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Brand v. Robinson

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 11, 2019

CORSETTI BRAND, Plaintiff,
v.
LIEUTENANT ROBINSON and C/O JOHN DOE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Dnancy J. Rosenstengel Chief U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff Corsetti Brand, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights while he was incarcerated at Centralia Correctional Center. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Lieutenant Robinson used excessive force against him. He asserts claims against the defendant under the First and Eighth Amendments. 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 May 22, 2019, Plaintiff was escorted to internal affairs and met with Lieutenant Robinson and a number of John Doe Correctional Officers (Doc. 1, p. 7). They questioned him about a statement he made on May 21, 2019, and when he refused to submit to a voice stress analysis, they handcuffed him, shackled his ankles, pushed him to his knees, and punched and kneed him in the head and shoulders (Id.). Some of the John Doe officers failed to intervene while Robinson and the other John Does beat Plaintiff (Id. at pp. 7-8). Plaintiff alleges that the excessive force used against him was in retaliation for Plaintiff exercising his First Amendment right to refuse a voice analysis test.

         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: Lieutenant Robinson used excessive force against Plaintiff in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Count 2: Lieutenant Robinson retaliated against Plaintiff in violation of the First Amendment.
Count 3: Lieutenant Robinson committed an assault and battery against Plaintiff under Illinois state law.

         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 Dismissals

         Plaintiff has identified groups of individuals, such as John Doe Correctional Officers, as defendants, which is improper. To state a Section 1983 claim against an individual or entity, Plaintiff must specifically identify them, by name or Doe designation. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).[2] Here, Plaintiff has only identified a group of correctional officers without providing any identifying information or even the number of correctional officers involved in the use of excessive force against Plaintiff. Accordingly, the John Doe Correctional Officers are DISMISSED without prejudice.

         Coun ...


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