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Antonelli v. Sheahan

April 16, 1996




Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 93 C 3955--James F. Holderman, Judge.

Before POSNER, Chief Judge, and FAIRCHILD and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges.

RIPPLE, Circuit Judge.



Michael Antonelli, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint against several officers and officials of the Cook County Department of Corrections, alleging violations of his constitutional rights while an inmate at the Cook County Jail. 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983. The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss. Antonelli v. Sheahan, 863 F. Supp. 756 (N.D. Ill. 1994). Mr. Antonelli appeals this judgment. We affirm in part, and reverse and remand in part.


We turn first to Mr. Antonelli's submission that Officers Peterson and Hernandez were dismissed improperly from the litigation.

Mr. Antonelli's claims against persons identified in his complaint as "Officer Peterson" and "Officer Hernandez" were dismissed for failure to serve these defendants within 120 days after the filing of the complaint, as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) (formerly Rule 4(j)). An inmate proceeding in forma pauperis (as Mr. Antonelli was) may rely on the Marshals Service to serve process. Sellers v. United States, 902 F.2d 598, 602 (7th Cir. 1990). The inmate need furnish "no more than the information necessary to identify the defendant." Id. The Marshals Service's failure to complete service, once furnished with the necessary identifying information, is automatically "good cause" requiring an extension of time under Rule 4(m). Id.; Graham v. Satkoski, 51 F.3d 710, 713 (7th Cir. 1995). In the instant case, the process receipts show that Mr. Antonelli did provide some specific information: not only the officers' last names, but also their specific place of work ("Post 78, Division 1, Cook County Jail"). However, the Marshals Service reported that more than one person with the last names Peterson and Hernandez were employed "here." What the Marshals Service meant by "here" is uncertain: If proper service was attempted, "here" would be the specific post described by Mr. Antonelli.

In light of our decision infra that some claims are properly stated against Officers Peterson and Hernandez, we conclude that a remand for evaluation is appropriate. See Graham, 51 F.3d at 712-13 (remanding for evaluation by the district court, stating that the district court's failure to "question the marshals' efforts" and its dismissal of defendants not served by the marshals could not be reconciled with Sellers). On remand, the district court must determine, from an objective standpoint, whether the marshals needed more information or whether instead they had failed their duty. The most obvious question in the instant case is whether the marshals reviewed the list of officers employed at Post 78 or, instead, relied on the list for a larger unit such as Division 1 or the entire jail. The district court is not limited to this question on remand; it should make whatever inquiry is necessary to determine whether the Marshals Service had met its obligation. If Mr. Antonelli prevails on this issue, or if he shows other "good cause," he should receive an extension of time under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) to serve process on Officer Peterson and Officer Hernandez.


We now turn to the allegations in the complaint.


Mr. Antonelli organized his claims into twenty counts, which may be summarized as follows: I) inadequate bedding that required he sleep on the floor; II) opened, delayed, and lost mail; III) lack of recreation; IV) living unit infested with cockroaches and mice; V) negligence in operating the law library; VI) deficient commissary; VII) inadequate food; VIII) deficient lighting; IX) denial of religious services; X) deficient medical attention; XI) excessive noise at night; XII) deprivation of personal property; XIII) failure to treat psychological condition; XIV) failure to control and protect from improper air temperature; XV) lack of a public library and of material to read; XVI) negligent maintenance of the building; XVII) arbitrary lockdowns; XVIII) inadequate grievance procedures; XIX) illegal post-conviction detention; XX) negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention of personnel.


We review de novo a dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Murphy v. Walker, 51 F.3d 714, 717 (7th Cir. 1995) (per curiam). "We accept all the factual allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences from these facts in favor of the plaintiff." Arazie v. Mullane, 2 F.3d 1456, 1465 (7th Cir. 1993). A claim may be dismissed only if "it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). "[A]llegations of the pro se complaint [are held] to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam). Accordingly, "pro se complaints are to be liberally construed." Wilson v. Civil Town of Clayton, Ind., 839 F.2d 375, 378 (7th Cir. 1988).


Several of Mr. Antonelli's claims allege that he was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement. *fn1 The Eighth Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment" of a prisoner. U.S. Const. amend. VIII. In order to violate the Eighth Amendment, the condition of confinement must be a denial of "basic human needs" or "the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities." Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981). The infliction must be deliberate or otherwise reckless in the criminal law sense, which means that the defendant must have committed an act so dangerous that his knowledge of the risk can be inferred or that the defendant actually knew of an impending harm easily preventable. Miller v. Neathery, 52 F.3d 634, 638 (7th Cir. 1995) (discussing Farmer v. Brennan, 114 S. Ct. 1970 (1994)); Duckworth v. Franzen, 780 F.2d 645, 652-53 (7th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 816 (1986). The Due Process Clause prohibits any kind of punishment--not merely cruel and unusual punishment--of a pretrial detainee. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 n.16 (1979); Salazar v. City of Chicago, 940 F.2d 233, 239-40 (7th Cir. 1991); see also Anderson v. Gutschenritter, 836 F.2d 346, 348-49 (7th Cir. 1988). *fn2 A condition of confinement may be imposed on a pretrial confinee without violating the Due Process Clause if it is reasonably related to a legitimate and non-punitive governmental goal. It may not be arbitrary or purposeless. Bell, 441 U.S. at 539. "Retribution and deterrence are not legitimate nonpunitive governmental objectives." Id. at 539 n.20. Therefore, the infliction may not derive from an intent to punish. "Such a course would improperly extend the legitimate reasons for which such persons are detained--to ensure their presence at trial." Sandin v. Conner, 115 S. Ct. 2293, 2300 (1995). Also, there "is no doubt that ...

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