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Ray Rogers (#2010-0714227 v. Dart

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

August 3, 2012

RAY ROGERS (#2010-0714227)

Name of Assigned Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge



Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [3] is granted. The Court authorizes and orders Cook County Jail officials to deduct $6.67 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. The Clerk shall: (1) issue summonses for service of the complaint on the Defendants, (2) attach a Magistrate Judge Consent Form to the summonses for Defendants, and (3) send Plaintiff said Form and Instructions for Submitting Documents along with a copy of this order. Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel [4] is denied without prejudice. Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend his complaint [5] is denied without prejudice.

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

Plaintiff, Ray Rogers, a pretrial detainee at Cook County Jail, brings this pro se civil rights 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 $6.67. 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 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 beginning in November 2011, he was not provided his religious meals, lunch or dinner, when he was scheduled to be transported to court. He further alleges that the religious diet he does receive on other days lacks the proper nutritional value of other meals within the jail and lacks any variety, unlike other religious diets. Plaintiff names Sheriff Thomas Dart and Director Gary Hickerson as Defendants. The Defendants must respond to the complaint.

The United States Marshals Service is appointed to serve the Defendants. Any service forms necessary for Plaintiff to complete will be sent by the Marshal as appropriate to serve Defendants with process. The U.S. Marshal is directed to make all reasonable efforts to serve Defendants. With respect to any former Cook County employee who can no longer be found at the work address provided by Plaintiff, Cook County shall furnish the Marshal with Defendant's last-known address. The information shall be used only for purposes of effectuating service [or for proof of service, should a dispute arise] and any documentation of the address shall be retained only by the Marshal. Address information shall not be maintained in the court file, nor disclosed by the Marshal. The Marshal is authorized to mail a request for waiver of service to Defendants in the manner prescribed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d)(2) before attempting personal service.

Plaintiff is instructed to file all future papers concerning this action with the Clerk of Court in care of the Prisoner Correspondent. Plaintiff must include the original and a judge's copy of all filings. In addition, Plaintiff must send an exact copy of any filing to Defendants or, if represented by counsel, to counsel for Defendants. Plaintiff must include on the original filing a certificate of service stating to whom exact copies were mailed and the date of mailing. Plaintiff must also insure all pleadings, written motions, and other papers submitted to the Court are signed pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a). Any paper that is sent directly to the judge or otherwise fails to comply with these instructions may be disregarded by the Court or returned to Plaintiff.

Plaintiff also moves for the appointment of counsel. Civil litigants do not have a constitutional or statutory right to counsel. See Johnson v. Doughty, 433 F.3d 1001, 1006 (7th Cir. 2006). Nevertheless, a district court may, in its discretion, "request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel." Gil v. Reed, 381 F.3d 649, 656 (7th Cir. 2004) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)); Luttrell v. Nickel, 129 F.3d 933, 936 (7th Cir. 1997). In deciding whether to appoint counsel, the Court must "first determine if the indigent has made reasonable efforts to retain counsel and was unsuccessful or that the indigent was effectively precluded from making such efforts." Gil, 381 F.3d at 656 (quoting Jackson v. County of McLean, 953 F.2d 1070, 1072 (7th Cir. 1992)). If so, the Court must consider:

(1) whether, given the degree of difficulty of the case, Plaintiff appears competent to try it himself; and (2) whether the assistance of counsel would provide a substantial benefit to the Court or the parties, potentially affecting the outcome of the case. Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654 (7th Cir. 2007); Gil, 381 F.3d at 656.

After considering these factors, the Court concludes that appointment of counsel is not warranted. Plaintiff has articulated a colorable claim and he has alleged no physical or mental disability that might preclude him from adequately investigating the facts giving rise to his complaint. Neither the legal issues raised in the complaint nor the evidence that might support Plaintiff's claims are so complex or intricate that a trained attorney is necessary. It should additionally be noted that the court grants pro se litigants wide latitude in the handling of their lawsuits. Therefore, Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel is denied without prejudice.

Lastly, prior to the Court's review of Plaintiff's original complaint, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint. However, Plaintiff did not attach the proposed amended complaint. If Plaintiff wishes to amend his complaint, he must submit a renewed motion, accompanied by the proposed amended complaint. The amended complaint must be on the forms required under 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 his amended complaint may either be 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.

The amended complaint replaces or supersedes the original complaint. In other words, after Plaintiff files an amended complaint, the Court no longer considers the original complaint. Thus, allegations or claims contained in the original complaint will not be considered if they are not included in the amended complaint. Similarly, if a defendant in the original complaint is not named as defendant on the cover of the amended complaint, the Court will treat that defendant as dropped from the suit.


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