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Bernie B. Cleveland v. County of Cook

May 20, 2011


Name of Assigned Judge Blanche M. Manning Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge




Plaintiff's second amended complaint [16] is accepted. The Clerk shall: (1) issue summonses of Plaintiff's second amended complaint [16] for Defendants Correctional Officer Palu and Sergeant Krauskopt; (2) terminate Defendants County of Cook, Thomas Dart, Ms. Smith, and Daniel Brown; and (3) send Plaintiff a Magistrate Judge Consent Form, Instructions for Submitting Documents, and a copy of this order. Plaintiff's motions for appointment of counsel [4], [9] are denied without prejudice.

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


Plaintiff, a detainee at the Cook County Jail, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff submits a second amended complaint. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt initial review of prisoner complaints against governmental entities or employees.

Plaintiff alleges that on May 5, 2010, another inmate, Schaffer, stole some commissary items from Plaintiff's property box. When Plaintiff approached Schaeffer about the missing items, Schaeffer hit Plaintiff in the face several times resulting in a bloody nose and swollen eye and lip. Schaffer ran from the deck and returned shortly thereafter with Correctional Officer Palu and Sergeant Krauskopt. Plaintiff explained to Krauskopt that Schaffer assaulted him and stole items from his property box. Plaintiff and Schaffer were sent to segregation for fighting. Before being placed in segregation, Plaintiff and Schaffer were taken for medical treatment. Plaintiff received x-rays and medication for an injured nose. Schaffer was sent for a psychological evaluation. Palu, Krauskopt, and the nurse that treated Plaintiff (Nurse Jane Doe) told Plaintiff that Schaeffer had mental health issues but they were not able to do anything until something, such as the attack, happened. Although Plaintiff was told he would see a "nose doctor," he never received such medical treatment.

Plaintiff also alleges that Ms. Smith and Daniel Brown, the director of the company that provides commissary items for CCJ, have engaged in a conspiracy and extortion by refusing to refund some funds into Plaintiff's trust fund account. Lastly, Plaintiff alleges that when he was in segregation he saw Sheriff Tom Dart and told him about what "was happening to him." Plaintiff alleges that Sheriff Dart told him he would "take care of this matter;" however, the matter was never addressed.

Plaintiff names the County of Cook, Correctional Officer Palu, Sergeant Krauskopt, Daniel Brown, Tom Dart, Ms. Smith, and Jane Doe (the unknown nurse) as Defendants. Plaintiff identifies four counts in his complaint but does not identify which counts are brought which Defendants (and he includes two, Count #3). Count 1 is identified as "assault, deliberate indifference, conspiracy, medical, medical needs, safety, due process, extortion." Count 2 is identified as "neglect, failure to protect, medical care." The first Count 3 is identified as "deliberate indifference to medical needs, neglect to medical care, extortion, conspiracy, due process." The second Count #3 is identified as "extortion/conspiracy."

Plaintiff appears to be bring a claim for failure to protect him from harm by Schaffer based on Palu, Krauskopt, and Jane Doe's knowledge that Schaeffer had mental health issues but they could not do anything until he engaged in wrongful conduct. While tenuous, Plaintiff may proceed on this claim against these Defendants.

Plaintiff also claims that he was supposed to be seen by a "nose doctor" but has not seen him/her yet. Plaintiff does not name who has prevented him from being taken to or receiving such medical treatment. Thus, Plaintiff has not sufficiently stated a claim against a named Defendant as to this issue.

Plaintiff appears to be attempting to bring a claim based on the jail not refunding his money for the stolen commissary items. Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to a refund of his money due to another inmate stealing his commissary items.

Plaintiff repeatedly alleges a "conspiracy" and "extortion" by unidentified Defendants and specifically against Ms. Smith and Daniel Brown. However, he fails to allege the form and scope of the conspiracy and he fails to indicate the Defendants' roles in the alleged conspiracy. Plaintiff's bare allegations of a conspiracy and extortion fail to satisfy even the liberal pleadings requirements under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. See Ryan v. Mary Immaculate Queen Center, 1 ...

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