United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JONATHON D. CARVER, Plaintiff,
CHRISTOPHER RAY, BENNIE VICK, and WILLIAMSON COUNTY JAIL, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jonathon D. Carver, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Centralia Correctional Center, brings this
action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for an incident that took place
while Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at Williamson County
Jail (Doc. 1, p. 4). In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges
Defendant Christopher Ray used excessive force against him.
He asserts claims against the defendant under the Fourteenth
Amendment. Plaintiff seeks 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).
Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations: While
Plaintiff was housed in E block at the Williamson County
Jail,  Plaintiff got into a verbal confrontation
with another inmate, Charles Kaegi. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Deputy
Christopher Ray walked up to the two inmates as Kaegi called
Plaintiff a child molester. Plaintiff stepped towards Kaegi
and Deputy Ray grabbed Plaintiff and placed his right hand
behind his back. When Plaintiff attempted to pull his arm
away, Deputy Ray took Plaintiff to the ground and smashed
Plaintiff's face against the floor making it difficult to
breath. Plaintiff turned his head to breath and Deputy Ray
instructed Plaintiff to stop moving and then punched
Plaintiff in the right temple. (Id.). Ray then
cuffed Plaintiff and lifted Plaintiff off the floor.
Plaintiff slipped and his face was again smacked against the
concrete floor. (Id.).
Plaintiff has identified the Williamson County Jail and
Bennie Vick, the sheriff of Williamson County, as Defendants
in the case, he fails to allege in the body of his Complaint
that they violated his constitutional rights. Further, as to
the Williamson County Jail, a jail is not a
“person” under § 1983. Smith v. Knox
Cnty. Jail, 666 F.3d 1037, 1040 (7th Cir. 2012);
Powell v. Cook Cnty. Jail, 814 F.Supp. 757, 758
(N.D. Ill. 1993). It is not a legal entity in the first place
and is therefore not amenable to suit. Williamson County Jail
will therefore be DISMISSED from this action
with prejudice. Bennie Vick is
DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to
state a claim.
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following count:
Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment Claim against Deputy
Christopher Ray for using excessive force against Plaintiff
while a pretrial detainee at the Williamson County
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
Plaintiff was a pre-trial detainee at the time of the
incident, his excessive force claim falls under the
Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause instead of the
Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause.
Lewis v. Downey, 581 F.3d 467, 473 (7th Cir. 2009).
The Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause
“protects a pretrial detainee from the use of excessive
force that amounts to punishment.” Kingsley v.
Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 2473 (2015). To prove that
force was excessive, a “pretrial detainee must show
only that the force purposely or knowingly used against him
was objectively unreasonable.” Id.
Plaintiff alleges that in intercepting a verbal confrontation
with another inmate, Deputy Ray “smash[ed]”
Plaintiff's face into the floor making it difficult to
breath and punched him in the head. Thus, Plaintiff has
adequately alleged an excessive force claim.