United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
December 20, 2005.
CHARLES DAVIS, Plaintiff,
WARDEN WINTERS et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: HAROLD BAKER, District Judge
On May 5, 2005, the court concluded that the plaintiff stated
claims of excessive force and deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs. The case was sent for service and all the
defendants, except for the "Doe" defendants, have appeared. A
rule to show cause was entered, directing the plaintiff to show
why those Doe defendants should not be dismissed for failure to
timely identify and serve them.
The plaintiff has filed what are construed as motions to compel
the identity of the Doe defendants who allegedly participated in
the excessive force against him. He attaches documentation
showing that he has tried to obtain their identities through
prison channels since this court's merit review order. The
defendants respond that the plaintiff never served them with any
discovery request for the identities.
"[I]t is incumbent [upon district courts] . . . to take
appropriate measures to permit the adjudication of pro se
claims on the merits, rather than to order their dismissal on
technical grounds. . . . To the extent the plaintiff faces
barriers to determining the identities of the unnamed defendants,
the court must assist the plaintiff in conducting the necessary
investigation." Donald v. Cook County Sheriff's Dep't,
95 F.3d 548, 555 (7th Cir. 1996).
The plaintiff did not send discovery requests to the defendants
for the information he seeks before filing his motions in court,
though the court advised him to do so. (d/e 6). However, he did
timely attempt to discover the Doe identities through other
prison channels. Requiring him to submit discovery requests to
the defendants at this point will only prolong the case
unnecessarily, as he is clearly entitled to discover this
information. In the interest of efficiency, the court will direct
the defendants to provide the identity and workplace addresses of
the Doe defendants present during the alleged excessive force
incident, so that service can be ordered.
However, the plaintiff's motions are not directed at the
identity of "Jane Doe," apparently the Health Care Administrator
at Hill Correctional Center. Nor did the plaintiff seek Jane
Doe's identity through the prison channels he used. Accordingly,
defendant Jane Doe, Health Care Administrator at Hill
Correctional Center during the relevant time, will be dismissed
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m).
Additionally, the other information the plaintiff seeks in his
motions belongs in a discovery request to the defendants under
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The court is assisting in
discovering the Doe identities for purpose of effecting service,
but it is the plaintiff's responsibility to conduct his own
discovery to support his case. Discovery requests are not filed
with the court. CDIL Local Rule 26.3. The plaintiff should
re-send his requests to the defendants as specified in the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If the defendants refuse to
answer his requests, the plaintiff may then file a motion to
compel with the court, attaching his discovery requests, the
defendants' answers, and identifying which answers are
objectionable. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
1) By December 30, 2005, the defendants are directed to provide
the plaintiff and the court with the names and IDOC work
a) the Correctional Sergeant assigned to or working the 7:00
a.m. to 3:00 p.m. shift in "rec and seg" at Western Illinois
Correctional Center on July 21, 2004, who was present at any time
during the incident involving the plaintiff on the morning of
July 21, 2004, as alleged in the Plaintiff's Complaint.
b) the Correctional Officers assigned to the 7:00 a.m. to 3:00
p.m. shift in "rec and seg" at Western Illinois Correctional
Center on July 21, 2004, who were present any at time during the
incident involving the plaintiff on the morning of July 21, 2004,
as alleged in the Plaintiff's Complaint.
If an individual no longer works for the IDOC, the defendants
shall inform the plaintiff and the court by December 30, 2005,
whether a forwarding or last-known address is available for
service on said individual.
2) The status conference scheduled for December 16, 2005 was
cancelled and rescheduled for January 6, 2006, at 10:00 a.m., by
telephone conference. The clerk is directed to issue appropriate
process to secure the plaintiff's presence by telephone at the
January 6, 2006 hearing.
3) The plaintiff's motions are denied (d/e's 28, 29, 30). His
requests for the Doe identities are moot, and his other discovery
requests must be made to the defendants pursuant to the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.
4) The clerk is directed to send a copy of Local Rule 26.3 to
5) Defendant Jane Doe, health care administrator at Hill
Correctional Center during times relevant, is dismissed without
prejudice for the plaintiff's failure to timely identify and
serve her, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m).
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