United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TRAVIS T. WILLIAMS, #Y15910, Plaintiff,
ZACHARIAH BUCHANON, C/O EKELBERRY, DEE DEE BROOKHART, AND RUSSELL GOINES, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
H. LEFKOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 
Travis Williams, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings
this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
and the Federal Tort Claims Acts (“FTCA”), 28
U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671-2680. Williams asserts claims
against the defendants for using excessive force against him
on February 27, 2019. He seeks money damages.
complaint is now before the court for preliminary review
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section 1915A(a),
the court is required to screen prisoner complaints to filter
out non-meritorious claims. Any portion of a complaint that
is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on
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 to
be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
Complaint, Williams makes the following allegations (Dkt. 1):
On or around February 27, 2019, Williams was handcuffed and
escorted to the prison dietary unit by orange crush tactical
team officers during a shakedown at Lawrence. When Williams
complained that the handcuffs were cutting off circulation to
his fingers, Sergeant Sean, Sergeant Ekelberry, and
Lieutenant Buchanon responded with excessive force.
three officers grabbed Williams and threw him to the floor.
They beat his shins with wooden sticks. Lieutenant Buchanon
choked Williams, while Sergeant Ekelberry stuck his fingers
down Williams' throat. They slammed his head into walls
and caused him to lose consciousness. When Williams regained
consciousness the first time, Lieutenant Buchanon accused him
of assaulting the officer with his shoulder. Lieutenant
Buchanon then punched Williams in the back of the head until
he lost consciousness a second time. He was placed in a
wheelchair and taken to segregation. Williams received a
disciplinary ticket and found guilty of assault, dangerous
disturbances, and disobeying a direct order. He was punished
with 6 months of lost good conduct credit, 6 months of
C-grade, 6 months of contact visitation restrictions, and 3
months of segregation. Williams brings claims against
Lieutenant Buchanon, Sergeant Ekelberry, Security Warden
Goines, and Chief Warden Brookhart for violations of his
civil rights, retaliation, and destruction of property.
identifies the following two individuals as defendants in the
case caption but omits them from his statement of claim:
Wardens Brookhart and Goines. A plaintiff cannot state a
claim against a defendant simply by including the
individual's name in the caption of the complaint.
Collins v. Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th
Cir. 1998). He also cannot state a § 1983 claim against
a defendant simply because the individual serves in a
supervisory capacity at the prison. The doctrine of
respondeat superior (i.e., liability of supervisor)
does not apply to § 1983 actions. Griffin
v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 244 F.Supp.3d 787,
790 (N.D. Ill. 2016); Monell v. Dep't of
Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018 (1978).
Liability instead hinges on personal responsibility for the
deprivation of a constitutional right. See Kinslow
v. Pullara, 538 F.3d 687, 692 (7th Cir. 2008),
citing Monell v. N.Y. City Dep't of Soc. Servs.,
436 U.S. 658, 6911978). The complaint sets forth no
allegations against the wardens and states no plausible claim
addition, Williams omits the following two individuals from
his case caption but includes them in his statement of claim:
Sergeants Sean and Reed. When parties are not listed in the
caption, this court will not treat them as defendants.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a) (title of the complaint
“must name all the parties”); Myles
v. United States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir.
2005) (defendant must be “specif[ied] . . . in the
caption”). All claims against Sergeants Sean and Reed
are considered dismissed without prejudice. Id.
on the allegations, the court designates the following claims
in this pro se action:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Buchanon and
Ekelberry for using excessive force against Williams on or
around February 27, 2019.
Count 2: First Amendment retaliation claim against Buchanon
Count 3: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Buchanon and
Ekelberry for depriving Williams of his property without ...