United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is now before the court for a merit review of
plaintiff’s claims. The court is required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A to “screen” the plaintiff’s
complaint, and through such process to identify and dismiss
any legally insufficient claim, or the entire action if
warranted. A claim is legally insufficient if it “(1)
is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
reviewing the complaint, the court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in the
plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7thCir. 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)(citation omitted). The court
has reviewed the complaint and has also held a merit review
hearing in order to give the plaintiff a chance to personally
explain his claims to the court.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed this lawsuit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging failure to protect
at the Hill Correctional Center on May 2, 2014. The plaintiff
alleges that on that date, he was assaulted by his cellmate
and when he pushed the emergency button in his cell, officers
did not respond. The plaintiff claims that he was forced to
fight for his life, though he does not identify any injury.
plaintiff names the Illinois Department of Corrections and
any unknown officers as defendants. The Illinois Department
of Corrections is not a proper defendant under Â§ 1983 because
it is not a ''person'' as that term is used
in the statute. Wright v. Porter County, 2013 WL
1176199, *2 (N.D. Inc. Mar. 19, 2013)(''Wright also
sues the jail itself, but this is a building, not a
''person'' or even a policy-making body that
can be sued for constitutional violations.) John Doe Officers
1, 2 and 3 will be added as defendants to replace “any
unknown officers.” As the court cannot effectuate
service on Doe defendants, the court will add Warden
Stephanie Dorethy as a defendant for the limited purpose of
aiding in identifying the Doe defendants. Donald v. Cook
Co. Sheriff’s Dept., 95 F.3d 548
(7th Cir. 1996)(the court may allow the case to
proceed to discovery against a high-level official with the
expectation that she will aid in identifying the Doe
defendants.) Once identified, Warden Dorethy may file a
proper motion to have her dismissed from the lawsuit.
case will proceed on plaintiff’s deliberate
indifference claim under the Eighth Amendment. Velez v.
Johnson, 395 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir.
2005)(failure to respond to emergency button may be evidence
of deliberate indifference). The plaintiff is put on notice,
however, that there is a potential statute of limitations
issue in this case.
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff states an
Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference against
John Doe Officers 1, 2, and 3. Any additional claims shall
not be included in the case, except at the court’s
discretion on motion by a party for good cause shown or
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15.
case is now in the process of service. The plaintiff is
advised to wait until counsel has appeared for the defendants
before filing any motions, in order to give the defendants
notice and an opportunity to respond to those motions.
Motions filed before defendants' counsel has filed an
appearance will generally be denied as premature. The
plaintiff need not submit any evidence to the court at this
time, unless otherwise directed by the court.
court will attempt service on the defendants by mailing each
defendant a waiver of service. The defendants have 60 days
from the date the waiver is sent to file an answer. If the
defendants have not filed answers or appeared through counsel
within 90 days of the entry of this order, the plaintiff may
file a motion requesting the status of service. After the
defendants have been served, the court will enter an order
setting discovery and dispositive motion deadlines.
respect to a defendant who no longer works at the address
provided by the plaintiff, the entity for whom that defendant
worked while at that address shall provide to the clerk said
defendant's current work address, or, if not known, said
defendant's forwarding address. This information shall be
used only for effectuating service. Documentation of
forwarding addresses shall be retained only by the clerk and
shall not be maintained in the public docket nor disclosed by
defendants shall file an answer within 60 days of the date
the waiver is sent by the clerk. A motion to dismiss is not
an answer. The answer should include all defenses appropriate
under the Federal Rules. The answer and subsequent pleadings
shall be to the issues and claims stated in this opinion. In
general, an answer sets forth the defendants' positions.
The court does not rule on the merits of those positions
unless and until a motion is filed by the defendants.
Therefore, no response to the answer is necessary or will be
district uses electronic filing, which means that, after
defense counsel has filed an appearance, defense counsel will
automatically receive electronic notice of any motion or
other paper filed by the plaintiff with the clerk. The
plaintiff does not need to mail to defense counsel copies of
motions and other papers that the plaintiff has filed with
the clerk. However, this does not apply to discovery requests
and responses. Discovery requests and responses are not filed
with the clerk. The plaintiff must mail his discovery
requests and responses directly to defendants' counsel.
Discovery requests or responses sent to the clerk will be
returned unfiled, unless they are attached to and the subject
of a motion to compel. Discovery does not begin until defense
counsel has filed an appearance and the court has entered a
scheduling order, which will explain the discovery process in
Counsel for the defendants is hereby granted leave to depose
the plaintiff at his place of confinement. Counsel for the