IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
November 4, 2009
JAMES JOHNSON #20080020758, PLAINTIFF,
COOK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
As requested in this Court's October 14, 2009 memorandum order, incarcerated pro se plaintiff James Johnson ("Johnson") has tendered an In Forma Pauperis Application ("Application") and a Motion for Appointment of Counsel ("Motion"), in each instance using the form supplied by this District Court's Clerk's Office. Also as requested, Johnson's Application has been accompanied by a printout showing the transactions in his trust fund account at the Cook County Department of Corrections ("County Jail"), where he is in custody.
First, the trust fund account printout has enabled this Court to address the Application in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §1915 ("Section 1915"). In that respect the average monthly deposits to the account for the six-month period from April through September 2009 (Section 1915(b)(1)(A)) amount to $157.50, requiring an initial partial filing fee payment of $31.50 (id.). Accordingly Johnson is assessed that initial fee of $31.50, and the County Jail trust fund officer is ordered to collect that amount from Johnson's trust fund account there and to pay it directly to the Clerk of Court ("Clerk"):
Office of the Clerk United States District Court 219 South Dearborn Street Chicago IL 60604
Attention: Fiscal Department Both the initial payment and all future payments shall clearly identify Johnson's name and the 09 C 6318 case number assigned to this action. To implement these requirements, the Clerk shall send a copy of this order to the County Jail trust fund officer.
After such initial payment, the trust fund officer at any correctional facility where Johnson is now or may hereafter be confined is authorized to collect monthly payments from his trust fund account in an amount equal to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the account. Monthly payments collected from the trust fund account shall be forwarded to the Clerk each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the full $350 filing fee is paid.
As for the Motion, Johnson writes that he has not communicated with any attorneys or organizations in an effort to obtain legal representation for himself, because the County Jail has been on lockdown and he has such limited resources and ability to act on his own. Although our Court of Appeals typically requires a better showing than that, it is clear that everyone in the system--not only Johnson himself but also any named defendant as well as this Court--will be better served when a lawyer is put into the mix to represent Johnson.
Accordingly this Court has obtained the name of this member of the trial bar to represent Johnson pro bono publico:
Eric Daniel Jones, Esq. Paul B. Episcope, LLC 77 West Washington Street - Suite 300 Chicago IL 60602
Appointed counsel is expected to cause process to be served, and a minute order is being entered contemporaneously setting an initial status hearing date for 9 a.m. December 23, 2009.
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