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Gay v. Chandra

November 15, 2010

ANTHONY GAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
REKESH CHANDRA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On April 30, 2008, Plaintiff Anthony Gay filed this action in the Circuit Court of Alexander County, Illinois, against seven individuals who work at the Tamms Correctional Center. The action was removed to federal court on May 4, 2010, by Defendant Chandra. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint 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 from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A. An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

THE COMPLAINT

Gay sets forth seven separate counts in his complaint. Counts I and II are directed at Defendant Chandra. Counts III and IV are directed at Defendants Bartley, Lambert, Gossett, Reagan*fn1 and Markel. Count V is directed at Defendants Kachigian and Clover. Counts VI and VII are directed solely at the Illinois Department of Corrections.*fn2

Rule 18(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits Gay to assert all of his claims against one defendant in one civil action. As such, Gay may properly bring Counts I and II in the same complaint because in both counts Gay seeks relief against Defendant Chandra, and only against Chandra.

Count V against Kachigian and Clover involves aspects of Gay's mental health treatment at Tamms, as do Counts I and II against Chandra. Given the age of this action at the time it was removed to federal court, the interests of fairness suggest that these claims be allowed to proceed together in this action.*fn3

Counts III, IV, VI and VII of the complaint, however, do not seek relief against Chandra, Kachigian or Clover. Further, the claims asserted in Counts III, IV, VI and VII do not appear to arise from the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences as in Counts I, II or V. The Seventh Circuit has confirmed that separate, unrelated claims belong in different suits. George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). On review of the complaint, the claims against Defendants Bartley, Lambert, Gossett, Reagan, Markel and I.D.O.C. in Counts III, IV, VI and VII of the complaint are not sufficiently related to the claims against Defendant Chandra in Counts I and II, or the claims against Kachigian and Clover in Count V, so as to allow them to proceed together in one lawsuit.

At this time, the Court will accept Chandra's assertion that only he, Kachigian and Clover remain as defendants in this action. It follows, therefore, that Counts III, IV, VI and VII must be dismissed, as none of those ...


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