United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ramon Clark, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”), brings
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights.
Plaintiff claims he was fired from his job as library law
clerk in retaliation for filing a complaint. He requests
monetary damages and injunctive relief .
Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review
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). At this juncture, the
factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to
be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
has filed a motion requesting the Court to dismiss Defendant
Rachel Dodd from this action. (Doc. 5). While amending the
complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 is
generally the proper vehicle for “adding or dropping
parties and claims, ” dismissing this defendant rather
than ordering amendment of the Complaint is in the interest
of judicial economy in this particular case. See Taylor
v. Brown, 787 F.3d 851, 858 (7th Cir. 2015).
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion is
GRANTED and Defendant Dodd is
DISMISSED without prejudice.
makes the following allegations in the Complaint (Doc. 1): On
December 1, 2018, Plaintiff was assigned to Robinson's
law library as its law clerk. (Id. at p. 4). During
his time in the library, Plaintiff was the only law clerk
assigned to assist other inmates with legal documents and was
the only inmate allowed access to the typewriter to assist
others who could not write their legal documents by hand due
to physical impairments or literacy problems. (Id.
at p. 7). The librarian at Robinson expressed concerns about
the amount of legal documents Plaintiff was typing for the
inmates and stated she only had a few typewriter ribbons and
had to save them for petitions for executive clemency. At
Plaintiff's suggestion, the librarian put in a request to
the educational facility administrator, Tammy Smith, asking
that inmates who choose to type their documents be required
to purchase their own typewriter ribbon. (Id. at pp.
7-8). In response to the request, Smith arbitrarily
instructed the librarian to remove all typewriters.
(Id. at p. 8). Plaintiff approached Smith about
being able to use a typewriter to assist inmates with
physical impairments, literacy problems, and who are
non-English speaking. She denied his request and stated that
the inmates “can figure it out on their own and
handwrite it on their own.” (Id. at p. 9). In
the following weeks, Plaintiff was overwhelmed with dozens of
requests for legal assistance and had to turn away several
inmates each day because he could not write all the requested
legal documents by hand. (Id.).
wrote a complaint to Connie Casey, the head of the law
library departments at IDOC, regarding his inability to meet
his responsibilities as law clerk. (Id. at p. 10).
Casey forwarded a memo to Smith regarding the complaint. On
June 4, 2019, Smith fired Plaintiff in retaliation for
writing the complaint. (Id. at p. 11). Plaintiff
filed a grievance regarding the retaliatory conduct, but his
grievance was denied. (Id. at pp. 11-12).
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court designates the
Count 1:First Amendment claim against Smith,
Neese, Lovell, and Burle for firing Plaintiff from his
position as law clerk in retaliation for filing a complaint.
Count 2:Fourteenth Amendment claim against
Neese, Lovell, and Burle for mishandling and denying
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 claim that is
mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed
in this Order is considered dismissed without prejudice as
inadequately pled under