Ford also claims that Med-tech Adams wrote an incident report and
called defendant Stewart of Internal Affairs, but did not treat Ford.
Because Ford was transported to the hospital, it is not clear whether
Adams even had any duty to treat Ford at this time. Nor is there any
indication that Adams acted with deliberate indifference toward Ford, and
the court is hard pressed to see how Ford can sustain such an allegation
when he states he was immediately sent to the hospital. The court
accordingly dismisses this claim against Adams. Because Ford has not
stated a claim against Adams in regard to Ford's medical care for either
the December 3, 1999, or the May 15, 2000, incidents, the court dismisses
Adams from this action.
The court accordingly denies defendants' motion to dismiss in regard to
the delay in medical care in regard to Voights and Jackson for the
December 3, 1999, incident; Spencer, Hollingsworth, and Selmon for the
May 1, 2000, incident; and Autman for the May 15, 1999, incident. The
court grants defendants' motion to dismiss in regard to the claims
against Med-tech Adams and dismisses him from this action.
D. Retaliatory Transfer
Ford avers that Montgomery and Thomas threatened to transfer him for
complaining and reporting staff conduct. Prisoners do not have a
constitutional right to remain in or be transferred to a correctional
institution of their own choosing. See Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 225
(1976). Prison officials have the discretion to transfer prisoners for
any constitutionally permissible reason. Shango v. Jurich, 681 F.2d 1091,
1098 (7th Cir. 1982). Nevertheless, retaliation for the exercise of a
constitutionally protected right is actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
even if the acts, if taken for different reasons, would have been
proper. See Matzker v. Herr, 748 F.2d 1142, 1150 (7th Cir. 1984). It is
well established that punishing inmates for filing grievances violates
their constitutional rights. See, e.g., Babcock v. White, 102 F.3d 267,
274 (7th Cir. 1996). If, as Ford contends, defendants transferred him to
the Pontiac Correctional Center in retaliation for his filing
grievances, then they have violated his constitutional rights. The court
accordingly denies defendants Montgomery and Thomas's motion to dismiss
as to this claim.
E. Inadequate Investigation
Ford claims that defendant Stewart took pictures of him after the May
15 assault, wrote an incident report, and was present when Montgomery and
Thomas threatened to transfer him. It is difficult to determine what kind
of claim Ford is making against Stewart, and even a pro se litigant needs
to set forth allegations concerning all material elements necessary for
recovery under the relevant legal theory. Chowla, 743 F. Supp. at 1285.
It appears the Stewart is an internal affairs investigator. Although he
was present when Montgomery and Thomas threatened to transfer Ford, it
does not appear that he had any authority to order any such transfer.
Ford may be claiming that Stewart performed an inadequate investigation.
However, an allegation
of inadequate investigation does not state a
violation of a plaintiff's civil rights. See Hanrahan v. Lane,
747 F.2d 1137, 1142 (7th Cir. 1984); McDonald v. State of Illinois,
557 F.2d 596 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 966 (1977). The court
grants defendants' motion to dismiss in regard to claims against
defendant Stewart and dismisses him from this action.
F. Official Capacity Liability
Ford states that he is suing each defendant in his or her official
capacity for injunctive and declaratory relief and in their individual
capacity for monetary damages.
An official-capacity suit is effectively an action against the entity
of which the defendant officer is the agent and is treated as a suit
against that entity. Because damage claims against a state are barred by
the Eleventh Amendment, state officials may not be sued for damages in
federal court in their official capacity. Scott v. O'Grady, 975 F.2d 366,
369 (7th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 942 (1993). Further, neither
state agencies nor state officials acting in their official capacities
are "persons" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Will v.
Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989).
However, the Eleventh Amendment shields officials only from damages,
not from injunctive relief. Alston v. DeBruyn, 13 F.3d 1036, 1038 n.l
(7th Cir. 1994). So, the question becomes, what kind, if any, injunctive
relief could Ford obtain and against which defendants in order for him to
maintain his action against defendants in their official capacity? Ford
cannot obtain injunctive relief against any of the defendants in regard
to his claims of excessive force and delay in medical treatment because
his transfer rendered his requests for injunctive relief moot. See Fuller
v. Dillon, 236 F.3d 876, 883 (7th Cir. 2001); see also Lyons v. City of
Los Angeles, 461 U.S. 95, 102 (1983) ("[p]ast exposure to illegal conduct
does not in itself show a present case or controversy regarding
injunctive relief . . . if unaccompanied by any continuing, present
If Ford is able to demonstrate at a later time that his transfer to
Pontiac Correctional Center was in retaliation for his filing
grievances, then he conceivably could be given injunctive relief in the
form of a transfer back to Stateville Correctional Center, where he
claims the conditions are better. The court cannot ascertain from the
pleadings before it whether Warden James H. Page and Assistant Warden
Montgomery are the proper parties to whom such an injunction should be
issued, but they appear to be the defendants to have the most wherewithal
to accomplish a transfer back to Stateville, if, as noted earlier, Ford
can prove that his transfer was motivated by retaliatory animus. The
court accordingly will not dismiss the official capacity claim against
Warden Page and Assistant Warden Montgomery at this time. Because it is
obvious that no other defendant can render injunctive relief, all claims
against them in their official capacity are dismissed.
G. Individual Capacity
Individuals cannot be held liable in a Section 1983 action unless they
caused or participated in the alleged constitutional deprivation. Vance
v. Washington, 97 F.3d 987, 991 (7th Cir. 1996), cert. denied,
520 U.S. 1230 (1997); Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir.
1995); Rascon v. Hardiman, 803 F.2d 269, 273 (7th Cir. 1986) (citing
Wolf-Lillie v. Sonquist, 699 F.2d 864, 869 (7th Cir. 1983)). Supervisors
and others in
authority also cannot be held liable for any alleged
wrongdoing on the part of subordinates pursuant to the doctrine of
respondeat superior because that doctrine does not apply to § 1983
actions. See Pacelli v. DeVito, 972 F.2d 871, 877 (7th Cir. 1992); Jones
v. City of Chicago, 856 F.2d 985, 992 (7th Cir. 1988).
It is clear from the complaint that defendants Voights, Jackson,
Spencer, Hollingsworth, Selmon, and Autman, allegedly caused or
participated in the alleged use of excessive force or delay in medical
treatment or both. However, none of these defendants appear to be
involved in the allegedly retaliatory transfer. It is clear that
defendants Montgomery and Thomas allegedly caused or participated in the
alleged retaliatory transfer but were not involved in either the use of
excessive force or delay in medical treatment or both.
The court has not been able to find any personal involvement on the
part of Warden Page as to these alleged constitutional violations. As
noted above, he cannot be held liable on the basis of respondeat
superior. All claims against Warden Page in his individual capacity are
For the foregoing reasons, the court grants in part and denies in part
defendants' motion to dismiss. The court grants the motion to dismiss as
to defendants' claim that Ford failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies as to Counts 7 and 8. The court denies the motion as to
defendants' claim that Ford failed to exhaust his administrative remedies
as to the use of excessive force, delay in medical treatment, and
retaliatory transfer. The court grants defendants' motion to dismiss as
to Ford's claims about his conditions of confinement because he failed to
show a physical injury. The court denies defendants' motion to dismiss as
to their claims that Ford failed to state constitutional violations in
regard to the use of excessive force, delay in medical care, and
retaliatory transfer. The court grants defendants' motion to dismiss as
to any claim regarding an inadequate investigation.
Because Ford has failed to state a claim against them, defendants Adams
and Stewart are dismissed from this action. The official capacity claim
against defendants Page and Montgomery as to the retaliatory transfer
remains. Claims against the remaining defendants in their official
capacity are dismissed. Individual capacity claims as to use of excessive
force and delay in medical treatment remain against defendants Voights,
Jackson, Spencer, Hollingsworth, Selmon, and Autman. Individual capacity
claims as to the retaliatory transfer remain against defendants
Montgomery and Thomas. Individual capacity claims against Page are
Defendants are given 20 days to answer or otherwise plead to the
complaint. An order of default is entered against defendant McBride for
failure to answer or otherwise plead to the complaint. Ford is given 30
days to show good cause why defendant King was not served within 120 days
of the filing of this complaint on October 2, 2000. If Ford does not show
good cause or otherwise respond within 30 days, defendant King will be
dismissed from this action.
IT IS SO ORDERED.