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Richard Peterson v. Thomas Dart

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


April 25, 2011

RICHARD PETERSON
PLAINTIFF,
v.
THOMAS DART, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

#20090007816,

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart ("Dart") and Executive Director Salvador Godinez ("Godinez") of the Cook County Department of Corrections ("County Jail") have filed their Answer, including some affirmative defenses ("ADs"), to the 42 U.S.C. §1983 ("Section 1983") action brought against them and other defendants by appointed counsel for Richard Peterson ("Peterson"). This memorandum order is issued sua sponte because of some problematic aspects of that responsive pleading.*fn1

For one thing, although Answer ¶48 denies Peterson's claimed exhaustion of available administrative remedies (a precondition to suit under 42 U.S.C. §1997e(a)), Answer ¶38 admits Peterson's pursuit of certain grievances. It may be that a Pavey hearing would be required to resolve the exhaustion-of-remedies matter, but in the meantime defense counsel are ordered to file a memorandum on or before May 9, 2011 detailing just what grievances Peterson has filed according to County Jail records and in what respects he has assertedly fallen short of the exhaustion requirement.*fn2

Next, AD 2 cites to the seminal decision in City of Newport v. Fact Concerts, 453 U.S. 247 (1981) as establishing governmental immunity from punitive damages liability under Section 1983--but the citation has no relevance here. Because both Dart (Complaint ¶6) and Godinez (Complaint ¶7) are sued in their individual capacities as well as their official capacities, that AD is stricken.


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