Inmate complains he was transferred to super-max facility for filing so many lawsuits

Steve Gonzalez May 14, 2007, 6:00am

An inmate serving a 60-year sentence for a 1983 Chicago murder filed a federal complaint against the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) claiming he was wrongfully transferred to a super-max prison because he was helping inmates file lawsuits.

Milton Smith alleges before his transfer to the super-max prison in Tamms, he was serving his time at Menard in Chester, a maximum security institution. During his time there he was a law clerk and filed at least a dozen cases against the department.

He claims prison officials told him to cease his litigation efforts and assisting other inmates with theirs or he would be transferred to Tamms.

Smith claims IDOC has an unwritten policy to transfer inmates who file suits against them.

Every inmate at Tamms is in solitary confinement and has no contact with other inmates.

"By punishing me for my litigation activities, defendant have violated my right to petition the government for redress of grievances protected by the First and Fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution," Smith wrote in his handwritten complaint filed May 7.

Smith also claims two correctional officers confiscated his legal books after declaring they were contraband.

He also claims the same officers locked him in the shower for nearly four hours after he filed a grievance against one of them.

Smith also alleges that IDOC has a pact with the Southern District of Illinois courthouses that dismisses all cases against them.

Smith further alleges he suffers from constipation and instead of giving him his normal milk of magnesia, the Tamms medical staff gave him a large dose of mineral oil which caused stomach pain and diarrhea.

He also claims the medical staff ignores his other health conditions he often complains about because of the grievances he files against them.

Smith is seeking punitive and compensatory damages in an amount to be determined and a court order transferring him to any minimum security prison in the state of Illinois.

His case has been assigned to District Judge Michael Reagan.

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Illinois Department of Corrections
1301 Concordia Ct
Springfield, IL 62702

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