United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, and currently
incarcerated in the Pontiac Correctional Center, was granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The plaintiff
filed a motion for leave to amend his complaint (#8) on
October 17, 2016, which is granted. 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 amended 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 amended 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 (7th Cir. 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 amended 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, while incarcerated at Western Illinois
Correctional Center, he was punched, choked, kicked, and
stomped unconscious by at least six (6) correctional officers
(Defendants Hunziker, Finch, and John Does 1 through 4) while
Defendant Lt. John Doe watched and did nothing. The plaintiff
alleges that Defendant Nurse Jane Doe overlooked his obvious
medical injuries (bleeding, swelling, etc.) and did not
provide treatment. The plaintiff alleges he was then placed
into a cell without drinking water and a mattress for three
(3) days. The plaintiff also alleges that his outgoing mail
has been restricted since his arrival at Pontiac Correctional
plaintiff states claims for excessive force against
Defendants Hunziker, Finch and John Does 1 through 4, failure
to intervene against Defendant Lt. John Doe, and deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need against Defendant
Nurse Jane Doe.
plaintiff fails to state a claim for
conditions-of-confinement. See Burton v. Downey, 805
F.3d 776, 786 (7th Cir. 2015)(the deprivation of
“the minimal civilized measure of life's
necessities” in the context of a
conditions-of-confinement claim involves “deprivations
of essential food, medical care, or
sanitation” (emphasis in original)).
plaintiff's claim for restricting his outgoing mail
against the Pontiac officials should be dismissed.
“Unrelated claims against different defendants belong
in different suits.” See George v. Smith, 507
F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff states
Eighth Amendment claims for (1) excessive force against
defendants Hunziker, Finch, and John Doe 1, 2, 3, and 4, (2)
failure to intervene against Lt. John Doe, and (3) deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need against Nurse Jane
Doe. 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
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