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Ford v. The Illinois Department of Corrections, S.A.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 6, 2015

GEORGE FORD, Plaintiff,
v.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT of CORRECTIONS, S.A.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STACI M. YANDLE, District Judge.

Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"), and is currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center ("Lawrence"). His civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 was originally filed by counsel in the Northern District of Illinois on August 13, 2014, under Case Number 14-cv-06242. All identified Defendants were served with process, and they promptly moved to dismiss the action or to transfer venue (Doc. 13). The Northern District granted the venue transfer on December 1, 2014, because no Defendant resides in the Northern District, and no substantial part of the events underlying the complaint occurred there (Doc. 22, p. 3). The court further found that venue is proper in the Southern District, because Plaintiff alleges that he has been and continues to be deprived of mental health treatment at Lawrence. The matter was transferred to this Court on December 22, 2014 (Doc. 24).

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening.- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal.- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

The Complaint

Plaintiff alleges that he has been diagnosed with several severe mental illnesses, including bipolar depression type I, panic disorder, schizophrenia, and agoraphobia. His symptoms include hearing imaginary voices and having paranoid delusions. He has attempted suicide twice during his current incarceration, as well as on two prior occasions (Doc. 1, p. 4). He also suffers from hepatitis C. When properly treated, his mental health can be stabilized, but in the absence of adequate treatment, he is a danger to himself.

In September 2010, Plaintiff was sentenced to serve eight years in IDOC custody for aggravated driving under the influence (Doc. 1, p. 5). During his incarceration, he has received only sporadic treatment for his mental health conditions, and has been denied necessary psychiatric medication for days at a time. The lack of consistent medication has caused his condition to deteriorate. In July 2012, while Plaintiff was at Western Illinois Correctional Center, his hallucinations and paranoid delusions let to a fight with his cellmate (Doc. 1, p. 6). Following that incident, he was severely beaten and injured by unknown guards, and received a disciplinary ticket for fighting with the officers. Plaintiff's punishment included the loss of one year of good conduct credits. He was disciplined with a year in solitary confinement in Pontiac Correctional Center, and was then transferred to Lawrence in July 2013.

He contends that Lawrence officials continue to deprive him of proper psychiatric care, and have failed to properly administer his medications (Doc. 1, p. 7). Further, he has been given no treatment for his hepatitis C, thus placing him at risk for liver damage and other complications (Doc. 1, p. 6).

Plaintiff requests declaratory and injunctive relief for the Defendants' violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Rehabilitation Act. He specifically seeks an order requiring Defendants to provide him with adequate mental health care and treatment, and requiring them to restore the good time credits ...


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