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Woods v. Hays

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division

June 10, 2015

DARRELL WOODS, Plaintiff,
v.
RICKY HAYS, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

CATHERINE D. PERRY, District Judge.

This matter is before me on review of plaintiff's amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).[1] Under § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim for relief under § 1983, a complaint must plead more than "legal conclusions" and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of misconduct."

Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff, who is confined in the Northeast Correctional Center ("NCC") brings this action against several NCC officials in their individual capacities for alleged denial of due process and retaliation. Plaintiff says he was issued a conduct violation on June 13, 2014. Plaintiff was placed in administrative segregation during the pendency of the conduct violation. Under the policy of the Missouri Department of Corrections ("MoDOC") he was entitled to a hearing on the conduct violation within seven business days of its issuance. He did not receive a timely hearing. Plaintiff complained to defendant Ricky Hays on June 23, 2014, that he had not received a timely hearing and that he was being denied due process. Plaintiff then complained to defendant Tyree Butler, "which met in negative results too." The conduct violation was expunged on August 27, 2014.

Plaintiff says he filed an Informal Resolution Request ("IRR") on July 1, 2014, about having been "unconstitutionally confined" in segregation. Later that day, says plaintiff, he was assaulted by NECC staff, including Taylor Preston, while his hands were cuffed. Plaintiff maintains that she falsely accused him of assaulting her and issued him a conduct violation. He also says he was not given any process during the conduct violation hearing.

Plaintiff wrote to defendant James Rhodes, who was an investigator, requesting that the matter be investigated. Rhodes "did not respond in a reasonable amount of time."

On October 16, 2014, defendant Robert Lagore allegedly hit plaintiff on his penis with a milk carton for sexually motivated reasons. Plaintiff claims that he reported the assault to defendant Damien Austin. Plaintiff believes that Austin was required to submit a report under the Prison Rape Elimination Act[2] ("PREA") immediately.

Plaintiff claims that on the following day defendants Austin, Kristin Cutt, and Tyree Butler attempted to dissuade him from filing a report under PREA. He says that Butler threatened to put him in disciplinary segregation for six months if he filed the report. And he claims that defendant Kristin Cutt gave him a conduct violation after he made it clear he was going to file a PREA claim. Plaintiff wrote to defendant James Hurley, the Warden, about the incident, but Hurley did not do anything about it.

Plaintiff wrote a grievance to defendants Hurley and Alan Earls, and they denied it.

On November 19, 2014, Rhodes interviewed plaintiff about the PREA claim. At that time, he was in administrative segregation. Defendants Cutt and Butler told him he was confined because of the PREA investigation.

On January 26, 2015, defendant Tina Cobb allegedly assigned plaintiff to thirty days in disciplinary segregation for having filed the PREA complaint. He says that defendant Stacie Lescalleet issued him a conduct violation for filing an IRR.

Plaintiff's only allegation regarding defendant David Cutt is that Cutt attempted to interview him about the PREA claim.

Discussion

Plaintiff's retaliation claims against defendants Kristin Cutt, Tyree Butle, Tina Cobb, Stacie Lescalleet, and Taylor Preston state a plausible claim for relief under § 1983. As a result, the Court will ...


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