IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
July 31, 2007
TRAVAL BENDER, PLAINTIFF,
COOK COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
Traval Bender ("Bender") has submitted a self-prepared 42 U.S.C. §1983*fn1 Complaint on the form provided for that purpose by this District Court's Clerk's Office, with the information called for by that form having been completed in handwritten fashion. Unfortunately Bender's handwriting is often quite indecipherable, but this Court is satisfied that it has managed to glean the substance of what Bender has alleged.
Bender's Complaint stems from an occurrence when he was taking a shower at the County Jail on March 14 or 15, 2007 and his arm came in contact with a live light-switch wire. According to Bender the resulting electrical shock knocked him to the ground, and when he was taken to the hospital the next day he was told he had suffered a mild heart attack.
Bender's problem with presenting his claim in this federal forum at this time does not stem from the incident itself, but rather from his failure to have exhausted his administrative remedies, which Section 1997e(a) makes a precondition to the filing of any such Section 1983 lawsuit by a person in custody in a jail or prison. Although Bender has filled in the responses in Complaint II by stating that he has completed the grievance procedure available at the County Jail, all he says in that respect is that he requested the opportunity to make a telephone call but did not receive a response to that request. That of course does not comply with the well-established procedures for filing written prisoner grievances at the County Jail.
Accordingly both the Complaint and this action must be and are dismissed because of Bender's failure to satisfy Section 1997e(a). If he were hereafter to satisfy that requirement and would seek to reassert his claim,*fn2 he should be aware of the following requirements:
1. Every original complaint must be accompanied by one copy for service on each defendant (only Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is a defendant here, because the Sheriff's Department is not a suable entity) and one copy for this Court.
2. Any In Forma Pauperis Application must be accompanied by a printout showing all transactions in Bender's trust fund account for the six months preceding the date of filing.
3. Any Motion for Appointment of Counsel (also available from the Clerk's Office) must be completed by providing an answer to its Paragraph 2, stating Bender's efforts to obtain a lawyer on his own.