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Melvin D. Watson v. Neil Williamson

August 8, 2011

MELVIN D. WATSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEIL WILLIAMSON, SHERIFF, SANGAMON COUNTY, AND UNKNOWN CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS OF THE SHERIFF'S
DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge.

E-FILED

Tuesday, 09 August, 2011 03:00:23 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This cause is before the Court on the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Pursuant to FRCP 12(c) filed by Defendant Neil Williamson, Sheriff of Sangamon County. See d/e 6 (the Motion). For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

In March 2008, Plaintiff, Melvin D. Watson, filed a Complaint (the original Complaint) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendant Williamson and unknown correctional officers of the Sheriff's Department (Case No. 08-3070). In Count I, Plaintiff alleged that on July 11, 2006, he was incarcerated in the Sangamon County Jail and assaulted by five unknown inmates. According to Plaintiff, the unknown Defendant correctional officers failed to prevent Plaintiff from being physically attacked when they knew, or should have known, the attack was "impending." Plaintiff further alleged that the unknown correctional officers and Defendant Williamson demonstrated deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's safety in that they failed to maintain surveillance cameras, failed to maintain adequate supervision, and failed to prevent the attack. In Count II, Plaintiff sought punitive damages.

In September 2008, Defendant Williamson filed a motion to dismiss Count II and answered Count I. In April 2009, the Court dismissed Count II.

On April 6, 2010, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss for Want of Prosecution. That same day, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Without Prejudice. On April 12, 2010, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss and denied as moot Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Want of Prosecution.

On April 7, 2011, Plaintiff refiled the Complaint (the refiled Complaint) against Defendant Williamson and unknown correctional officers of the Sheriff's Department for the injuries Plaintiff suffered in July 2006 (Case No. 11-3093). In Count I, brought pursuant to § 1983, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant Williamson, acting in his official capacity, "engendered and promulgated a policy of deliberate indifference to avoiding harm and damages to inmates under his care, supervision, custody, and control." In Count II, titled "Assault and Battery," Plaintiff alleged Defendants permitted Plaintiff to be assaulted when they knew, or should have known, the assault and injuries would take place.

On July 6, 2011, Defendant Williamson filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Pursuant to Rule 12(c), asserting that the statute of limitations has run. Plaintiff has filed a response.

II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

Plaintiff brought a civil rights action pursuant to §1983, and this Court has jurisdiction over those claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States"). Venue is proper because the events giving rise to the claim occurred in Springfield, Illinois. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) (a civil action where jurisdiction is not founded solely on diversity of ...


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