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McRoy v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 20, 2019

JAMES McROY, #M12956, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN R. BALDWIN, GLADYSE C. TAYLOR, KAREN JAIMET, SCOTT THOMPSON, DANA NEWTON, AMBER LOOS, CHERYL BOLLING, B. JOHNSON, LT. M. JOHNSON, JOHN/JANE DOES 1-10, Mailroom Personnel, JOHN/JANE DOES 11-20, IDOC Mail Delivers, JOHN/JANE DOES 21-30, U.S. Postal Service Mail Handlers, and JOHN/JANE DOES 31- 5, Placement at PNKCC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

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

         Plaintiff James McRoy, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections who is currently incarcerated at Illinois River Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff asserts violations under the First and Fourteenth Amendments related to access to the prison law library, access to courts, handling of his mail, and retaliation. Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment, monetary damages, and injunctive relief.

         Following review of the Complaint, the Court designated the following claims:

Count 1: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against all defendants for denying Plaintiff access to the courts by interfering with and/or mishandling Plaintiff's mail to and from the courts.
Count 2: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against all defendants for denying Plaintiff access to the courts by failing to provide plaintiff with adequate access to the law library and his excess legal storage boxes.
Count 3: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against all defendants for mishandling or denying grievances and/or for not following administrative procedures.
Count 4: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against Johnson for refusing to mail plaintiff's outgoing legal mail until it could be inspected for contraband.
Count 5: First Amendment retaliation claim against all defendants for moving Plaintiff several times and forcing him to open sealed legal mail.

         The Complaint was dismissed, however, for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff was granted leave to file a First Amended Complaint, which he has done. This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the First Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.[1] 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).

         The First Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the First Amended Complaint: Defendants Newton, Loos, Bolling, and Taylor failed to provide Plaintiff with adequate access to the law library and his excess legal storage boxes. Following his transfer to Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”): (1) he received less access than he needs for his pending cases; (2) he received less access than he received at Stateville Correctional Center; and (3) he has been denied access when he does not have a pending deadline but has numerous active cases. Law librarian Bolling wrote him a disciplinary ticket for insolence in retaliation for him filing grievances regarding law library access. Defendants Baldwin, Jaimet, and Thompson are responsible for, adopted, or personally participated in creating and implementing, procedures, policies, practices, and customs that resulted in denial of access to the law library, legal materials, and the courts.

         John/Jane Does 1-10 (Pinckneyville mailroom personnel), John/Jane Does 11-20 (IDOC mail handlers), and John/Jane Does 21-30 (U.S. Postal Service mail handlers) have mishandled, interfered with, and failed to deliver his legal mail. Additionally, he mailed a pleading to the Illinois Supreme Court that was returned to him because the pages of the documents were in disarray. The returned documents came in two packages and there was a delay in the return of one of the packages and pages were missing. Some of his legal mail was opened in the mailroom. On one occasion, Jaimet refused to allow him to send certified legal mail because he could not pay for the postage in disregard of his indigency. On another occasion, Lieutenant M. Johnson, in retaliation for Plaintiff filing grievances, refused to send out his legal mail until it could be inspected for contraband. Defendants Baldwin, Jaimet, and Thompson are responsible for, adopted, or personally participated in creating and implementing, procedures, policies, practices, and customs that resulted in interference with and mishandling of incoming and outgoing legal mail.

         John/Jane Does 31-35 retaliated against Plaintiff for filing grievances by moving him several times.

         Based on the allegations in the First Amended Complaint, the Court modifies the previously enumerated claims as follows:[2]

Count 1: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against Baldwin, Jaimet, Thompson, Newton, Loos, and John/Jane Does 1-30 for denying Plaintiff access to the courts by interfering with and/or mishandling Plaintiff's mail to and from the courts.
Count 2: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against Baldwin, Jaimet, Newton, Loos, Bolling, and Taylor for denying Plaintiff access to the courts by failing to provide plaintiff with adequate access to the law library and his excess legal storage boxes.
Count 4: First and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against Lieutenant M. Johnson for refusing to mail plaintiff's outgoing legal mail until it ...

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