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Hannah v. Rolland

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

October 4, 2016

KENNETH HANNAH, Plaintiff,
v.
BOBBIE JO ROLLAND, et. al., Defendants.

          MERIT REVIEW OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This cause is before the Court for merit review of the pro se Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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. 2103). 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

         The Plaintiff alleges his constitutional rights were violated by various individuals from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, the Litchfield Police Department, Hillsboro Police Department, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), and Wexford Health Sources.[1] Plaintiff has specifically identified eleven Defendants, but has also listed numerous John Doe Defendants.

         Plaintiff says on July 1, 2015, he discovered the mother of his child was “high on drugs.” (Comp, p. 2). When Plaintiff tried to prevent Defendant Bobbie Jo Rolland from driving off with their child, Plaintiff alleges she ran him over with a van. Litchfield Police Officer Cory Bilyeu arrived on the scene and arrested Plaintiff for Aggravated Domestic Battery. Plaintiff says the officer refused to investigate the actions of Ms. Rolland or arrest her for running him over.

         Plaintiff says he told Defendant Bilyeu he was in pain, but the officer refused to take him to the hospital. Instead, Plaintiff says he was taken to the Hillsboro County Sheriff's Office. There are several inconsistencies in Plaintiff's complaint at this point. For instance, Plaintiff says Defendant Bilyeu was a Litchfield City Police Officer, but also claims the officer worked for the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

         Nonetheless, Plaintiff says he again asked for medical care at Hillsboro, but he was instead immediately taken to Graham Correctional Center. Again, Plaintiff does not explain, but apparently he was accused of a parole violation. Once at Graham, Plaintiff says a nurse “refused to perform an MRI, and only performed an x-ray.” (Comp., p. 5). Plaintiff also alleges his repeated requests for examination by an outside specialist were denied, and the Defendants either denied “mediation and therapy and/or unjustifiably limit these medications and therapy.” (Comp., p. 19).

         Plaintiff finally alleges Defendants either refused to respond to his grievances or refused to forward them to the appropriate supervisors.

         ANALYSIS

         There are several problems with Plaintiff's complaint. First, Plaintiff has named some Defendants which cannot be sued pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. For instance, Plaintiff cannot sue his child's mother because she is not a “state actor.” See Wyatt v Cole, 504 U.S. 158, 161 (1992)(§1983's purpose is “to deter state actors from using the badge of their authority to deprive individuals of their federally guaranteed rights...”). In addition, Plaintiff cannot sue the Montgomery County Jail since a jail is not a person subject to lawsuit pursuant to §1983. See Powell v Cook County Jail, 814 F.Supp. 757, 758 (N.D. Ill. 1993). Therefore, the Court will dismiss Defendant Bobbie Jo Roland and the Montgomery County Jail.

         Second, it is well-settled that private citizens do not have a constitutional right to have an individual criminally prosecuted. See Linda R.S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S. 614, 619 (1973); United States v. Batchelder, 442 U.S. 114, 124 (1979); Joseph v. Lewis, 95 F.3d 54, 1996 WL 460071 (5th Cir. July 30, 1996).

         Third, even if IDOC defendants did not properly investigate or respond to grievances, this does not state a constitutional violation. The Constitution requires no procedure at all, and the failure of state prison officials to follow their own procedures does not, standing alone, violate the Constitution. Maust v. Headley, 959 F.2d 644, 648 (7th Cir.1992); Shango v. Jurich, 681 F.2d 1091, 1100-01 (7th Cir.1982).

         Fourth, the Plaintiff has not explained how many of the alleged Defendants are directly involved in his claims. In order to hold an individual liable under Section 1983, Plaintiff must “show that the defendants were personally responsible for the deprivation of their rights.” Wilson v. Warren Cty., Illinois, 2016 WL 3878215, at *3 (7th Cir. 2016). “A defendant is personally responsible ‘if the conduct causing the constitutional deprivation occurs at his direction or with his knowledge and consent.'” Id. quoting Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995). It is not sufficient to simply list several John Does Defendants without explaining specifically how each was involved in the Plaintiff's allegations.

         In addition, the mere fact that a defendant was a supervisor is insufficient to establish liability because the doctrine of respondeat superior (supervisor liability) does not apply to actions filed under 42 USC §1983. See Pacelli v. DeVito, 972 F.2d 871, 877 (7th Cir. 1992). Therefore, the Court will dismiss IDOC Director John ...


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