United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge.
Plaintiff Ronald Barrow's first amended complaint is, once again, before this Court for consideration (Doc. 17). In an order dated August 28, 2014, the Court severed the vision claim set forth in the first amended complaint into a separate action for prompt consideration of Plaintiff's request for eye surgery (Doc. 19). See Barrow v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., , Case No. 14-cv-941 (S.D. Ill., Aug. 28, 2014). The factual allegations giving rise to that claim are set forth in Paragraphs 114-82 (Doc. 17-1, pp. 16-27) and 292-310 (Doc. 17-2, pp. 15-18) of the first amended complaint (Doc. 19). In its severance order, the Court indicated that the remainder of the first amended complaint had a number of deficiencies that would be addressed in a separate order. This includes Paragraphs 1-113, 183-291, and 311-360 of the amended complaint (Doc. 17). The Court will address this portion of the first amended complaint below.
On July 11, 2014, Plaintiff filed a 461-page document with the Court, which included a 111-page complaint (Doc. 1, pp. 1-111), a 24-page memorandum of law (Doc. 1, pp. 112-35), and a 326-page exhibit (Doc. 8). Plaintiff also filed a motion for temporary restraining order, in addition to three other motions (Docs. 2-5).
On July 21, 2014, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's original 461-page submission, after determining that it violated Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Doc. 12). The 111-page complaint spanned 278 paragraphs (Doc. 1). It was divided into twelve distinct claims against nine Defendants for acts or omissions that occurred between 2005 and the present. Under the circumstances, the Court determined that the complaint was simply too unwieldy for Defendants to answer. In the same order, however, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint by August 25, 2014. Plaintiff was given specific instructions for amending the complaint in a manner that cured the deficiencies noted by the Court in its original dismissal order (Doc. 12).
Plaintiff challenged this decision by filing a motion for relief from judgment (Doc. 13). He asked the Court to accept all 461 pages because he deemed them necessary to support his claims. Alternatively, he requested additional time to prepare his amended complaint. The Court denied Plaintiff's request for relief from judgment on August 18, 2014, but granted his request for an extension of the deadline to amend his complaint (Doc. 15). Accordingly, Plaintiff was given until September 24, 2014, to file his first amended complaint.
Plaintiff instead filed the first amended complaint two days later, on August 20, 2014 (Doc. 17). Along with it, he filed a second motion for temporary restraining order (Doc. 21) and supporting memorandum of law (Doc. 20). The Court severed that portion of the first amended complaint and second motion for temporary restraining order addressing Plaintiff's vision claim into a separate action for prompt resolution. See Barrow v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., , Case No. 14-cv-941 (S.D. Ill., Aug. 28, 2014).
Before the Court for consideration at this time is the remainder of the first amended complaint (Doc. 17, ¶¶ 1-113, 183-291, 311-360), that portion of Plaintiff's second motion for TRO which addresses all claims other than Plaintiff's vision claim (Doc. 21), and Plaintiff's motion to stay ruling on remaining first amended complaint (Doc. 22).
1. First Amended Complaint (Doc. 17)
Like Plaintiff's original complaint, Plaintiff's first amended complaint shall be dismissed. The applicable legal standard is set forth in the Court's original dismissal order (Doc. 12, p. 3) and will not be repeated, in full, here. Even construing the first amended complaint liberally in favor of Plaintiff, a pro se litigant, the Court finds that it fails to pass muster under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8 requires a complaint to contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a). Rule 8(d) requires each allegation within the complaint to "be simple, concise, and direct." FED. R. CIV. P. 8(d)(1).
In many ways, the first amended complaint strays further from the dictates of Rule 8 than Plaintiff's original pleading. The Court will briefly address some of the more significant deficiencies that it noted when reviewing the pleading. Because of these numerous defects, the first amended complaint shall be dismissed. However, Plaintiff will be given one final opportunity to submit a second amended complaint that cures the defects noted. Failure to address the below-listed problems when preparing a second amended complaint will result in dismissal of this action. Therefore, Plaintiff should carefully consider each of the Court's observations when re-pleading his claims.
First, the first amended complaint is still far too long. It spans 86 pages. It still includes repetitious allegations. Plaintiff separates these allegations into sections entitled "General Facts" (Doc. 17-1, pp. 1-36) and "Counts" (Doc. 17-2, pp. 1-34). However, the allegations in the two sections are often substantively identical. These sections can be consolidated, if necessary, to avoid repeating the same allegations twice. Plaintiff should limit his second amended complaint to 20 pages in length.
Second, the allegations still refer to events that occurred as far back as 2005. An obvious barrier to claims arising from these events is the applicable statute of limitations, which is different for Plaintiff's various claims. A two-year statute of limitations generally applies to § 1983 claims in Illinois. See Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 387 (2007); Ray v. Maher, 662 F.3d 770, 772-73 (7th Cir. 2011); Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645 (7th Cir. 2013). Therefore, claims arising from events that occurred more than two years before Plaintiff commenced this action may be time-barred. In some instances, these allegations simply provide additional examples of an on-going violation. Under such circumstances, the allegations are cumulative and unnecessary. At the early pleadings stage, Plaintiff need not produce an exhaustive chronology detailing ...