United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
HAROLD D. ISAAC, Plaintiff,
UNKNOWN FLENOID, et al., Defendant,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on defendants' motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. The motion is granted in part and denied in part.
brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
several officials at the Southeast Correctional Center
(SECC). On review of the amended complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e), the Court dismissed all of plaintiff's
claims except for his retaliation claims against Dana
Cockrell and Timothy Holsten.
alleges that Cockrell, who is a caseworker, retaliated
against him for asking about the racial composition of the
restrictive housing unit by extending his placement in
administrative segregation for ninety days. He believes that
placement in restrictive housing is racially motivated. He
says she falsified a classification hearing form, noting that
his behavior was disruptive. See Doc. No. 11 at 4
(Classification Hearing Form dated December 29, 2015).
claims he sent Holsten a letter requesting an Informal
Resolution Request (IRR) form, a laundry bag, and law library
request forms. He alleges that the letter was returned to him
stamped “denied.” He says that, because he did
not have a laundry bag, he was forced to sleep on the same
bedsheets for more than five months. He claims that Holsten
acted in retaliation against him because he requested the
plaintiff alleges he attempted to use the grievance
procedures to address these issues but that prison officials
refused to provide him with the forms.
state a claim under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). A pleading need not include “detailed factual
allegations, ” but it is not sufficient to tender
“naked assertion[s]” that are “devoid of
further factual enhancement.” Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted). A complaint must do more than
allege “labels and conclusions” or “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
argue that the complaint must be dismissed because,
“[o]n its face [it] does not demonstrate that he
exhausted the prison grievance procedure.” They further
argue that plaintiff's “allegation that Defendant
Holsten failed to provide him with an IRR form is without
merit.” The argument is misplaced.
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), a prisoner may not bring an action
under § 1983 “until such administrative remedies
as are available are exhausted.” However, a prisoner is
not required to plead and demonstrate exhaustion in the
complaint. See Jones. v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 212
(2007). Exhaustion is an affirmative defense, and failure to
exhaust must be proven by the defendants. Id.
Therefore, defendants' argument fails.
plaintiff says prison officials prevented him from filing the
proper grievance forms. A prisoner must exhaust
“available” remedies. A fact question exists
whether the grievance process was unavailable to plaintiff
because of the prison officials' actions. See Ross v.
Blake, 136 S.Ct. 1850, 1860 (exhaustion is unavailable
“ when prison administrators thwart inmates ...