Anderson v. Puckett et al
Order for Service of Process upon Adam M. Puckett, Darren N. Williams, Deanna Brookhart, and J. Garrett. Signed by Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel on 5/6/2022. (anp)
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
ADAM M. PUCKETT, DARREN N.
WILLIAMS, DEANNA M.
BROOKHART, and J. GARRETT,
Case No. 21-cv-1166-NJR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSENSTENGEL, Chief Judge:
Plaintiff Philip Anderson, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Hill Correctional Center, brings this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights while at Lawernece
Correctional Center (“Lawrence”). Anderson initially filed a Complaint alleging Defendants
violated his procedural due process rights in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment
(Doc. 1). His Complaint was dismissed for failure to state a claim, and he was granted leave
to amend his Complaint. This matter is before the Court on Anderson’s Amended Complaint
(Doc. 14). His Amended Complaint also alleges a violation of due process rights, as well as a
conditions of confinement claim for the conditions of his segregation cell.
This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Amended 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
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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 Amended Complaint
In his Amended Complaint, Anderson makes the following allegations: On April 27,
2021, Anderson received an investigative status report and was confined in segregation
(Doc. 14, p. 4). On May 7, 2021, he received a disciplinary ticket for introducing drugs into
the institution (Id.).
Adam Puckett was the intelligence officer at Lawernce who conducted the
investigation. Anderson alleges that he failed to conduct a bare minimum investigation into
the charges. Darren Williams was a member of the adjustment committee (Id. at p. 5).
Anderson alleges that he also failed to investigate the disciplinary ticket, even though he had
a full 12 days to investigate prior to the hearing (Id.). J. Garrett signed off on the guilty finding
without investigation (Id. at p. 6). Anderson alleges that if Garrett had properly read the
report, he would have found there was no basis for the charges (Id.). Deanna Brookhart also
signed off on the documents approving the disciplinary report (Id. at p. 5).
Anderson was found guilty of the charge and served 80 days in segregation (Id. at
p. 4). While in segregation, Anderson was denied access to his property, denied commissary
items, writing and reading material, and telephone access. He was also provided with limited
toilet paper and no toothpaste or toothbrush (Id. at pp. 4-5). He was also denied outside
correspondence and privileged correspondence because the claims against him were that he
received drugs through the mail (Id. at pp. 5-6). He also spent three weeks in a cell covered
in feces and lacked a working toilet for several days (Id. at p. 4). He labeled the cell as
condemned (Id. at p. 6).
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The disciplinary ticket was expunged by the Administrative Review Board and
Anderson was released from segregation (Id. at p. 4) .
Based on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, the Court designates the
Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim against
Adam M. Puckett, Darren N. Williams, Deanna Brookhart, and
Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claim against
Adam M. Puckett, Darren N. Williams, Deanna Brookhart, and
J. Garrett for the conditions of his segregation cell.
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 Amended Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under the Twombly
At this stage, Anderson states a viable due process claim against Defendants in Count
1. He alleges that he faced an atypical and significant hardship while in segregation. He also
alleges that Defendants did not properly investigate the ticket and it was not support by the
This includes any potential claim under the First Amendment against Brookhart and Williams for
allegedly denying him access to correspondence. There are no factual allegations to suggest that
Brookhart or Williams were aware that Anderson was denied access to correspondence. Instead,
Anderson merely alleges that Defendants’ actions led him to be denied access to correspondence
which is not enough. He also does not indicate what correspondence he failed to receive during his
time in segregation. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007) (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”).
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evidence. See Scruggs v. Jordan, 485 F.3d 934, 941 (7th Cir. 2007). He also states a viable
conditions of confinement claim in Count 2.
For the reasons stated above, Counts 1 and 2 shall proceed against Adam M. Puckett,
Darren N. Williams, Deanna Brookhart, and J. Garrett.
The Clerk of Court shall prepare for Defendants Adam M. Puckett, Darren N.
Williams, Deanna Brookhart, and J. Garrett: (1) Form 5 (Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to
Waive Service of a Summons), and (2) Form 6 (Waiver of Service of Summons). The Clerk is
DIRECTED to mail these forms, a copy of the Amended Complaint, and this Memorandum
and Order to the defendants’ place of employment as identified by Anderson. If a defendant
fails to sign and return the Waiver of Service of Summons (Form 6) to the Clerk within
30 days from the date the forms were sent, the Clerk shall take appropriate steps to effect
formal service on that defendant, and the Court will require that defendant to pay the full
costs of formal service, to the extent authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
If a defendant can no longer be found at the work address provided by Anderson, the
employer shall furnish the Clerk with the defendant’s current work address, or, if not known,
defendant’s last-known address. This information shall be used only for sending the forms
as directed above or for formally effecting service. Any documentation of the address shall
be retained only by the Clerk. Address information shall not be maintained in the court file
or disclosed by the Clerk.
Defendants are ORDERED to timely file an appropriate responsive pleading to the
Amended Complaint and shall not waive filing a reply pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e(g).
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Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 244, Defendants need only respond to the issues
stated in this Merit Review Order.
If judgment is rendered against Anderson, and the judgment includes the payment of
costs under Section 1915, he will be required to pay the full amount of the costs, regardless
of whether his application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(f)(2)(A).
Finally, Anderson is ADVISED that he is under a continuing obligation to keep the
Clerk of Court and each opposing party informed of any change in his address; the Court
will not independently investigate his whereabouts. This shall be done in writing and not
later than seven days after a transfer or other change in address occurs. Failure to comply
with this order will cause a delay in the transmission of court documents and may result in
dismissal of this action for want of prosecution. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: May 6, 2022
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL
Chief U.S. District Judge
Notice to Plaintiff
The Court will take the necessary steps to notify the appropriate defendants of your
lawsuit and serve them with a copy of your Amended Complaint. After service has been
achieved, the defendants will enter their appearance and file an Answer to your Amended
Complaint. It will likely take at least 60 days from the date of this Order to receive the
defendants’ Answer, but it is entirely possible that it will take 90 days or more. When all the
defendants have filed Answers, the Court will enter a Scheduling Order containing important
information on deadlines, discovery, and procedures. Plaintiff is advised to wait until counsel
has appeared for the defendants before filing any motions, to give the defendants notice and
an opportunity to respond to those motions. Motions filed before defendants’ counsel has
filed an appearance will generally be denied as premature. Plaintiff need not submit any
evidence to the Court at this time, unless specifically directed to do so.
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