. Any claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed herein is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly [2]

         Discussion

         Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on personal liability and predicated upon fault. Pepper v. Village of Oak Park,430 F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005). An individual defendant will not be liable unless he or she "caused or participated" in a constitutional deprivation. ...


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