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Robinson v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 9, 2019

KENYDALE ROBINSON, #R59815, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN BALDWIN, ROB JEFFREYS, FRANK LAWRENCE, JOHN DOE 1, JOHN DOE 2, JOHN DOE 3, JOHN DOE 4, MATTHEW DULANEY, JOSHUA SCHOENBECK, and JASON HART, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Kenydale Robinson, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged constitutional deprivations that occurred during an orange crush tactical team shakedown at Menard in April 2019. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-33). Plaintiff claims he was subjected to excessive force, unfair disciplinary action, and inhumane conditions of confinement. He asserts claims against the defendants for conspiring to violate his First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights and requests monetary damages and injunctive relief.[1] (Id.).

         The 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. 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 liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint (Doc. 1): Extreme overcrowding of inmates in unconstitutional conditions[2] at Menard have caused a sharp rise in inmate violence and prison guard aggression that is well known to Baldwin, Jeffreys, and Lawrence. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-7). Sometime in April 2019, the orange crush tactical team conducted a shakedown at the prison. (Id. at pp. 7, 11-15). Plaintiff was taken in handcuffs to the chapel and subjected to a humiliating and painful strip search. (Id.). He remained cuffed and in pain for hours thereafter. (Id.). When Plaintiff asked to use the restroom, three unknown officers (John Does 1, 2, and 3) responded with excessive force by jerking his cuffs high above his head and beating him. (Id. at pp. 4-15). Warden Lawrence and a fourth officer (John Doe 4) observed the incident but did not intervene. (Id. at p. 15).

         To cover up their alleged misconduct, Officer Matthew Dulaney issued Plaintiff a false disciplinary ticket for disobeying a direct order. (Id. at pp. 15-20, 31). The Adjustment Committee (Joshua Schoenbeck and Jason Hart) found Plaintiff guilty and punished him with one month of segregation, C-grade, and commissary restrictions. (Id.). Plaintiff was subjected to unconstitutional conditions in segregation similar to those he encountered in the general population, i.e., unclean cells, no cleaning supplies, poor ventilation, and extreme temperatures. (Id. at pp. 21-22).

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

Count 1:Eighth Amendment claim against Baldwin, Jeffreys, and Lawrence for turning a blind eye to the inhumane conditions of confinement in the general population cells at Menard. (Id. at pp. 4-7).
Count 2:Eighth Amendment claim against John Does 1, 2, and 3 for using unauthorized force and conducting a humiliating strip search of Plaintiff at Menard on or around April 2019. (Id. at pp. 7, 11-14).
Count 3:Eighth Amendment claim against John Doe 4 and Lawrence for failing to intervene and protect Plaintiff from the humiliating and painful strip search that occurred at Menard in April 2019. (Id. at p. 15).
Count 4:Eighth Amendment claim against Baldwin, Jeffreys, and Lawrence for turning a blind eye to the orange crush tactical team's humiliating, inhumane, and intimidating “nuts to butts” strip searches of Plaintiff and other inmates at Menard. (Id. at pp. 8, 11-15).
Count 5:First Amendment retaliation claim against “facility staff/officers, ” such as Kimberly Butler, for responding with aggression to inmate complaints about the unconstitutional conditions of their confinement. (Id. at p. 9).
Count 6:Fourteenth Amendment claim against Dulaney, Schoenbeck, and Hart for depriving Plaintiff of a protected liberty interest without due process of law by issuing him a false disciplinary ticket and punishing him with one month of segregation, C-grade, and commissary restriction. (Id. at pp. 15-16, 18-20, 31).
Count 7:Eighth Amendment claim against Baldwin and Lawrence for turning a blind eye to the inhumane conditions of confinement in segregation at Menard. (Id. at pp. 21-22).
Count 8:Common law conspiracy claim against Dulaney, Schoenbeck, and Hart for working together to cover up the orange crush team's misconduct by issuing Plaintiff a false disciplinary ticket at Menard on or ...

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