Washington v. Sheehan, 92 C 301 (N.D.Ill. 1992), in which this court granted defendants' motion to dismiss. Although Washington did not claim bites or other injuries from rodents, this court still found that his complaint suggested more than mere speculation and that he conceivably could state facts significant enough to meet the objective prong of Wilson. Washington, however, foundered on the subjective prong of Wilson.
Taking plaintiffs' allegations as true, which this court must on a motion to dismiss, imprisoning plaintiffs in dungeon-like conditions in which rodents crawl all over and attack them is barbarous to the standards of our contemporary society. See Jackson v. Duckworth, 955 F.2d 21 (7th Cir. 1992). Plaintiffs have accordingly satisfied the objective prong of Wilson.
The subjective prong of Wilson looks to intent and asks whether prison officials acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind. 111 S. Ct. at 2324. In the Seventh Circuit, the minimum showing of intent needed to state a claim of cruel and unusual punishment is deliberate indifference. Duane v. Lane, 959 F.2d 673, 676 (7th Cir. 1992). "Deliberate indifference" entails that prison officials have "actual knowledge of impending harm rather than a mere suspicion" and must "consciously and culpably" refuse to take steps to prevent the harm. Campbell v. Greer, 831 F.2d 700, 702 (7th Cir. 1987). Mere negligence is not deliberate indifference. Id. Prison officials must show total unconcern for a prisoner's welfare in the face of serious risks. Duane at 676.
Defendants argue that the complaint does not contain allegations of personal involvement or action on the part of any of the defendants that resulted in the alleged deprivations and that the complaint fails to allege any knowledge on the part of defendants of the alleged deprivations prior to May 7, 1992, when the last alleged incident took place thus negating any intent or deliberate indifference on the part of defendants.
As determined earlier, plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged personal knowledge by defendants. In light of plaintiffs' contention that they "told defendants of a large nest of rats and mice, on the clothing of pretrial detainees; thats [sic] left on the floor by staff; and a large nest in the storage room, that is never checked or even opened for inspection" (Plaintiffs' complaint at 4-B), and that defendants do not exterminate or make any other efforts to rid the jail of four-legged vermin, the court finds that plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged facts to demonstrate deliberate indifference by defendants.
D. Maliciousness of the Complaint
Defendants aver that the complaint should be dismissed as malicious because plaintiffs indicated that they had only one other suit pending before the Northern District of Illinois (Walton, et al. v. Fairman, et al., 92 C 2846, which Judge Zagel dismissed on March 9, 1993, for failure to serve defendants). In actuality, this core group of plaintiffs had at least two other cases pending at the time they filed this complaint, Walton, et al. v. Fairman, et al., 92 C 1618, which Judge Williams dismissed on July 29, 1993, for want of prosecution, and Walton, et al. v. Fairman, et al., 92 C 2128, which Judge Shadur dismissed on June 11, 1993, for want of prosecution.
Lack of good faith or malice may be inferred from a complaint containing untrue material allegations of fact or false statements made with intent to deceive the court. See Horsey v. Asher, 741 F.2d 209, 212 (8th Cir. 1984). The court agrees with Judge Williams, who dismissed James Garland from Walton, et al. v. Fairman, et al., 92 C 1618, that Garland was on notice of the consequences of not filling out the complaint truthfully and accordingly dismisses him from this action for the same reasons as stated in Walton, et al. v. Fairman, et al., 92 C 1618 (N.D.Ill. March 31, 1993).
The remaining plaintiffs are more problematical. Some joined Walton in the other three actions; others did not. The remaining plaintiffs, except Walton (who the court does not dismiss for the same reasons as stated by Judge Williams in Walton, et al. v. Fairman, et al., 92 C 1618 (N.D.Ill. March 31, 1993)), had not filed complaints in the Northern District of Illinois before this barrage. It is accordingly premature to dismiss them for their failure to inform the court on the forms about the existence of previous actions of which they were a part. However, they are now on notice that they must answer all questions on the form complaint truthfully on any future complaints they may file in federal court, whether individually or with other plaintiffs. If they do not answer all questions truthfully, the complaint may be dismissed as malicious pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d).
Based on the procedural history of the other three cases, however, it is likely that plaintiffs may no longer wish to pursue this claim. Rather than waste the court's resources or litigants' time, each plaintiff, individually, must advise the court whether he wishes to pursue this action. Any plaintiff the court has not heard from on or before October 27, 1993, will be dismissed from this action. If the court does not hear from any of the plaintiffs, it will assume that plaintiffs have abandoned this claim and will dismiss this action for want of prosecution.
For the foregoing reasons, defendants' motion to dismiss is granted as to the official capacity claim. It is denied as to the individual capacity claim and the conditions-of-confinement claim. Defendants are given until October 27, 1993, to answer or otherwise plead. Plaintiff James Garland is dismissed from this action. Plaintiffs are given until October 27, 1993, to advise the court if they wish to pursue this action.
JAMES H. ALESIA
United States District Judge
Date: SEP 27 1993