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Mohamed Alghazali (2011-1229126 v. Grand and Central Police Station

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

July 3, 2012

MOHAMED ALGHAZALI (2011-1229126)

Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Joan H. Lefkow than Assigned Judge



Plaintiff's motion for leave to file in forma pauperis [3] is granted. The Court authorizes and orders Cook County Jail officials to deduct $11.80 from Plaintiff's account, and to continue making monthly deductions in accordance with this order. The Clerk shall send a copy of this order to the Supervisor of Inmate Trust Fund Accounts, Cook County Dept. of Corrections Administrative Office, Division V, 2700 S. California, Chicago, IL 60608. However, summonses shall not issue at this time. The complaint on file is dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff is granted thirty days to submit an amended complaint (plus a judge's copy and service copies). The Clerk is directed to provide Plaintiff an amended civil rights complaint form with instructions. Failure to submit an amended complaint within thirty days of the date of this order will result in summary dismissal of this case in its entirety.

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


Plaintiff, Mohamed Alghazali, a pretrial detainee at Cook County Jail, brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), Plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee of $11.80. The supervisor of inmate trust accounts at the Cook County Jail is authorized and ordered to collect, when funds exist, the partial filing fee from Plaintiff's trust fund account and pay it directly to the Clerk of Court. After payment of the initial partial filing fee, Plaintiff's trust fund officer is directed to collect monthly payments from Plaintiff's trust fund account in an amount equal to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the account. Monthly payments shall be forwarded to the Clerk of Court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the full $350 filing fee is paid. All payments shall be sent to the Clerk, United States District Court, 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Illinois 60604, attn: Cashier's Desk, 20th Floor, and shall clearly identify Plaintiff's name and the case number assigned to this action. The Cook County Jail inmate trust account office shall notify transferee authorities of any outstanding balance in the event Plaintiff is transferred from the jail to another correctional facility.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt review of the complaint.

Plaintiff alleges that he was arrested in December of 2011. He alleges that the arresting police officer used excessive force during the arrest, breaking Plaintiff's hand. Plaintiff further alleges that he has not received proper medical care for the broken hand at Cook County Jail. Plaintiff names the Grand and Central Police Station as the sole Defendant.

Plaintiff's complaint fails to name a suable defendant. The sole named Defendant, the Grand and Central Police Station, is not a suable party. West By & Through Norris v. Waymire, 114 F.3d 646, 646-47 (7th Cir.1997); Gray v. City of Chicago, 159 F. Supp. 2d 1086, 1089 (N.D. Ill. 2001). In addition, Plaintiff does not name any Defendants regarding the lack of medical care at Cook County Jail for his injured hand.

Plaintiff does not appear to know the name of the police officer Defendant. When a plaintiff does not know the names of the persons who actually injured him, the law permits the court, at the pleading stage, to make an inference of responsibility on the part of the defendant's immediate supervisor. See Duncan v. Duckworth, 644 F.2d 653, 655-56 (7th Cir. 1981); Billman v. Indiana Dept. of Corrections, 56 F.3d 785, 789-90 (7th Cir. 1995); Donald v. Cook County Sheriff's Dept., 95 F.3d 548, 556 (7th Cir. 1996). Consequently, if Plaintiff wants to pursue his claim but cannot name the police officer, he should amend the complaint to add as a Defendant a supervisory official or administrator who is in a position to identify the unknown Defendant (such as the Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy). Once Plaintiff has obtained service on the supervisor, and an attorney has entered an appearance on the supervisor's behalf, Plaintiff may send defense counsel interrogatories (a list of questions) eliciting information regarding the identity of the Defendant who allegedly violated his constitutional rights. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 33. After Plaintiff learns the Defendant's identity, he may ask leave of court to amend his complaint to substitute his/her name in place of the unknown police officer. Summons would then issue for service on the Defendant in interest and the supervisory Defendant will be dismissed.

In light of the above, the Court dismisses the complaint without prejudice. Plaintiff is given 30 days from the date of this order to submit an amended complaint on the forms required by Local Rule 81.1 of this Court. Plaintiff must write both the case number and the judge's name on the complaint and return the originally filled out and signed form and a copy for the judge and a copy for each defendant he names to the Prisoner Correspondent. Plaintiff is advised to keep a copy for his files. The copies of the complaint may be either exact duplicates of the original (that is, photocopied from the original) or conformed copies of the original (that is, typed or hand written word for word from the original). If Plaintiff chooses to make conformed copies then he may request more copies of the amended complaint form from the Prisoner Correspondent.

Plaintiff is cautioned that an amended pleading supersedes the original complaint and must stand complete on its own. Therefore, all allegations must be set forth in the amended complaint, without reference to the original complaint. Any exhibits Plaintiff wants the court to consider in its threshold review of the amended complaint must be attached, and each copy of the amended complaint must include complete copies of any and all exhibits.

The Clerk will provide Plaintiff with an amended complaint form and instructions. If Plaintiff fails to comply within thirty days, the case will be summarily dismissed.


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