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Chavezz v. Senn

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 3, 2019

JULIO CHAVEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY L. SENN, RUSSELL GOINS, DARREN N. WILLIAMS, SHANAE B. MAYBERRY, and DEANNA BROOKHART, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Staci M. Yandle United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Julio Chavez, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment in connection with a disciplinary ticket and visitor ban.

         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

          Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint (Doc. 1): On December 15, 2018 after meeting with his wife in the visiting room, Plaintiff presented himself to Correctional Officer (“C/O”) Anthony Senn for a strip search. (Doc. 1, pp. 7 and 10). During the search, Senn confiscated a silver wedding band but allowed Plaintiff to keep his gold wedding band. (Id. at p. 7). Plaintiff had both rings prior to his arrival at Lawrence. (Id. at p. 10). Although he was issued a shakedown slip, he was informed by Senn that he would not receive a disciplinary ticket but would have to retrieve his wedding band from property. (Id. at p. 7).

         On December 16, 2018, Plaintiff received a disciplinary ticket for contraband and violation of rules. The report falsely assumes that Plaintiff's wife smuggled in the wedding band. (Id. at p. 11). On the following day, December 17, 2018, Plaintiff received notice from Russell Goins that his wife had been permanently banned from visits because she provided him with contraband. (Id. at pp. 7 and 25). This ban occurred without any hearing or proof that Plaintiff's wife had brought contraband into the prison. (Id. at p. 11).

         On December 27, 2018, Plaintiff went before the Adjustment Committee on his December 16, 2018 disciplinary report. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff asked the committee members, Darren Williams and Shanae Mayberry, for two witnesses but neither witness was called. He also requested that the committee view the cameras from the day in question. (Id. at pp. 7 and 26). No. final decision was made that day.

         On January 5, 2019, Plaintiff received the final decision from the committee. The final report notes that the camera footage from the incident was inconclusive. (Id. at p. 26). Plaintiff testified at the hearing that he had both rings prior to his arrival at Lawrence but the shakedown log noted that he entered the visiting room with only one gold band and returned with two bands, one gold and one silver. Plaintiff was found guilty of both infractions and received one-month C Grade, an assignment change, and 2 months visiting restrictions. (Id.). Warden Deanna Brookhart signed off on the discipline. Plaintiff wrote to Brookhart regarding the discipline and his wife's permanent ban, but she never responded to the letter. (Id. at pp. 7, 10-20).

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

Count 1: Anthony L. Senn wrote a false disciplinary ticket in violation of Plaintiff's due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment which resulted in a permanent ban of Plaintiff's wife as a visitor.
Count 2: Russell Goins, Darren N. Williams, Shanae B. Mayberry, and Deanna Brookhart violated Plaintiff's due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment during the disciplinary hearing and in placing a permanent visiting restriction on his wife.

         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]

         Discussion

         Coun ...


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