United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
BILLY MCDADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court for a merit review, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, of Plaintiff Justin Andrew Whitney's
REVIEW UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(A)
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A, the Court is
required to carefully screen a complaint filed by a plaintiff
who seeks to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court must
dismiss a complaint, or a portion thereof, if the plaintiff
has raised claims that are legally “frivolous or
malicious, ” that fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. Id. The
test for determining if an action is frivolous or without
merit is whether the plaintiff can make a rational argument
on the law or facts in support of the claim. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint fails to
state a claim for relief if the complaint does not allege
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009).
reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true and liberally construes them in
plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). Conclusory statements
and labels are insufficient. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8; Schatz v.
Republican State Leadership Comm., 669 F.3d 50,
55 (1st Cir. 2012)(holding that, in order to
determine if a complaint states a plausible claim, the court
must take non-conclusory, non-speculative facts as true, draw
all reasonable inferences in the pleader's favor, and
isolate and ignore statements that simply rehash claim
elements or offer only legal labels and conclusions).
Instead, sufficient facts must be provided to “state a
claim for relief that is plausible on its face.”
Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d 418,
422 (7th Cir. 2013)(internal quotation omitted).
is a pretrial detainee who is currently being held at the
Champaign County Jail. Whitney alleges that managers at the
Champaign County Jail allowed trash bags to be hung from the
top of a steel stairway at the Jail. Although he does not
allege how, Whitney claims that the placement of the trash
bags caused him to fall and to injure himself. Whitney claims
that he was denied medical treatment for thirteen days after
sustaining injuries from the fall. After he finally received
medical attention from medical professionals at Carle
Hospital in Champaign, Whitney claims that Defendants Dr.
Shaw and Dr. Futake ignored the care instructions that were
provided by the medical professionals at Carle Hospital after
he returned to the Jail. Finally, Whitney alleges that
Defendants Worley and Richards tampered with his medical
files in order to hide the denial of his medical treatment.
Complaint state a claim against Dr. Shaw, Dr. Futake, Worley,
and Richards for deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment Due
Process rights. Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct.
2466 (2015); Gilbert v. Rohana, 2015 WL 6442289, * 4
(S.D. Ind. Oct. 23, 2015)(finding that
“Kinglsey did not alter the legal standard for
denial of medical treatment claims brought by pretrial
detainees like Plaintiff.”).
Complaint does not state a claim against Captain Voges and
Nancy Griffin. According to Whitney, these two placed false
information into a freedom of information act file. Whitney
alleges that they did so in order to hide the lack of concern
for his health. However, Whitney does not explain who relied
upon this alleged false information and how these documents
led to the violation of his constitutional rights.
Accordingly, Whitney's Complaint fails to state a claim
against Captain Vogues and Nancy Griffin.
Complaint also fails to state a claim against the Champaign
County Jail, the Jail's managers, Corrections Care
Solutions, and its managers. As for the Champaign County
Jail, it is a building, not a person who can be sued under
§ 1983. Smith v. Knox County Jail, 666 F.3d
1037, 1040 (7th Cir. 2012).
the Champaign County Jail managers, Correction Care
Solutions, and its managers, Whitney is improperly attempting
to hold it and them liable under the doctrine of
respondeat superior. “[I]ndividual liability
under § 1983 requires ‘personal involvement in the
alleged constitutional deprivation.'” Minix v.
Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir.
2010)(quoting Palmer v. Marion County, 327 F.3d 588,
594 (7th Cir. 2003)). Indeed, the Seventh Circuit
has explained that the doctrine of respondeat
superior (a doctrine whereby a supervisor may be held
liable for an employee's actions) has no application to
§ 1983 actions. Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610,
622 (7th Cir. 2010).
in order for a supervisor to be held liable under § 1983
for the actions of his subordinates, the supervisor must
“approve of the conduct and the basis for it.”
Chavez v. Illinois State Police, 251 F.3d 612, 651
(7th Cir. 2001); Gentry v. Duckworth, 65
F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995)(“An official
satisfies the personal responsibility requirement of section
1983 . . . if the conduct causing the constitutional
deprivation occurs at [his] direction or with [his] knowledge
and consent.”)(internal quotation omitted).
“[S]upervisors must know about the conduct and
facilitate it, approve it, condone it, or turn a blind eye
for fear of what they might see. They must in other words act
either knowingly or with deliberate, reckless
indifference.” Backes v. Village of Peoria Heights,
Illinois, 662 F.3d 866, 870 (7th Cir.