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Williams v. Cook County Jail

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois


July 7, 2010

ZEALOUS WILLIAMS (#2010-0102214)
v.
COOK COUNTY JAIL, ET AL.

Name of Assigned Judge JAMES B. ZAGEL Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT:

The plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [#3] is granted. The court authorizes Cook County Jail officials to deduct $17.40 from the plaintiff's account, and to continue making monthly deductions in accordance with this order. The clerk shall send a copy of this order to the Supervisor of Inmate Trust Fund Accounts, Cook County Dept. of Corrections Administrative Office, Division V, 2700 S. California, Chicago, IL 60608. However, summonses shall not issue at this time. The complaint on file is dismissed without prejudice. The plaintiff is granted thirty days to submit an amended complaint (plus a judge's copy and service copies). The clerk is directed to provide the plaintiff with an amended civil rights complaint form and instructions. Failure to submit an amended complaint within thirty days of the date of this order will result in summary dismissal of this case in its entirety.

O [For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

STATEMENT

The plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff claims that jail officials acted with deliberate indifference to his safety and that health care providers acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs. More specifically, the plaintiff alleges that correctional officers refused to intervene when the plaintiff was attacked by fellow inmates; he additionally maintains that the medical staff denied him needed treatment for his injuries.

The plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), the plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee of $17.40. The supervisor of inmate trust accounts at the Cook County Jail is authorized and ordered to collect, when funds exist, the partial filing fee from the plaintiff's trust fund account and pay it directly to the clerk of court. After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the plaintiff's trust fund officer is directed to collect monthly payments from the plaintiff's trust fund account in an amount equal to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the account. Monthly payments shall be forwarded to the clerk of court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the full $350 filing fee is paid. All payments shall be sent to the Clerk, United States District Court, 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Illinois 60604, attn: Cashier's Desk, 20th Floor, and shall clearly identify the plaintiff's name and the case number assigned to this action. The Cook County inmate trust account office shall notify transferee authorities of any outstanding balance in the event the plaintiff is transferred from the jail to another correctional facility.

However, the plaintiff must submit an amended complaint, as the pleading on file does not name a proper defendant. The Cook County Jail is not a suable entity. See, e.g., Castillo v. Cook County Department Mail Room, 990 F.2d 304 (7th Cir. 1993). Nor can Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart be held liable under the facts alleged. Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on personal liability and predicated upon fault; thus, "to be liable under § 1983, an individual defendant must have caused or participated in a constitutional deprivation." Pepper v. Village of Oak Park, 430 F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005) (citations omitted). The doctrine of respondeat superior (blanket supervisory liability) does not apply to actions filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740 (7th Cir. 2001). To be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, supervisors "must know about the conduct and facilitate it, approve it, condone it, or turn a blind eye for fear of what they might see. Chavez v. Illinois State Police, 251 F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001) (citations omitted). They must in other words act either knowingly or with deliberate, reckless indifference." Id. The complaint suggests no basis for liability on the part of the Sheriff. The plaintiff must name as defendants those individuals who were directly and personally responsible for the constitutional violations he alleges.

For the foregoing reasons, the court dismisses the complaint on file without prejudice. The plaintiff is granted thirty days in which to submit an amended complaint. The amended complaint should name as defendants the officers who allegedly failed to act when the plaintiff was attacked, as well as the officers and/or health care providers who denied the plaintiff needed medical care (or access to medical treatment) for the injuries he sustained in the attack. The plaintiff must write both the case number and the judge's name on the amended complaint, sign it, and return it to the Prisoner Correspondent. As with every document filed with the court, the plaintiff must provide an extra copy for the judge; he must also submit a sufficient number of copies for service on each defendant named in the amended complaint.

The plaintiff is cautioned that an amended pleading supersedes the original complaint and must stand complete on its own. Therefore, all allegations must be set forth in the amended complaint, without reference to the original complaint. Any exhibits the plaintiff wants the court to consider in its threshold review of the amended complaint must be attached, and each copy of the amended complaint must include complete copies of any and all exhibits.

The clerk will provide the plaintiff with an amended complaint form and instructions. If the plaintiff fails to comply within thirty days, the case will be summarily dismissed on the understanding that the plaintiff does not wish to pursue his claims in federal court at this time.

20100707

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