The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge Page 2
This matter is before the court on Defendants' motion to dismiss. For
the reasons stated below, we grant the motion to dismiss.
Plaintiff Earl Dorsey, Jr. ("Dorsey") is an inmate at the Cook County
Jail. Dorsey alleges that on April 1, 2003 a fight broke out amongst the
inmates in his cell block. He contends that after the fight ended the
guards ordered all the inmates out of their cells. According to Dorsey,
he was putting his shirt on as he exited his cell and Defendant "A,
Brown" ("Brown") struck Dorsey in the jaw. Dorsey claims that the fight
was over by that point and he in no way provoked Brown. Dorsey claims
that afterwards his jaw was swollen and painful and that he was
taken to the hospital. After the incident Dorsey claims that Defendant
Sergeant Robert Krauskopf ("Krauskopf") threatened to retaliate against
Dorsey if he filed a complaint or civil suit regarding the incident.
Dorsey alleges that Krauskopf told him that if he "filed any complaints
or court action that the county would give me a case for fighting a
officer even thought I had nothing to do with anything." [sic.]. Dorsey
also alleges that the medical staff at the jail were deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs. He filed the instant complaint pro se
alleging that Defendants violated his constitutional rights in violation
of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983").
In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court must draw all reasonable
inferences that favor the plaintiff, construe the allegations of the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and accept as
true all well-pleaded facts and allegations in the complaint. Thompson
v. Illinois Dep't of Prof'l Regulation, 300 F.3d 750, 753 (7th Cir.
2002); Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463, 466 (7th Cir. 1991). The
allegations of a complaint should not be dismissed for a failure to state
a claim "unless 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). Nonetheless, in order to
withstand a motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege the "operative
facts upon which each claim is based, Kyle v. Morton High School,
144 F.3d 448, 444-45 (7th Cir. 1998); Lucien v. Preiner, 967 F.2d 1166,
1168 (7th Cir. 1992), The plaintiff need not allege all of the facts
involved in the claim and can plead conclusions. Higgs v. Carter,
286 F.3d 437, 439 (7th Cir. 2002); Kyle, 144 F.3d at 455. However, any
conclusions pled must
"provide the defendant with at least minimal notice of the claim," Id.,
and the plaintiff cannot satisfy federal pleading requirements merely "by
attaching bare legal conclusions to narrated facts which fail to outline
the bases of [his] claim." Perkins, 939 F.2d at 466-67. Complaints filed
by pro se litigants are to be construed liberally and are not to be held
to the same standard as those drafted by attorneys. Me Cormick v. City of
Chicago, 230 F.3d 319, 325 (7th Cir. 2000).
Defendants seek to dismiss claims against the various Defendants both
in their individual capacities and in their official capacities.
I. Official Capacity Claims
Defendants seek to dismiss all claims against Defendants in their
official capacities. A suit against an individual defendant in his
official capacity is the equivalent of a suit against the governmental
entity the individual represents, Gossmeyer v. McDonald, 128 F.3d 481,
494 (7th Cir. 1997). Therefore, to the extent that Dorsey seeks to sue
Defendants in their official capacity Dorsey is in essence suing Cook
County. The doctrine of respondeat superior cannot be utilized to hold
local governmental units liable for Section 1983 violations "unless the
deprivation of constitutional rights is caused by a municipal policy or
custom." Kujawski v. Board of Comm'rs. Of Bartholomew County, Indiana,
183 F.3d 734, 737 (7th Cir. 1999) (stating that county could not be held
liable unless violation was caused by county policy); Gossmeyer, 128 F.3d
Defendants argue that Dorsey merely complains about the officer hitting
him and the
other officer threatening to retaliate against him and Dorsey fails
to allege that any County policy or custom caused him harm. We agree that
Dorsey's complaint is focused on the alleged wrongdoing by Brown and the
alleged retaliation by Krauskopf. He does not allege that any County
policy or custom is responsible for the alleged misconduct. Therefore, we
grant the motion to dismiss all official capacity claims.
II. individual Capacity Claims
Defendants also seek to dismiss all individual capacity claims because:
some of the Defendants were not personally involved in the alleged
misconduct, some of the Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity,
Dorsey failed to exhaust his ...