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Brownleee v. Yates

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 17, 2019

DEMARO BROWNLEE, Plaintiff,
v.
DYLAN YATES, C/O KENNEDY, and CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER DIXON SPRINGS BOOT CAMP DETENTION CENTER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF JUDGE

         Plaintiff Demaro Brownlee is an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections who is currently incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged constitutional deprivations which occurred while he was an inmate at the Dixon Springs Boot Camp Detention Center (“Dixon Springs”). In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the defendants used excessive force against him in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.

         This 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).

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations: While an inmate at Dixon Springs on December 20, 2018, Plaintiff and other inmates were ordered to run to chairs for haircuts. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Dylan Yates and Corrections Officer (“C/O”) Kennedy were waiting when Plaintiff approached the chair, and Kennedy instructed Plaintiff to “sink like a stone” in the chair. Once in the chair, Yates pulled Plaintiff out of his chair by the shirt collar and told an inmate standing nearby to leave as he would not want to see what followed. (Id.). Yates then struck Plaintiff with a forehand slap so hard that Plaintiff almost lost consciousness. Yates hit Plaintiff again with a backhand slap causing ringing in Plaintiff’s ears. Both Yates and Kennedy began yelling insults and conflicting commands that Plaintiff did not understand. (Id.). Plaintiff continued to respond “yes sir” to their commands. Yates then threw Plaintiff back into the chair. During the course of the assault by Yates and Kennedy, both defendants yelled insults of a sexual nature at Plaintiff. (Id. at p. 7).

         After Plaintiff was thrown back into the chair, Yates asked him if his “stupid bitch ass understood ‘sink like a stone’”? (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff did not respond, and Kennedy grabbed Plaintiff by the shirt collar in a choking grip and pulled him back out of the chair. Kennedy pushed Plaintiff into a stall and continued to choke Plaintiff. He continued to threaten violence and yell insults of a sexual nature. (Id.).

         After the assault, the defendants completed Plaintiff’s haircut and forced him to pick up his cut hair from the floor. (Doc. 1, p. 7). While Plaintiff picked up the hair, both defendants kicked the hair around making Plaintiff’s attempts to gather the hair more difficult. They also continued to make sexualized insults and threatened Plaintiff with future assaults. (Id.).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate a single count in this pro se action:

Count 1:Dylan Yates and C/O Kennedy used excessive force against Plaintiff on December 20, 2018 in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         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 should be considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under the Twombly pleading standard.[1]

         Preliminary Dismissals

         Although Plaintiff identifies the Warden/Chief Administrative Officer of Dixon Springs in the caption of his Complaint, he fails to allege any constitutional violation by the Warden/Chief Administrative Officer in the body of his Complaint. Instead, he indicates he has added the Warden/Chief Administrative Officer in order to identify C/O Kennedy’s full name. As the Complaint lacks any allegations against the Warden/Chief Administrative Officer and he is not needed to effectuate service on Kennedy, he is DISMISSED without prejudice.

         Coun ...


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