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Daniels v. Brown

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 27, 2019

DARRIAN DANIELS, #K91046, Plaintiff,
v.
TYSON BROWN, JOHN BALDWIN, and FRANK LAWRENCE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ROSENSTENGEL, Chief Judge

         Plaintiff Darrian Daniels, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard), brings this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his constitutional rights. Daniels claims that he is receiving contaminated food and at times denied food altogether. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief. Along with the Complaint, Daniels filed a motion for a preliminary injunction or protective order. (Doc. 2). Because Daniels did not provide enough facts for the Court to conclude that he would suffer irreparable harm absent injunctive relief, the motion was denied without prejudice. (Doc. 4). Daniels has now filed a second motion for a preliminary injunction or a protective order (Doc. 7).

         Before addressing Daniels's request for emergency injunctive relief, the Court must review the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section 1915A, any portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or requests 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).

         Preliminary Matters

         Daniels has filed two documents titled “Notice to the Court” (Docs. 5 and 6). In the first Notice, Daniels asks for the status of his Complaint. This request will be denied as moot in light of this Order.

         In the second Notice, he states that he mailed the $400.00 filing fee payment to the Court when he filed the Complaint, but did not receive a payment authorization form to prove that the money was taken from his account (Doc. 6, p. 1). The Court has not, however, receive his payment. Regardless, because he seeks immediate emergency injunctive relief, the Court will take up the case now. See Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 689 F.3d 680 (7th Cir. 2012). Daniels must still meet his obligations with regard to the filing fee. To be clear, he must either pay the $400.00 filing fee or submit a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP motion”) in this action, together with his inmate trust fund account statement for the six-month period prior to the filing date of this case, no later than January 23, 2020. If Daniels fails to either pay or submit his IFP motion, this action shall be subject to dismissal for failure to comply with an order of the Court. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).

         Additionally, Daniels claims that he has not received certain notifications of electronic filings (“NEFs”) or documents filed in this case (Doc. 6, p. 1). The Clerk of Court will be ordered to mail Daniels a copy of the docket sheet and a motion to proceed in forma pauperis form. If Daniels requires copies of any documents, he must submit a request to the Clerk of Court in writing by referring to the case number and document number and submitting the required payment of $0.50 per page.

         The Complaint

         In the Complaint, Daniels alleges the following: Since September 5, 2019, in retaliation for filing a previous lawsuit, Correctional Officer Brown has been serving him food trays with feces, dirt, and other substances, and at times refusing to bring him food at all. (Doc. 1, p. 3). He wrote an emergency grievance to the warden at Menard, Frank Lawrence, and letters to the director of IDOC, John Baldwin, but did not receive a response (Id. at p. 5).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate the claims in this case into the following two Counts:

Count 1:Eighth Amendment claim of cruel and unusual punishment against Brown, Baldwin, and Lawrence for serving Daniels contaminated food and denying him food.
Count 2:First Amendment claim against Brown for retaliating against Daniels for filing a lawsuit by serving him contaminated food and denying him food.

         The parties and the Court will use this designation 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 ...


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