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Lamont D. Haggard (R62161 v. Tom Dart

December 27, 2012


Name of Assigned Judge Edmond E. Chang Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge



The plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. No. 4) is granted. The Court orders the trust fund officer at the plaintiff's place of incarceration to deduct $4.54 from the plaintiff's account for payment to the Clerk of Court as an initial partial filing fee, and to continue making monthly deductions in accordance with this order. The clerk shall send a copy of this order to the trust fund officer at the Shawnee Correctional Center. The clerk shall issue a summons for service on defendant Dart only and send the plaintiff a Magistrate Judge Consent Form and Instructions for Submitting Documents along with a copy of this order. Summons shall not issue at this time for defendant Carnes. Defendant Godinez is dismissed. The United States Marshals Service is appointed to serve all defendants. Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel (Dkt. No. 3), is denied without prejudice. To track the case, a status hearing is set for 02/11/13 at 9:00 a.m.

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


Pro se plaintiff Lamont D. Haggard, an Illinois Department of Corrections inmate, has brought a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 regarding his treatment while previously detained at the Cook County Jail. Pending before the Court are plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. No. 4), complaint for an initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, (Dkt. No. 1), and motion for appointment of counsel. (Dkt. No. 3).

The plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. No. 4), is granted. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), the plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee of $4.54. The trust fund officer at the plaintiff's place of incarceration is authorized and ordered to collect the partial filing fee from the plaintiff's trust fund account and pay it directly to the Clerk of Court. After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the plaintiff's trust fund officer is directed to collect monthly payments from the 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 the plaintiff's name and this case number. This payment obligation will follow the plaintiff wherever he may be transferred.

Turning to the initial review of the complaint, the Court must accept as true all well-pled facts in plaintiff's complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to him. Parish v. City of Elkhart, 614 F.3d 677, 679 (7th Cir. 2010) (citing Johnson v. Rivera, 272 F.3d 519, 520 (7th Cir. 2001)). The Court also "construes pro se complaints liberally and holds them to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam); Obriecht v. Raemisch, 417 F.3d 489, 492 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008)). "To satisfy the notice-pleading standard, a complaint must provide a 'short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' which is sufficient to provide defendant with 'fair notice' of the claim and its basis." Bridges, 557 F.3d at 545 (quoting Erickson, 551 U.S at 89). "'A complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Reger Dev., LLC v. Nat'l City Bank, 592 F.3d 759, 763 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "The complaint must actually suggest that plaintiff has a right to relief, by providing allegations that raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bridges, 557 F.3d at 546 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted) (emphasis in original).

Plaintiff alleges that he was assaulted and stabbed by a group of detainees at the Cook County Jail on January 30, 2011. Defendant correctional officer Carnes was the assigned officer on duty when the incident occurred. Carnes was not at his post when plaintiff was assaulted. Plaintiff blames Carnes's absence for allowing the assault.

Other correctional officers stopped the assault. Plaintiff claims that he was held for questioning for fifteen to thirty minutes following the incident instead of receiving immediate medical assistance. It was clear that he needed immediate treatment due to the fact that he was then taken to the hospital where he received major surgery.

Plaintiff has named Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, the Jail's former director Salvador Gordinez, and officer Carnes as defendants. He does not name the officers who alleged delayed his medical care following the assault as defendants.

The complaint fails to allege a claim against officer Carnes regarding the assault. "The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects pre-trial detainees from punishment and places a duty upon jail officials to protect pre-trial detainees from violence." Fisher v. Lovejoy, 414 F.3d 659, 661 (7th Cir. 2005) (citing Swofford v. Mandrell, 969 F.2d 547, 549 (7th Cir. 1992)); see also Lewis v. Richards, 107 F.3d 549, 552-53 (7th Cir. 1997) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 831-33 (1994); Langston v. Peters, 100 F.3d 1235, 1237 (7th Cir. 1996)). However, not every act of inmate-on-inmate violence results in a constitutional violation. Borello v. Allison, 446 F.3d 742, 747 (7th Cir. 2006).

Although the claim arises under the Fourteenth Amendment because plaintiff was a pretrial detainee, the Court applies the deliberate indifference standard that governs Eighth Amendment claims. Minix v. Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 831 (7th Cir. 2010). The standard contains both an objective prong, requiring a grave risk, and a subjective prong, requiring actual knowledge of the risk. Dale v. Poston, 548 F.3d 563, 569 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 653 (7th Cir. 2005)). As to the objective requirement, plaintiff must show that "(1) he suffered an objectively sufficient serious injury; and (2) he was incarcerated under conditions posing a substantial risk of serious harm." Id. (citing Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834). A condition that poses a substantial risk of harm is one where the "risks [are] so great that they are almost certain to materialize if nothing is done." Brown v. Budz, 398 F.3d 904, 911 (7th Cir. 2005). This standard has been analogized to the threat posed by inherently danger situations such as placing a detainee in a cell with a cobra. Id. at 911 (citing Billman v. Indiana Dep.'t of Corr., 56 F.3d 785, 788 (7th Cir. 1995)).

On the subjective side, the official is deliberately indifferent resulting in a constitutional violation only if he "'effectively condones the attack by allowing it to happen.'" Santiago v. Walls, 599 F.3d 749, 756 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Lewis, 107 F.3d at 553). "[D]efendants [must have] actual knowledge of an impending harm easily preventable, so that a conscious, culpable refusal to prevent the harm can be inferred from defendants' failure to prevent it." Santiago, 599 F.3d at 756 (quoting Lewis, 107 F.3d at 553). "Mere negligence or even gross negligence does not constitute deliberate indifference." Borello, 446 F.3d at 749. However, "[a] prison official cannot escape liability by showing that he did not know that a plaintiff was especially likely to be assaulted by the specific prisoner who ...

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