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Poole v. Saddler

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

February 14, 2014

DAVID POOLE, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHELLE R. B. SADDLER, et al. Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge.

Plaintiff David Poole is an incarcerated patient at the Chester Mental Health Facility in Chester, Illinois. (R. 1, Compl. ¶ 4.) Plaintiff asserts Section 1983 claims against thirty-six individuals and state entities related to their alleged mistreatment of Plaintiff at the Chester Mental Health Facility, the Pontiac Correctional Facility, and the Menard Correctional Facility. The Court has three motions pending before it. First, Plaintiff moves for the Court to order the Illinois Department of Human Services to relocate Plaintiff to a mental health facility near Chicago pending the outcome of this litigation. (R. 10, Mot. to Relocate.) Second, Defendants Todd Loss, Michelle Saddler, Salvador Godinez, Donald Jones, Travis Nottmeier, Christopher Roberts, and Jared Brooks (the "Moving Defendants") move to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against them and to transfer the case to the Southern District of Illinois pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). (R. 19, Mot. to Dismiss.) Third, in response to the Moving Defendants' motion to dismiss, Plaintiff moves for leave to file a proposed Amended Complaint. (R. 29, Mot. to Amend.) For the following reasons, the Court denies Plaintiff's motion to relocate (R. 10), grants the Moving Defendants' motion to dismiss but denies their motion to transfer venue (R. 19), and denies Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend (R. 29).

BACKGROUND

The State of Illinois, through its Department of Corrections ("IDOC") and Department of Health Services ("IDHS"), has held Plaintiff in a number of correctional and mental health facilities since at least 1977. ( See Compl. ¶¶ 17-20.) Plaintiff served time at the Pontiac Correctional Center from 1977 to 1979 ( id. ¶¶ 17-18) and at the Menard Correctional Facility from 1979 to 1982. ( Id. ¶ 19.) From around 1990 to 1995, Plaintiff was a patient at the Elgin Mental Health Facility. (R. 29-1, Proposed First Am. Compl. ¶ 24.) Plaintiff is now a patient at the Chester Mental Health Facility in southern Illinois. ( Id. )

Plaintiff alleges that during his incarceration at Menard Correctional Facility, "he was incorrectly diagnosed with a mental illness, [and] then force-medicated to treat it." (Compl. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff's forced-medication allegedly caused him to develop a dependency on the medications administered to him. ( Id. ) According to Plaintiff, "[h]is treatment while at the Menard Correctional Facility followed him to various mental institutions which continued to treat the plaintiff for his forced-medication induced mental illness. To this day, [Plaintiff] is subjected to demeaning treatment and abuse stemming from an incorrect initial diagnosis." ( Id. ¶ 20.) Plaintiff pleads that "years of initially unneeded psychotropic drug therapy" caused him to get into confrontations with other residents at the Chester Mental Health Facility and left him susceptible to physical attacks, sexual harassment, and mental abuse from residents and facility employees. ( Id. ¶¶ 21-48.) Plaintiff alleges several examples of abuse he purportedly suffered at Chester Mental Health Facility over the last ten years. ( Id. )

Based on these allegations, Plaintiff asserts fifteen counts against thirty-six Defendants: (i) seven counts for violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against twenty-eight current or former employees of the IDOC, Chester Mental Health Facility, Menard Correctional Facility, and Pontiac Correctional Facility, in their individual capacities (Counts II-VII and XV); (ii) four counts of respondeat superior liability against Menard Correctional Facility, Pontiac Correctional Facility, Chester Mental Health Facility, and Chester Mental Health Facility's superintendent (Counts I and IX-XI); (iii) one count for conspiracy to interfere with Plaintiff's right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment against all Defendants (Count VIII); and (iv) and three counts adding the State of Illinois, the IDOC, and the IDHS as necessary parties pursuant to 745 ILCS 10/9-102 (Counts XII-XIV). The seven Moving Defendants move to dismiss Counts IX-XIV for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, Counts VII-VIII for failure to state a claim, and Counts II-VI and IX-XIV as barred by the statute of limitations. (R. 19.) Additionally, the Moving Defendants move to transfer this case to the Southern District of Illinois pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). ( Id. )

Plaintiff did not file a response brief opposing the Moving Defendants' motion to dismiss and transfer venue. Rather, on the deadline for his response brief, Plaintiff moved for leave to file a proposed Amended Complaint, which, according to Plaintiff, addresses several of the issues raised in the Moving Defendants' motion. ( See R. 29.) Plaintiff also has moved for the Court to order the IDHS to relocate Plaintiff to a mental health facility near Chicago pending the outcome of this litigation. (R. 10.)

ANALYSIS

I. The Moving Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

The Moving Defendants seek dismissal of (i) all claims against Defendants Saddler, Godinez, and Jones pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), (ii) all claims against the State of Illinois, the IDHS, the IDOC, Pontiac Correctional Facility, Menard Correctional Facility, and Chester Mental Health Facility based on sovereign immunity, and (iii) all claims and allegations based on acts or omissions that occurred outside the statute of limitations period. (R. 20, Defs. Mem. at 5-10.)

A. Legal Standard

"A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) tests whether the complaint states a claim on which relief may be granted." Richards v. Mitcheff, 696 F.3d 635, 637 (7th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must "give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 126 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (citation omitted). Under the federal notice pleading standards, a plaintiff's "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put differently, a "complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "In evaluating the sufficiency of the complaint, [courts] view it in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, taking as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and making all possible inferences from the allegations in the plaintiff's favor." AnchorBank, FSB v. Hofer, 649 F.3d 610, 614 (7th Cir. 2011).

B. Motion to Dismiss Claims Against Defendants Saddler and Godinez

In Count VIII, the only count naming Saddler and Godinez as Defendants, Plaintiff asserts that Saddler and Godinez, in their individual capacities, conspired with other Defendants to interfere with Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. ( See Count VIII.) Section 1983 imposes civil liability upon "person[s]" who "under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State or Territory, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States... to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws...." 42 U.S.C. § 1983; see also Parker v. Franklin Cnty. Cmty. Sch. Corp., 667 F.3d 910, 925 (7th Cir. 2012) ("A cause of action under § 1983 requires a showing that the plaintiff was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or federal law, by a person acting under color of law." (emphasis and internal quotations omitted)). To plead a Section 1983 conspiracy claim, a plaintiff must allege that (1) the individuals at ...


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