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Maxwell v. Caskey

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

June 2, 2014

JEREMY MAXWELL, Plaintiff,
v.
HERBERT T. CASKEY, et al., Defendants.

MERIT REVIEW OPINION

SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, District Judge.

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and detained in the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

The "privilege to proceed without posting security for costs and fees is reserved to the many truly impoverished litigants who, within the District Court's sound discretion, would remain without legal remedy if such privilege were not afforded to them." Brewster v. North Am. Van Lines, Inc. , 461 F.2d 649, 651 (7th Cir. 1972). Additionally, a court must dismiss cases proceeding in forma pauperis "at any time" if the action is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim, even if part of the filing fee has been paid. 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(d)(2). Accordingly, this Court grants leave to proceed in forma pauperis only if the complaint states a federal claim.

In reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour , 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to "state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S. , 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(quoted cite omitted).

ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiff is civilly detained in the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, 725 ILCS 207/1, et seq . He alleges that he is learning disabled and suffers from panic attacks, a seizure disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The therapy provided at the Center is allegedly based primarily on group therapy, which Plaintiff cannot tolerate because of his problems with anxiety and panic attacks. Others in the group berate and threaten Plaintiff, to the point that Plaintiff has vomited after a therapy session and had a panic attack during another. Plaintiff has allegedly been recommended to have one-on-one therapy due to Plaintiff's learning disabilities and emotional issues, but that has not been provided. The therapists leading the group therapy have accused Plaintiff of faking his difficulties.

ANALYSIS

Plaintiff is entitled to humane conditions of confinement and to adequate treatment for his serious mental disorder, as determined by an appropriate professional exercising professional judgment. See Youngberg v. Romeo , 457 U.S. 307, 323 (1982)(decisions by professionals working at mental health institution are afforded deference and violate the Constitution only if professional judgment not exercised). Plaintiff is not entitled to dictate the treatment he receives. Plaintiff's constitutional rights are violated only if the treatment decisions are a "substantial departure from accepted professional judgment." Sain v. Wood , 512 F.3d 886, 894-95 (7th Cir. 2009).

Plaintiff's allegations allow a plausible inference that the treatment being offered to Plaintiff is outside the range of accepted professional judgment. Plaintiff is allegedly unable to cope with the group therapy environment, which effectively means that he receives no therapy at all. Additionally, Plaintiff may also state a claim for deliberate indifference to his serious mental health needs regarding his anxiety disorder and panic attacks.

Some of Plaintiff's claims may be barred by the two-year statute of limitations, but that determination should await input from Defendants.

Plaintiff has clarified that he intended to name Kirk Witherspoon, Deborah Messrey, Wayne Statam, and Carolyn Sward as witnesses in support of his claim, not as Defendants. Accordingly, these persons will be dismissed.

IT IS ORDERED:

1. Plaintiff's petition to proceed in forma pauperis is granted (2). Pursuant to a review of the Complaint, the Court finds that Plaintiff states a claim for deliberate indifference to his need for treatment for his mental disorders. This case proceeds solely on the claims identified in this paragraph. Any additional claims shall not be included in the case, except at the Court's ...


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