United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. Yandle United States District Judge
Daniel Morales, who was an inmate of the Illinois Department
of Corrections (“IDOC”) at the time he filed his
Complaint but has since been released, brings this action for
alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges Nicholas McCraw
retaliated against him in violation of the First Amendment
and Defendants Mark E. Bramm, Michael L. Tyus, Christine N.
Brannon, Joe Terronez, Todd Pustelnik, Sherry Benton, John
Baldwin, Nicole Genisio, and Hassan Marr violated his due
process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff
seeks declaratory judgment and monetary damages.
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).
Plaintiff makes the following allegations in his Complaint
(Doc. 1): On April 25, 2018, while Plaintiff was housed at
East Moline Correctional Center (“East Moline”),
Defendant Nicholas McCraw noted that Plaintiff had covered
his cell door window and opened the door to find Plaintiff
masturbating. (Id. at p. 2). Plaintiff covered his
door window to prevent anyone outside of his cell from seeing
him masturbate. When McCraw confronted Plaintiff, he made
comments which Plaintiff considered to be sexual in nature
and to be a request for sexual favors. McCraw also stated
that he was not going to write Plaintiff up for covering his
window. Plaintiff felt uncomfortable with McCraw's
statements and called the Prison Rape Elimination Act
(“PREA”) hotline to report McCraw. When McCraw
learned about Plaintiff's report to the PREA hotline, he
retaliated against Plaintiff by writing Plaintiff a ticket
for impairment of surveillance and unauthorized movement for
covering his cell door window. McCraw wrote two additional
tickets against Plaintiff in retaliation for Plaintiff's
actions. (Id. at p. 3).
due process rights were violated during the disciplinary
proceedings for the tickets issued by McCraw. The Adjustment
Committee violated a number of provisions in the
Administrative Code, including not having a counseling staff
member on the Adjustment Committee. (Id. at p. 3).
They used the offender disciplinary report in part to find
Plaintiff's guilt, and IDOC rules prevent them from
relying solely on the report. (Id.). Plaintiff wrote
grievances but the counselors, director, ARB, and the warden
refused to review the record of proceedings and ultimately
determined that there was nothing wrong with the disciplinary
proceedings. (Id. at p.
grievance officials violated his due process rights by
upholding the disciplinary proceedings. (Id.).
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following Counts:
Count 1: Nicholas McCraw retaliated against Plaintiff
in violation of the First Amendment by
issuing Plaintiff disciplinary reports in response to
Plaintiff calling the PREA hotline to report McCraw.
Count 2: Mark Bramm and Michael Tyus violated
Plaintiff's due process rights under the
Fourteenth Amendment during the disciplinary proceedings on
Plaintiff's disciplinary reports.
Count 3: Christine Brannon, Joe Terronez, Todd
Pustelnik, Sherry Benton, John R. Baldwin,
Nicole Genisio, and Hassan Marr violated Plaintiff's due
process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by denying
Plaintiff's grievances challenging his disciplinary
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
states a viable claim for retaliation against McCraw as he
alleges that McCraw wrote several disciplinary tickets in
retaliation for Plaintiff reporting him to the PREA hotline.
Gomez v. Randle, 680 F.3d 859, 866 (7th Cir. 2012);
McElroy v. Lopac, 403 F.3d 855, 858 (7th Cir. 2005);
Antoine v. Ramos, 4 ...