United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
KING MICHAEL OLIVER, also known as MICHAEL OLIVER, #B89925, Plaintiff,
SGT. MORELAND, C/O WITT, C/O HUBER, C/O WELLS, SGT. MELTON, LT. J. SAMS, C/O VICKERS, SGT. MELCHERT, LT. SEAGO, C/O REINCKE, SGT. BERGBOWER, MAJOR MILES, ELAIN R. DONAHUE, WARDEN OF GRAHAM CORRECTIONAL CENTER, and INMATE MONTE RICHIE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court for preliminary review of the
First Amended Petition (“First Amended
Complaint”) filed by Plaintiff Michael Oliver. (Doc.
10, pp. 1-32). Plaintiff claims that Graham Correctional
Center (“Graham”) officials conspired with an
inmate to murder him in retaliation for filing grievances in
May 2019. He seeks monetary and equitable relief.
(Id. at p. 12).
First Amended Complaint is subject to screening under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. Section 1915A requires the Court to
screen prisoner complaints and filter out non-meritorious
claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint
that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for money
damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such
relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: Plaintiff describes an elaborate conspiracy by
Graham officials to murder him in retaliation for filing
grievances. (Doc. 10, pp. 1-30). In May 2019, Plaintiff filed
one or more grievances to complain about the conditions of
his confinement. (Id.). He complained of a single
chicken-less food tray, several cold showers, and a bar of
soap that irritated his skin. (Id.) Graham officials
and Inmate Richie responded to the grievances by plotting to
poison Plaintiff and/or his cellmate. (Id.).
Plaintiff either refused a poisoned food tray or ingested
poisonous food and survived. (Id.). Either way, the
plot was ineffective. (Id.). Plaintiff survived and
filed this action involving four claims against fifteen
defendants, which he characterizes as:
Count 1: Deprivation of rights under color of state law and
the institutional wide conspiracy to deprive inmates of their
constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment
Count 2: Retaliation against Plaintiff for filing “the
Count 3: Conspiracy to commit murder.
Count 4: Conditions-of-confinement claim.
(See Doc. 10, pp. 1-31). 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 First Amended
Complaint but not addressed herein is considered dismissed
without prejudice as inadequately pled under
First Amended Complaint is legally and factually frivolous. A
claim is considered legally frivolous when it is “based
on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Felton
v. City of Chicago, 827 F.3d 632, 635 (7th Cir. 2016)
(citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28
(1989)). Allegations are factually frivolous when they are
“clearly baseless, ” “fanciful, ”
“fantastic, ” “delusional, ”
“irrational, ” or “wholly
incredible.” Felton, 827 F.3d at 635 (citing
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32-33 (1992)).
Plaintiff's allegations and claims are frivolous under
conspiracy claims are cognizable under Section 1983.
Lewis v. Washington, 300 F.3d 829, 831 (7th Cir.
2002). A civil conspiracy generally consists of “a
combination of two or more persons acting in concert to
commit an unlawful act, or to commit a lawful act by unlawful
means.” Beaman v. Freesmeyer, 776 F.3d 500,
510 (7th Cir. 2015) (quoting Scherer v. Balkema, 840
F.2d 437, 441-42 (7th Cir. 1988)). But a civil conspiracy
claim provides no independent basis for liability under
Section 1983. Lewis, 300 F.3d at 831.
case, Plaintiff also asserts claims for retaliation and
unconstitutional conditions of confinement. A First Amendment
retaliation claim arises where an inmate alleges “(1)
he engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment; (2)
he suffered a deprivation likely to deter such activity; and
(3) the First Amendment activity was at least a motivating
factor in the decision to impose the deprivation.”
Hawkins v. Mitchell,756 F.3d 983, 996 (7th Cir.
2014) (citations omitted). An Eighth Amendment claim for
unconstitutional conditions of confinement arises where a
prisoner is exposed to “extreme deprivations”
that deny him the “minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities” and are met with ...