United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Johnson Coleman United States District Court Judge.
plaintiff, Jeremiah John Cherry, brings this suit against the
Cook County Sheriff's Office, the Cook County Department
of Corrections, and Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart in his
official capacity, alleging that the defendants violated his
Eight Amendment rights. The defendants now move this Court to
dismiss this case for failure to state a claim on which
relief may be granted. For the reasons set forth below, that
motion  is granted.
following allegations from the second amended complaint are
taken as true for the purpose of ruling on the present
motion. Cherry has been incarcerated in the Cook County
Department of Corrections since 2013. Beginning in 2014,
Cherry periodically suffered from hives, hand numbness,
partial blindness, and swelling of the face, lips, throat,
and tongue. These symptoms arose throughout 2014 and 2015 and
were treated by physicians at Cermak Health Services of Cook
County. On two occasions, Cherry had to be hospitalized after
swelling of his throat and tongue interfered with his ability
April 2015, Cherry was sent to the John H. Stroger Jr.
Hospital of Cook County for an allergy test. Cherry never
received the results of that test. A physician in the Cook
County Jail separately informed Cherry that his reactions
were likely the result of mold exposure, although only a
specialist could ultimately make that determination. Cherry
was never allowed to return to Stroger to see a specialist,
and continued to be housed in Division 1 of the Cook County
Jail, where mold was colonizing the walls and ceiling. Cherry
filed multiple inmate grievances requesting treatment, an
appointment with an allergy specialist, or the results of his
allergy test. After those grievances were unsuccessful,
Cherry initiated the present action.
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint, not
the merits of the allegations. The allegations must contain
sufficient factual material to raise a plausible right to
relief. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 569 n.14, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007).
Although Rule 8 does not require a plaintiff to plead
particularized facts, the complaint must allege factual
“allegations that raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Arnett v. Webster, 658
F.3d 742, 751-52 (7th Cir. 2011). Put differently, Rule 8
“does not require ‘detailed factual allegations,
' but it demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009), see also Fed. R. Civ.
P. 8(a). When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court must
accept all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint
as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor. Park v. Ind. Univ. Sch. of
Dentistry, 692 F.3d 828, 830 (7th Cir. 2012).
initial matter, this Court notes that Cherry does not object
to dismissing the Cook County Sheriff's Office and the
Cook County Department of Corrections because those
defendants are not separate legal entities from the Cook
County Sheriff. Accordingly, those defendants will be
order to find governmental agencies or employees liable in
their official capacities in a Section 1983 action, a
plaintiff must show that he suffered injuries of a
constitutional magnitude as a result of an official policy,
practice, or custom. Monell v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 591, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611
(1978). In order to state a viable section 1983 claim, a
plaintiff must allege that his injury was caused by (1) an
express policy that, when enforced, causes a constitutional
deprivation, (2) a widespread practice that, although not
expressly authorized, is so permanent and well settled as to
constitute a custom or usage with the force of law, or (3) an
allegation that the constitutional injury was caused by a
person with final policymaking authority. Houskins v.
Sheahan, 549 F.3d 480, 493 (7th Cir. 2008). Although a
plaintiff asserting a Monell claim is not held to a
heightened pleading standard, a plaintiff must plead factual
content sufficient to support a reasonable inference that the
City maintained a policy, custom, or practice that caused a
constitutional violation. McCauley v. City of
Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011).
initial matter, this Court notes that, although the Eighth
Amendment is not directly applicable to pretrial detainees,
its protections extend to pretrial detainees under the
Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Zentmyer
v. Kendall Cnty, III., 220 F.3d 805, 810 (7th Cir.
2000). Dart contends that Cherry has failed to adequately
state a claim against him because Cherry has not alleged a
widespread policy, practice, or custom of violating pretrial
detainees' constitutional rights. Cherry does not address
this contention. Instead, Cherry asserts that to be held
liable, a defendant must be personally responsible for the
deprivation of a constitutional right. The standard that
Cherry recites, however, is the standard for individual
capacity claims under section 1983. See Sanville v.
McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740 (7th Cir. 2001). Here,
Cherry's second amended complaint unequivocally states
that Dart is being sued in his official capacity. Thus,
Cherry's arguments concerning the standard for individual
capacity claims are unavailing.
second amended complaint does not allege the existence of an
official policy, practice, or custom sufficient to establish
Monell liability with respect to the Cook County
Sheriff. Although Cherry alleges that “[t]he
Defendants' above-mentioned actions and/or omissions were
committed under color of law, pursuant to policies, customs,
practices, rules, regulations, ordinances, statutes, and/or
usages of the State of Illinois or a political subdivision
thereof, ” that conclusory allegation is inadequate to
establish a Monell claim against the Cook County
Sheriff. Manney v. Monroe, 151 F.Supp.2d 976, 1000
(N.D. Ill. 2001). Moreover, Cherry's allegations of
repeated failures to provide him with appropriate medical
care, absent more, are inadequate to allege that an official
policy, practice, or custom of the Cook County Sheriff gave
rise to those failures.
foregoing reasons, the defendants' motion to dismiss 
is granted. This case is dismissed with prejudice with
respect to the Cook County Sheriffs Office and the Cook
County Department of Corrections and without prejudice with
respect to Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart. Cherry is granted
28 days from entry of this order to file a motion for leave
to file an amended ...