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Richmond v. C/O Kessler

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 11, 2019

RASHAD K. RICHMOND, Plaintiff,
v.
C/O KESSLER, C/O CRAWFORD, C/O HINTERSCHER, LIEUTENANT DELLINGER, DR. PITTMAN, ZOLLARS, C/O STANLEY, C/O DASH, and LIEUTENANT LIVINGTON, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Rashad K. Richmond, who at the time he filed his Complaint was an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) incarcerated at Hill Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights while he was incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Hinterscher sexually abused him and excessive force was used against him. He asserts claims against the defendants under the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.

         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

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations: On July 11, 2019, Officer Hinterscher escorted Plaintiff from his cell to his daily mental health group (Doc. 1, p. 9). Hinterscher stopped Plaintiff and reached for his groin. Plaintiff alleges that this amounted to sexual abuse and asked Hinterscher what he was doing. Hinterscher informed him that he was performing a search procedure and then grabbed Plaintiff's penis again, after Plaintiff told him he was not conducting the search the right way and was touching his penis (Id.). Plaintiff requested to be placed in the shower and make a Prison Rape Elimination Act (“PREA”) call.

         C/O Crawford, C/O Kessler, and Lt. Dellinger approached, and Plaintiff informed them that he was just sexually abused and he wanted to make a PREA call. Dellinger refused and told Plaintiff he was going back to his cell (Id. at p. 9). All four officers used excessive force on Plaintiff by bending his arms, twisting his wrists, and pulling on his arms and fingers when Plaintiff grabbed ahold of the railing to prevent the officers from taking him to his cell. In his cell, they continued to use excessive force. C/O Kessler shoved Plaintiff by the back of the neck, C/O Crawford grabbed Plaintiff by the hair and put him in a chokehold, and Hinterscher wrapped chains around his neck preventing him from breathing (Id. at p. 10). After Plaintiff was knocked to the floor, they then hit him in the head and back numerous times. Plaintiff passed out from an anxiety attack and he was taken to the healthcare unit. He was released by Dr. Pittman after Pittman deemed his vitals were stable, but Pittman did not check Plaintiff for injuries. He was placed on crisis watch by mental health professional Zollar after she was informed by the correctional officers that Plaintiff said he was going to kill himself (Id. at p. 11). Zollar did not see Plaintiff during the altercation.

         Plaintiff spent two weeks on crisis watch and could not eat because his tonsils were sore from being chocked by the officers. He asked C/O Stanley, C/O Dash, and Lt. Livingston for medical care on a number of occasions while on crisis watch but they refused (Id. at p. 11). Plaintiff missed 21 meals because he could not eat.

         Discussion

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

Count 1: Hinterscher sexually abused Plaintiff in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 2: Hinterscher, Crawford, Kessler, and Lt. Dellinger used excessive force on Plaintiff in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 3: Stanley, Dash, and Lt Livington were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's injuries and his inability to eat in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         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]

         Preliminary ...


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