United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, a pretrial
detainee at the Jerome Combs Detention Center, was granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The 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. § 1915A.
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 filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that Defendants Reynolds and Thompson, both
correctional officers, have prevented the plaintiff from
utilizing the grievance process at the Macon County Jail by
refusing to give the plaintiff a grievance form and losing,
or otherwise denying, grievances the plaintiff submitted. The
plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Karen West, the Jail
Confidential Secretary, has harassed him, threatened to
“slap the black off him, ” and denied notary
services to him because the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against
her friend, a jail kitchen supervisor. Finally, the plaintiff
alleges that medical staff has failed to provide him with a
medical examination and tuberculosis (TB) test. Plaintiff
also appears to allege failure to provide medical treatment
for his back, but fails to provide any further information.
plaintiff states a claim for retaliation against Defendant
West. See Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 553
(7th Cir. 2009). The plaintiff has no
constitutional right to the grievance process and he offers
no allegations on how his ability to access the courts has
been infringed. See Antonelli v. Sheahan, 81 F.3d
1422, 1430 (7TH Cir. 1996). Therefore, he has not
stated a constitutional claim related to the grievances, and
defendants Reynolds, Thompson and Hawkin will be dismissed.
plaintiff's claims that he has not received a medical
examination, TB test, or medical treatment for his back fail
to establish a claim for deliberate indifference. In order to
show deliberate indifference, the plaintiff must demonstrate
that the defendant knew that a substantial risk of serious
harm existed. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837,
114. S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994). Negligence is not
enough to impose liability for deliberate indifference to a
serious medical need. “[A] defendant's inadvertent
error, negligence or even ordinary malpractice is
insufficient to rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment
constitutional violation. Johnson v. Pala, 2012 WL
3020533 (S.D. Ill. July 24, 2012); see Duckworth v.
Ahmad, 532 F.3d 675, 679 (7th Cir.2008).
plaintiff has filed a motion for temporary restraining
order/preliminary injunction (#6) which merely restates the
allegations and relief requested in plaintiff's
complaint. A party seeking injunctive relief has the burden
of proving that he will suffer irreparable harm if the relief
is not granted. Ty, Inc., v. Jones Group, Inc., 237
F.3d 891, 895 (7th Cir. 2001). Here, plaintiff
does not present this as an emergency or claim that he will
suffer irreparable harm if the matter is left to be decided
in the normal course. Plaintiff's request for injunctive
relief is denied.
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff states a
Fourteenth Amendment due process claim against Defendant West
for retaliation. 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