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Oliver v. Rensing

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 27, 2019

KING MICHAEL OLIVER, also known as MICHAEL OLIVER, #B89925, Plaintiff,
v.
LT. RENSING, SGT. RITCHEY, and AARON J. CONEY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Michael Oliver, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for constitutional deprivations at Vandalia Correctional Center (“Vandalia”). (Doc. 1, pp. 1-6). Oliver claims that Defendants retaliated against him for filing a grievance by forcefully removing him from his cell in handcuffs, attempting to take his legal mail, and placing him in segregation. (Id. at pp. 1-2). They also denied medical treatment for his resulting injuries. Oliver seeks money damages and emergency relief.[1] (Id. at pp. 2-3).

         The Complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to 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 seeks money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         The Complaint

         On July 15, 2019, Oliver filed a grievance against Lieutenant Rensing after he threw Oliver’s Bible on the floor. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-3). The following day, Rensing retaliated against Oliver by forcefully removing him from his cell. (Id. at pp. 1-2). The officer cuffed Oliver’s wrists tightly, slammed him into a wall, and applied pressure to his neck and back. (Id. at p. 2). Meanwhile, Sergeant Ritchey and Officer Coney entered Oliver’s cell and attempted to take his legal mail, but Officer Samson stopped them.[2] (Id.). Defendants provided no medical treatment for Oliver’s bruised wrists, sore neck, or back injury, instead allowing him “wallow in [his] pain and suffering.” (Id.). The incident “landed” Oliver in segregation on July 22, 2019. (Id. at p. 1). Rather than filing a grievance to address these issues, Oliver prepared the underlying Complaint on July 16, 2019. (Id. at p. 4).

         Based on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se Complaint into the following Counts:

Count 1: First Amendment retaliation claim against Rensing for responding to Oliver’s grievance filed July 15, 2019, by tightly cuffing Oliver’s wrists and forcing him from his cell on July 16, 2019.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim against Rensing for using excessive force against Oliver while removing him from his cell on July 16, 2019.
Count 3: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against Ritchey and Coney for attempting to take Oliver’s legal mail on July 16, 2019.
Count 4: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs claim against Rensing, Ritchey, and Coney for allowing Oliver to “wallow in [his] pain and suffering” following the incident on July 16, 2019.

         Any claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed herein is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[3]

         Discussion

         Oliver filed his Complaint prematurely. He prepared it on July 16, 2019-before the events giving rise to Counts 3 and 4 came to pass and on the same date the events giving rise to Counts 1 and 2 occurred. (Doc. 1). He admittedly made no effort to address these claims at Vandalia by filing grievances ...


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