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Sercye v. Diaz

September 16, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, District Judge


Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee confined at the Cook County Jail, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his original complaint (Doc. 1) and motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. By Minute Order dated January 15, 2010, the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, granted Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis and directed Cook County Jail Officials to "deduct $18.33 from Plaintiff's account, and to continue making monthly deductions in accordance with this order" (Doc. 6).

Plaintiff's original complaint alleged that he had been improperly transferred from Cook County Jail to Jefferson County Jail. Plaintiff asserted that while he was confined at the Jefferson County Jail, he was stabbed in the neck. It appears that Plaintiff was taken to a hospital for treatment and, upon his release from the hospital, he was transferred back to Cook County Jail.

Plaintiff claimed that following the attack and his transfer back to Cook County Jail, he was "afraid for his life" (Doc. 1).

In the January 15 Order, Judge Pallmeyer also dismissed Plaintiff's original complaint without prejudice and held that if Plaintiff "wishes to sue correctional officials at the Jefferson County Jail for failing to protect him from attack, [he] must file . in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois" (Doc. 6). Judge Pallmeyer found that the complaint failed to state a viable claim against the Cook County Sheriff because Plaintiff did not have a right to be held or confined in any particular jail. Judge Pallmeyer noted, however that the original complaint asserted that Plaintiff was "currently in danger at the Cook County Jail." With respect to this claim, though, Plaintiff had not identified the specific individuals who had allegedly violated his rights by being deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's safety. Plaintiff was given thirty days to file an amended complaint "naming those specific individuals who have allegedly acted with deliberate indifference to his safety (that is, those specific officers to whom Plaintiff has expressed his fears for his safety but who have failed to take any action to protect him)." (Doc. 6).

Plaintiff's first amended complaint (Doc. 8) was filed on February 11, 2010. By Minute Order dated March 11, 2010, Judge Pallmeyer stated:

Despite the court's instructions, Plaintiff's amended complaint focuses solely on the rejected claims -- what he perceives as an improper transfer to the Jefferson County Jail, and officials' alleged failure there to protect him from attack. The amended complaint makes no mention of any current threat to Plaintiff's safety. (Doc. 14). Accordingly, Judge Pallmeyer transferred the case to this Court.

On March 3, 2010, Plaintiff filed his proposed second amended complaint (Doc. 19), which this Court construes as a motion for leave to file a the second amended complaint. This motion is GRANTED. The second amended complaint supersedes and replaces the original complaint. See Flannery v. Recording Indus. Assoc. Of Am., 354 F.3d 632, 638 n.1 (7th Cir. 2004). In his second amended complaint, Plaintiff seeks relief only against Defendants Roger Mulch, Randy Pollard, Bonnie May, John Does 1-3, and the Cook County Department of Corrections. It appears that Plaintiff has dropped his claims against Defendants Diaz and Slaughter. Accordingly, Defendants Diaz and Slaughter are DISMISSED as defendants in this action.

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the second amended complaint (Doc. 19) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening.-- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal.-- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune ...

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