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Jones v. Robinson

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 16, 2019

WILLIAM EDWARD JONES, #Y36585, Plaintiff,
v.
JAKE ROBINSON, LT. HANES, JOHN DOE, and DAVID JONES, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff William Edward Jones, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections, who is currently incarcerated at Taylorville Correctional Center, filed an Amended Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivation of his constitutional rights, which occurred while he was a detainee at Jefferson County Justice Center (“Jail”) located in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Plaintiff claims that he was placed in disciplinary segregation in retaliation of filing a lawsuit against Jefferson County Justice Center and that while in segregation he was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement. He seeks monetary damages.

         The Amended 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. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Amended 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 are liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Amended Complaint: While at the Jefferson County Justice Center, officers found a small piece of a coffee square on Plaintiff's bunk and a wire on his bunkmate's bunk. (Doc. 15, p. 6). Plaintiff was charged with starting a fire and possession of contraband and sentenced to 45 days in segregation, while his bunkmate was only charged with possession of contraband and sentenced to 10 days in segregation. Id. When Plaintiff complained that he was being harassed because of a lawsuit that he had previously filed against Jefferson County Justice Center, Lieutenant Hanes laughed at him. Id.

         While in segregation, Plaintiff was placed in a cell that had an inoperative fire sprinkler. The head of the sprinkler had been removed and the water line had been caped off. Id. Plaintiff complained about the issued to Lieutenant Hanes, but was told he would be okay. He then wrote a grievance regarding the issue and was told that the sprinkler part had been order. Id. Plaintiff claims that Lieutenant Hanes put his life in danger by knowingly placing him in a cell where the fire sprinkler had been removed. Id.

         Preliminary Dismissals

         Plaintiff names Jake Robinson, John Doe, and David Jones as defendants, but makes no allegations against them in the body of the Amended Complaint. Plaintiffs are required to associate specific defendants with specific claims, so that defendants are put on notice of the claims brought against them and can properly answer the complaint. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Where a plaintiff has not included a defendant in his statement of the claim, the defendant cannot be said to be adequately put on notice of which claims in the complaint, if any, are directed against him or her. Furthermore, merely invoking the name of a potential defendant is not sufficient to state a claim against that individual. See Collins v. Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998). Accordingly, these Defendants are dismissed from the Amended Complaint without prejudice.

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations summarized above, the Court finds it convenient to designate the following two counts in the pro se action:

Count 1: Defendant Hanes subjected Plaintiff to unconstitutional conditions of confinement by placing him in a cell that did not have a working fire sprinkler.
Count 2: Defendants violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by charging him with contraband and placing him in segregation in retaliation for filing a law suit against Jefferson County Justice Center.

         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 other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed in this Order is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[1]

         Coun ...


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