APPENDIX B: SAMPLE COMPLAINT
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
Walter Hey and Mohammed Abdul,
John Smith, warden Illinois State Prison, and Dave Thomas, corrections officer at Illinois State Prison, individually and in their official capacities,
I. JURISDICTION & VENUE
1. This is a civil action authorized by 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 to redress the deprivation, under color of state law, of rights secured by the Constitution of the United States. The court has jurisdiction under 28. U.S.C. Section 1331 and 1343 (a)(3). Plaintiff Hey seeks declaratory relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2201 and 2202. Plaintiff Hey’s claims for injunctive relief are authorized by 28 U.S.C. Sections 2283 & 2284 and Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
2. The Northern District of Illinois is an appropriate venue under 28 U.S.C. Section 1391 (b)(2) because it is where the events giving rise to this claim occurred.
3. Plaintiff Walter Hey is and was at all times mentioned herein a prisoner of the State of Illinois in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is currently confined in Illinois State Prison in Colby, Illinois.
4. Plaintiff Mohammed Abdul is and was at all times mentioned herein a prisoner of the State of Illinois in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is currently confined in Illinois State Prison in Colby, Illinois.
5. Defendant John Smith is the warden of Illinois State Prison. He is legally responsible for the operation of Illinois State Prison and for the welfare of all the inmates of that prison.
6. Defendant Dave Thomas is a correctional officer of the Illinois Department of Corrections who, at all times mentioned in this complaint, held the rank of prison guard and was assigned to Illinois State Prison.
7. Each defendant is sued individually and in his official capacity. At all times mentioned in this complaint, each defendant acted under the color of state law.
8. At all times relevant to this case, Plaintiffs Walter Hey and Mohammed Abdul shared a cell on block D.
9. On June 29, 2009, Defendant Dave Thomas entered Hey and Abdul’s cell to conduct a routine and scheduled cell search. Upon information and belief, Illinois State prison policy dictated that each cell be searched once a week for contraband.
10. Thomas searched Hey and Abdul’s cell in their presence and did not uncover any contraband. Indeed, there was no contraband in their cell. After completing the search, Thomas told Hey to walk onto the range so that he could talk to Abdul alone. Hey asked why. Thomas told him to shut up and follow the order.
11. Hey exited the cell and stood to the right of the cell, on the range. He could see into the cell.
12. After Hey left, Thomas told Abdul that Hey was a problem prisoner, was in “deep trouble” with the prison administration, and that if Abdul knew what was good for him, he would tell Thomas what Hey was up to.
13. When Abdul refused to say anything to Thomas about Hey, Thomas punched Abdul in the face. The punch caused Abdul pain. Abdul’s left eye was bruised and swollen for approximately four days.
14. Thomas then got Hey from outside the cell and told him that if he didn’t abandon the prison grievance Hey had filed about racist comments Thomas made one week earlier at Hey’s disciplinary hearing, he would “do the same” to Hey every single day. That grievance is attached as Exhibit A.
15. The following day, on June 30, 2009, Thomas returned to Hey and Abdul’s cell, and asked Hey if he had withdrawn the grievance. Hey replied that he had not. Thomas punched him in the right eye, causing pain and swelling that lasted several days.
16. That same day, Hey and Abdul both requested sick call, and saw the prison medical tech regarding the pain they were both experiencing. The tech prescribed aspirin and noted bruising on their medical files. Relevant pages of Hey and Abdul’s medical files are attached as Exhibit B.
17. Later that week, on July 2, 2009, Thomas again returned to Hey and Abdul’s cell and again asked Hey if he had withdrawn the grievance. Hey said no. Thomas punched him again, this time in the stomach, again causing pain and bruising. Thomas again stated that he would punch Hey every day until he withdrew the grievance.
18. When Thomas opened the cell door to leave Hey and Abdul’s cell, Hey and Abdul saw that Warden Thomas was outside the cell, looking in. Abdul asked the warden if he had seen what happened, and what he was going to do about it. Warden Smith responded that, “that is how we deal with snitches” in Illinois State Prison.
19. The following week, July 4 – 11, Defendant Thomas returned to Plaintiffs’ cell each day, and each day punched Hey.
V. LEGAL CLAIMS
20. Defendant Thomas used excessive force against Plaintiff Abdul by punching him in the face when Abdul was not violating any prison rule and was not acting disruptively. Defendant Thomas’s action violated Plaintiff Abdul’s rights under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and caused Plaintiff Abdul pain, suffering, physical injury, and emotional distress.
21. Defendant Thomas used and continues to use excessive force against Plaintiff Hey by punching him in the face repeatedly when Hey is not violating any prison rule nor acting disruptively in any way. Defendant Thomas’s action violated and continues to violate Plaintiff Hey’s rights under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and is causing Plaintiff Hey, pain, suffering, physical injury, and emotional distress.
22. By witnessing Defendant Thomas’s illegal action, failing to correct that misconduct, and encouraging the continuation of the misconduct, Defendant Smith is also violating Plaintiff Hey’s rights under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and causing Plaintiff Hey pain, suffering, physical injury, and emotional distress.
23. By threatening Plaintiff Hey with physical violence for exercise of his right to seek redress from the prison through use of the prison grievance system, Defendant Thomas is retaliating against Plaintiff Hey unlawfully, in violation of Plaintiff Hey’s rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. These illegal actions are causing Plaintiff Hey injury to his First Amendment rights.
24. Plaintiff Hey has no plain, adequate, or complete remedy at law to redress the wrongs described herein. Plaintiff Hey has been and will continue to be irreparably injured by the conduct of the defendants unless this court grants the declaratory and injunctive relief which Plaintiff seeks.
VI. PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs respectfully pray that this court enter judgment:
25. Granting Plaintiff Hey a declaration that the acts and omissions described herein violate his rights under the Constitution and laws of the United States, and
26. A preliminary and permanent injunction ordering defendants Thomas and Smith to cease their physical violence and threats toward Plaintiff Hey, and
27. Granting Plaintiff Hey compensatory damages in the amount of $50,000 against each defendant, jointly and severally.
28. Plaintiff Abdul seeks compensatory damages of $5,000 against defendant Thomas only.
29. Both plaintiffs seek nominal damages and punitive damages in the amount of $50,000. Plaintiff Hey seeks these damages against each defendant, jointly and severally. Plaintiff Abdul seeks damages only against defendant Thomas.
30. Plaintiffs also seek a jury trial on all issues triable by jury.
31. Plaintiffs also seek recovery of their costs in this suit, and
Any additional relief this court deems just, proper, and equitable.
Dated: April 9, 2021
Respectfully submitted, Mohammed Abdul #56743
Illinois State Prison,
PO Box 50000
Walter Hey #58210
Illinois State Prison,
PO Box 50000
I have read the foregoing complaint and hereby verify that the matters alleged therein are true, except as to matters alleged on information and belief, and, as to those, I believe them to be true. I certify under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed at Colby, Illinois on April 9, 2021