United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tony Stork, an inmate at White County Jail located in Carmi,
Illinois, filed a Complaint in the Circuit Court for the
Second Judicial Circuit for Lawrence County, Illinois. (Doc.
1-1). Plaintiff claims that during his detention at Lawrence
County Jail, he was placed in the “drunk tank” on
suicide watch for six days without clothing or bedding while
the Jail Administrator went on vacation in December 2018.
(Id. at pp. 2-8). Plaintiff brings claims under
federal and state law against Russell Adams (sheriff), Karen
Adams (jail administrator), and Tracy Peters (officer).
(Id.). He seeks monetary relief. (Id. at p.
removed the case to this federal judicial district pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441, 1331, and 1343 on July 3,
2019. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff made no objection, and the Court
finds that removal is proper. Accordingly, the Complaint is now
subject to preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
1915A requires the Court to screen prisoner complaints to
filter out non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
Any portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous,
malicious, meritless, 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). At this juncture, the
factual allegations of the pro se complaint are
liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
makes the following allegations in the Complaint: Plaintiff
wrote an article about Lawrence County Jail that was
published in the local newspaper on or around December 1,
2018. (Doc. 1-1, p. 4). After learning of the article and a
local church’s donations, Jail Administrator Adams told
Plaintiff that the article and donations were “not
appreciated” and that Sheriff Adams had authorized her
to reject all Christmas donations from the church.
(Id.). Jail Administrator Adams also informed
Plaintiff that he would be denied access to the Jail’s
law library until the following Tuesday. (Id.).
admittedly “lost control” and began screaming
obscenities at Jail Administrator Adams. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 4-5).
She summoned several officers to Plaintiff’s cell.
(Id.) Jail Administrator Adams and Officer Peters
then forced Plaintiff to remove his clothing, by threatening
to shoot him with a taser if he refused. (Id. at p.
2). Plaintiff was placed on suicide watch without cause and
in violation of state regulations. (Id.). He was
housed in the Jail’s segregated drunk tank for five or
six days while Jail Administrator Adams went on vacation.
(Id. at pp. 2-8). Plaintiff was denied all
clothing and bedding. Officer Peters checked on him
and acknowledged that he presented no suicide risk but still
denied him these items. (Id.).
on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to
designate the following seven (7) Counts in the Complaint:
Count 1: Retaliation claim against
Defendants for denying Plaintiff law library access and
transferring him to the drunk tank on suicide watch because
he wrote an article about the Jail for the local newspaper in
Count 2: Unconstitutional conditions of
confinement claim against Defendants for depriving Plaintiff
of clothing, bedding, and blankets while he was in the drunk
tank in December 2018.
Count 3: Excessive force claim against
Defendants Karen Adams and Tracy Peters for threatening use
of a taser on Plaintiff if he did not remove all clothing in
their presence in December 2018.
Count 4: Prison Rape Elimination Act claim
against Defendants Karen Adams and Tracy Peters.
Count 5: Claim against Defendants for
placing Plaintiff on suicide watch without cause and without