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Rocky Richmond (#2011-0826078 v. Tom Dart

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois


November 15, 2012

ROCKY RICHMOND (#2011-0826078)
v.
TOM DART

Name of Assigned Judge or Magistrate Judge ROBERT M. DOW Sitting Judge if Other than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT:

Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [#3] is granted. The Court authorizes and orders Cook County Jail officials to deduct $3.40 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, Illinois 60608. However, summonses shall not issue at this time. On the Court's own motion, David A. Axelrod, David A. Axelrod & Associates, P.C., 20 South Clark Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, Illinois 60603, (312) 782-4600 is appointed to represent Plaintiff in accordance with counsel's trial bar obligations under the District Court's Local Rule 83.37 (N.D. Ill.). The complaint on file is dismissed without prejudice to appointed counsel filing an amended complaint within 60 days if the amended complaint comports with appointed counsel's obligations under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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

STATEMENT

Plaintiff, a detainee in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that correctional officials and health care providers at the jail have violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference to his medical needs. More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he has received inadequate care and treatment for various medical conditions, including a hernia, high blood pressure, back problems, arthritis, and chronic headaches.

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 $3.40. 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, the trust fund officer at Plaintiff's place of confinement 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 collected from Plaintiff's trust fund account 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 threshold review of the complaint. Here, accepting Plaintiff's allegations as true, the Court finds that the complaint articulates a colorable federal cause of action. The Due Process Clause prohibits deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of a pretrial detainee. Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d 763, 779 (7th Cir. 2008); Chapman v. Keltner, 241 F. 3d 842, 845 (7th Cir. 2001); but see Johnson v. Doughty, 433 F.3d 1001, 1017 (7th Cir. 2006) (inattention only to serious injury or signs of serious injury amounts to a constitutional violation).

The fact that a prisoner received some medical treatment does not necessarily defeat his claim; deliberate indifference to a serious medical need can be manifested by "blatantly inappropriate" treatment, Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 654 (7th Cir. 2005) (emphasis in original), or by "woefully inadequate action" as well as by no action at all. Reed v. McBride, 178 F.3d 849, 854 (7th Cir. 1999). It should be noted that neither medical malpractice nor a mere disagreement with a doctor's medical judgment amounts to deliberate indifference. Berry v. Peterman, 604 F.3d 435, 441 (7th Cir. 2010); Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106; Greeno, 414 F.3d at 653. Nevertheless, Plaintiff's allegations of deliberate indifference state an arguable claim against prison employees.

However, the complaint on file does not name a proper Defendant. Plaintiff has alleged no facts suggesting the direct, personal involvement of the only named Defendant, Sheriff Tom Dart. See J.H. ex rel. Higgin v. Johnson, 346 F.3d 788, 793 (7th Cir. 2003). Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on personal liability and predicated upon fault; thus, "to be liable under § 1983, an individual defendant must have caused or participated in a constitutional deprivation." Pepper v. Village of Oak Park, 430 F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005) (citations omitted). The doctrine of respondeat superior (blanket supervisory liability) does not apply to actions filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See, e.g., Kinslow v. Pullara, 538 F.3d 687, 692 (7th Cir. 2008).

Due to the serious nature of Plaintiff's allegations, as well as his apparent inability to draft an acceptable complaint, the Court hereby appoints David A. Axelrod, David A. Axelrod & Associates, P.C., 20 South Clark Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, Illinois 60603, (312) 782-4600 to represent Plaintiff in accordance with counsel's trial bar obligations under the District Court's Local Rule 83.37 (N.D. Ill.). After investigation, appointed counsel should file an amended complaint within sixty days if such amendment comports with counsel's obligations under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If counsel is unable to file an amended complaint, he should so inform the Court.

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