United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Rosenstengel Chief U.S. District Judge.
Michael Smith, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the defendants
violated his due process rights and retaliated against him by
issuing and finding him guilty of a false disciplinary
ticket. He asserts claims against the defendants under the
First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff seeks
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints to
filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint that is legally
frivolous, 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).
Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations: On
March 14, 2019 while going to the dining hall, Plaintiff was
approached by Defendants J. Engelage, P. Haithcock-Dukes, and
N. Sanders and asked about the location of his “line
movement” partner. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff stated
that his partner was turned around by guards, but he did not
know why and had no control over his partner. Haithcock-Dukes
and Sanders commented that Plaintiff was mouthy and liked to
sue and Engelage ordered Plaintiff to turn around and cuff
up. (Id.). Plaintiff was placed in mechanical wrist
restraints despite having an active double cuff permit and
requesting to be placed in proper restraints. (Id.
at pp. 11, 14, and 23).
was placed in a segregation cell. Although he requested his
dinner meal from the three officers, he did not receive
dinner and had to wait until the next meal to eat. The
officers placed him in a segregation cell that did not have a
blanket, mattress, pillow, hygiene bag, or running water.
(Id. at pp. 11, 24). Plaintiff wrote several
grievances about his conditions but did not receive a
response. Frank Lawrence and C. Meyer ignored his grievances
and he remained in the cell until March 20, 2019.
(Id. at pp. 12-13, 23). Plaintiff later alleges that
Lawrence deemed the grievances non-emergencies and failed to
release him from segregation. (Id. at p. 13). He
alleges that C. Meyer retaliated against him when she chose
to only process some of his grievances and purposefully
mishandled others which also violated his due process rights.
(Id. at p. 20). He also alleges that Lawrence
retaliated against him by deeming his grievances
non-emergencies. (Id. at p. 16). He wrote numerous
grievances about his conditions of confinement which he
alleges is the basis for the retaliation. (Id. at p.
March 15, 2019, Plaintiff received a disciplinary report
listing Engelage as the reporting officer and Haithcock-Dukes
and Sanders as witnesses. (Doc. 1, p. 12). Plaintiff
requested video/camera footage of the incident in advance of
the hearing. Plaintiff contends that the disciplinary report
issued by Engelage, Hathcock-Dukes, and Sanders was false and
issued in retaliation for Plaintiff responding that he did
not have control over his line partner and that he needed to
be cuffed according to his permit. (Id. at pp. 12,
14). He also alleges that he was denied his dinner meal in
retaliation for his previous statements to the defendants.
(Id. at p. 14).
March 19, 2019 disciplinary hearing, the John Doe Hearing
Officer allegedly denied Plaintiff his due process rights by
not allowing Plaintiff to appear and address the charges
against him. (Doc. 1, pp. 14-15). Joshua Schoenbeck and Jason
N. Hart, members of the adjustment committee, failed to
review the camera footage and allowed the footage to be
destroyed. (Id.). They also did not allow Plaintiff
the opportunity to have staff assistance, call three
witnesses, and denied his request for an extension of time to
prepare for the hearing. (Id. at pp. 15, 25).
Plaintiff alleges that Schoenbeck and Hart retaliated against
him because they had in their possession his grievances when
they made their final ruling and refused to call his
witnesses. (Id. at pp. 15-16). Lawrence signed the
final report of the adjustment committee, finding Plaintiff
guilty. (Id. at p. 16). C. Meyer and E. Carter also
denied his grievance related to the disciplinary procedures,
which he alleges violated his due process rights.
(Id. at p. 15). As a result of the disciplinary
ticket, Plaintiff was placed on C Grade and lost two months
commissary privileges. (Doc. 2, p. 3).
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following eight counts:
Count 1: J. Engelage, P. Haithcock-Dukes, and N. Sanders
retaliated against Plaintiff in violation of the First
Amendment by writing Plaintiff a false disciplinary ticket,
denying him his evening meal, and refusing to double cuff
Count 2: J. Engelage, P. Haithcock-Dukes, N. Sanders, C.
Meyer, and Frank Lawrence were deliberately indifferent under
the Eighth Amendment to Plaintiff's conditions of
confinement while in segregation.
Count 3: J. Engelage, P. Haithcock-Dukes, and N. Sanders were
deliberately indifferent under the Eighth Amendment to
Plaintiff's serious medical needs by refusing to comply
with Plaintiff's medical cuff permit.
Count 4: J. Engelage, P. Haithcock-Dukes, and N. Sanders
violated Plaintiff's due process rights under the
Fourteenth Amendment by issuing Plaintiff a false
Count 5: John Doe Reviewing Officer, Joshua Schoenbeck, Jason
Hart, and Frank Lawrence violated Plaintiff's due process
rights by denying him access to video evidence and denying