Peters v. Butler et al
ORDER re 78 Amended Complaint filed by Scott Peters. Signed by Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson on 8/7/2017. (sgp)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
KIMBERLY BUTLER, et al.,
Case No. 3:16-cv-382-NJR-DGW
WILKERSON, Magistrate Judge:
Plaintiff Scott Peters filed a Complaint on March 28, 2016 that was screened pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A on April 8, 2016 (Doc. 11). Pursuant to that screening order, Plaintiff was
permitted to proceed on claims related to his incarceration at the Menard Correctional Center:
Count 1: Defendants Butler and Trost exhibited deliberate indifference toward
Plaintiff, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, when they denied him the use of
any assistive devices or a wheelchair, despite his inability to walk.
Count 3: Defendant IDOC Director failed to accommodate Plaintiff’s disability, in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et
seq., and Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 794-94e.
Count 4: Defendant Butler subjected Plaintiff to unconstitutional conditions of
confinement at Menard, in violation of the Eighth Amendment; and,
Count 5: Defendant Butler failed to intervene and protect Plaintiff from a known
risk of a staff assault at Menard, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
In the same Order, Count 2, claiming that Plaintiff was denied access to medication, was dismissed
without prejudice. Count 6, asserting a due process claim with respect to grievances, was
dismissed with prejudice.
Wexford was dismissed without prejudice and the IDOC was
dismissed with prejudice.
Page 1 of 5
Within the time period permitted by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(1)(B), Plaintiff
filed an amended complaint (Doc. 78) and this matter was stayed pending screening pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A (Doc. 77). The amended complaint is now before the Court for preliminary
review pursuant to § 1915A.
As set forth previously, Section 1915A, provides:
(a) Screening – The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any
event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a
prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a
(b) Grounds for Dismissal – On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims
or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint–
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief
may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
An action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.”
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers
to a claim that any reasonable person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025,
1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it
does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross “the
line between possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At this juncture, the factual allegations of
the pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv.,
577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
Page 2 of 5
The Amended Complaint
According to the amended complaint, and as set forth in his original complaint, Plaintiff is
a disabled veteran who was given a seventy percent disability rating by the Department of
Veterans Affairs. While on military duty, he was ejected and then crushed by a vehicle causing
damage to his spine, pelvis, hips, and legs. As a result he has trouble walking, suffers from
deteriorating health, has degenerative nerve, bone, and joint damage, and chronic and severe pain.
He had been prescribed medications for his conditions, including Neurontin, Meloxicam, Flexeril,
by the Department of Veterans Affairs, a county jail, and Stateville Correctional Center, where he
was previously housed.
However, these medications were discontinued by Dr. Trost and
Wexford when he was transferred to the Menard Correctional Center on March 11, 2016. While
at Stateville CC, Plaintiff was also issued crutches, but a shoulder injury made use of them
impossible and he was given a wheelchair instead. The wheelchair also was confiscated upon
Plaintiff’s transfer to Menard CC.
During the transfer trip, Plaintiff was physically picked up, without an assistive device, and
placed on a bus (that was not configured for disabled inmates) heading for Pinckneyville CC1
where he was carried by C/O Hinley and Unknown others “by the shackles” to segregation and
left on the floor for 3 hours. He states that he was “tormented, abused and slapped” but it is
unclear by whom. He was then transferred to another bus “by the shackles” and taken to Menard
CC by an Unknown Lieutenant and 5 unknown officers. When they came to get him, he was
“told today is the day God performed miracles and would make him walk with no problems.”
When Plaintiff could not walk, they carried him “by the shackles” and he was transported to
Menard CC where “this type of treatment continued.”
Stateville CC is located in Northern Illinois. Pickneyville CC is located in Southern Illinois and
is en route to Menard CC, located on the Missouri/Illinois border.
Page 3 of 5
He was “dragged” upstairs by a Major, placed in a cell and tormented, stomped on by an
unknown C/O, and had his clothes torn away by Others. During these events, his “left shoulder
was torn or separated and remains damaged.” He was then carried by his damaged shoulder and
thrown into segregation because he would not walk; he was told that his medical records did not
reflect that he could not walk even though they indicated that he used an assistive device. He was
released from segregation 10 days later.
Plaintiff then tried to get his medications and a wheelchair from Dr. Trost but they were
not supplied. Defendants Butler and IDOC Director failed to implement policies related to older
He was abused again on March 22, 2016 when he was moved from segregation by C/O
Lindenberg and Others. He was taken to a basement area called “property” and beaten and
kicked – they also tried to kill him by attempting to smother him with a plastic bag. He was then
confined without medication, causing mental, physical, and psychological distress.
Lindenberg, Other Officers, Dr. Trost and C/O Quant then threatened him.
Plaintiff states that he is attempting to conform his pleadings to the first screening Order
and seeks immediate injunctive relief in addition to the reinstatement of Counts 2 and 6. He
claims a due process violation with respect to his placement in segregation (he states that he was
afforded no process prior to being placed in segregation) in addition to a vague ADA claim and an
Eighth Amendment claim. Plaintiff refers to various exhibits, but none were provided with the
amended complaint or filed therewith.
Page 4 of 5
At this juncture, the Court would normally set forth the claims that Plaintiff appears to be
making, ferret out those that do not state a claim, and identify those claims that would proceed in
this lawsuit. However, his amended complaint, despite its brevity, is not clear: it does not provide
the short and plain statements showing that he is entitled to relief as required by Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). Plaintiff lists as Defendants person who are not contained in the body of
the amended complaint (i.e. C/O Gibson, C/O Ripley, Wexford Nurse). A number of his
statements of fact do not appear to be tied to particular Defendants. He is conflating a Rule 65
motion with a complaint. He does not set forth the counts that were listed in the previous
Screening Order. He also provides explanations and extraneous material that need not be
included in a pleading. And, Plaintiff does not know the names of the persons who allegedly
assaulted him and it is unclear that he would be able to use discovery to determine their names.
Finally, it is unclear how any Defendant would be able to file a coherent answer. It appears to the
Court that this matter is now at a juncture where the prosecution is beyond Plaintiff’s ability.
Therefore, in accordance with Santiago v. Walls, 599 F.3d 749 (7th Cir. 2010) and United States v.
Norwood, 602 F.3d 830 (7th Cir. 2010), counsel shall be recruited for Plaintiff by separate order.
DATED: August 7, 2017
DONALD G. WILKERSON
United States Magistrate Judge
Page 5 of 5
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?