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Joe Louis Jones (#R-20910 v. Lake County's Jail Food Service

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois


September 26, 2012

JOE LOUIS JONES (#R-20910)
v.
LAKE COUNTY'S JAIL FOOD SERVICE DEPT.

Name of Assigned Judge JAMES B. ZAGEL Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT:

The plaintiff is granted thirty days in which either to file an in forma pauperis application on the enclosed form with the supporting information required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2) or pay the full $350 filing fee. The plaintiff must also submit an amended complaint (plus a judge's copy and service copies). The clerk is directed to send the plaintiff an i.f.p. application, an amended complaint form, and instructions along with a copy of this order. Failure of the plaintiff to comply with this order within thirty days will result in summary dismissal of this case. The plaintiff is reminded that he must provide the court with the original plus a judge's copy of every document filed.

O [For further details see text below.]

Docketing to mail notices.

The plaintiff, currently an Illinois state prisoner, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff claims that while he was incarcerated at the Lake County Jail, its food service department served him a drink mix twice a day that was known to be "harmful and unhealthy" and to cause cognitive disability.

The plaintiff has failed either to pay the statutory filing fee or to file a petition for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires all inmates to pay the full filing fee, even those whose cases are summarily dismissed. In all prisoner civil lawsuits, the court must assess an initial partial filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The court will direct correctional officials to deduct the initial filing fee payment directly from the plaintiff's trust fund account. Thereafter, correctional authorities having custody of the plaintiff will be authorized and ordered to make monthly payments to the court of 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the trust fund account until such time as the full filing fee is paid.

To enable the court to make the necessary assessment of the initial partial filing fee, the plaintiff must "submit a certified copy of the trust fund account statement (or institutional equivalent) for the prisoner for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint or notice of appeal, obtained from the appropriate official of each prison at which the prisoner is or was confined." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). Therefore, if the plaintiff wishes to proceed with this case by making installment payments instead of paying the full filing fee in advance, he must file an in forma pauperis application on the form required by the rules of this court, together with a certified copy or copies of his trust fund statements reflecting all activity in his accounts in the past six months [that is, from March 24, 2012, through September 24, 2012].

The plaintiff must also submit an amended complaint, as the document on file does not name a proper defendant. The only named defendant, the Lake County Jail Food Service Department, is not a suable entity. See, e.g., Castillo v. Cook County Department Mail Room, 990 F.2d 304 (7th Cir. 1993). The plaintiff must name as defendants those individuals who knowingly served a toxic drink (or, if he does not know their names, the supervisor of the food service department).

For the foregoing reasons, the court dismisses the complaint on file without prejudice. The plaintiff is granted thirty days in which to submit an amended complaint on the court's required form. The plaintiff must write both the case number and the judge's name on the amended complaint, sign it, and return it to the Prisoner Correspondent. As with every document filed with the court, the plaintiff must provide an extra copy for the judge; he must also submit a service copy for each defendant named in the amended complaint. The plaintiff is cautioned that an amended pleading supersedes the original complaint and must stand complete on its own. Therefore, all allegations against all defendants must be set forth in the amended complaint, without reference to the original complaint. Any exhibits the 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 plaintiff is advised to keep a copy for his files. The clerk will provide the plaintiff with an amended civil rights complaint form and instructions along with a copy of this order.

In sum, the plaintiff must: (1) either file a properly completed petition to proceed in forma pauperis or pay the statutory filing fee; and (2) submit an amended complaint, plus judge's and service copies. The Clerk will provide the plaintiff with the necessary forms along with a copy of this order. Failure of the plaintiff to comply with this order within thirty days will result in summary dismissal of this case.

20120926

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