United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
S. Shah United States District Judge.
motion to dismiss, , is granted. Plaintiff's
complaint is dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff has leave
to file an amended complaint by January 18, 2017. If no
amended complaint is filed, this dismissal will automatically
convert to a dismissal with prejudice and a final judgment
will be entered.
Kenyatta Bridges sues the Sheriff of Cook County, Cook
County, and unknown sheriff's employees under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for allegedly failing to provide him with a lower
bunk, resulting in injury when he fell while he was detained
at the Cook County Jail. Defendants move to dismiss the
complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain factual
allegations that plausibly suggest a right to relief.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). The
court must construe all factual allegations as true and draw
all reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs' favor, but
the court need not accept legal conclusions or conclusory
allegations. Virnich v. Vorwald, 664 F.3d 206, 212
(2011) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 680-82).
alleges that he was a detainee at the Cook County Jail in
April 2014 and that he told jail personnel that he needed a
lower bunk because he was subject to falling out of bed while
sleeping. He alleges that despite notifying jail personnel,
he was placed in a cell where he was forced to sleep in an
upper bunk and, on April 24, 2014, he fell from the upper
bunk while sleeping, causing personal injuries. 
¶¶ 3-6.[*] In Count I, he sues Tom Dart, the
sheriff of Cook County, the county, and unknown sheriff's
employees under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deliberate
indifference to his health needs, resulting in physical
injury.  ¶¶ 11-16. Bridges also alleges that the
defendants' acts violated his fourth-amendment right to
be free from unreasonable seizures.  ¶ 12. In Count
II, Bridges asserts a Monell claim against the
defendants, alleging that the sheriff “had a policy,
custom, or procedure in place directing the standards for
detention of Plaintiff which included ignoring or flouting
Plaintiff's report and notification of his need for a
lower bunk, ” and that this policy resulted in his
injury.  ¶¶ 37-38.
defendants moved to dismiss Bridges's complaint by
arguing that the statute of limitations had passed.
Defendants withdrew this argument on reply, however,
conceding that Bridges's complaint was timely filed under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(a)(1)(C).  at 3. The
statute of limitations for § 1983 claims is two years.
See Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 280 (1985); 735
ILCS 5/13-202. Bridges filed his complaint on April 25, 2016
(the Monday following the date two years from his alleged
fall). Although Bridges's complaint may have been timely
filed, his failure to identify the unknown sheriff's
employees before the statute of limitations expired means
that he cannot amend the complaint to name those
individuals-such an amendment would not relate back to the
original complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(c);
Baskin v. City of Des Plaines, 138 F.3d 701, 703-04
(7th Cir. 1998). Claims against these unknown sheriff's
employees are now time-barred, but Bridges argues that he has
stated a claim against the other defendants under Monell
v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978).
Bridges does not argue that he has stated a deliberate
indifference claim against the sheriff individually, and
indeed, his complaint does not allege the sheriff's
personal involvement in denying him a low bunk. Bridges only
argues against dismissal of his Monell claim. Count
I is dismissed-no claim against a defendant in an individual
capacity (or the county as a necessary party for
indemnification) is adequately or timely alleged.
argue that the Monell claim alleges mere boilerplate
recitals that fail to allege a policy or custom. The
complaint must allege facts plausibly suggesting that a
government policy or custom was the “moving
force” behind the constitutional deprivation. See
Teesdale v. City of Chicago, 690 F.3d 829, 833 (7th Cir.
2012). A plaintiff can establish a “policy or
custom” by showing: (1) an express policy; (2) a
widespread practice that is so permanent and well settled as
to constitute a custom or usage; or (3) that the
constitutional injury was caused by a person with final
policymaking authority. Id. at 834. Here, Bridges
alleges that Dart had a policy “directing the standards
for detention of Plaintiff which included ignoring or
flouting Plaintiff's report and notification of his need
for a lower bunk.”  ¶ 37. But under Monell, a
plaintiff must allege the existence of a true policy or
custom-isolated incidents of allegedly unconstitutional
conduct are insufficient to support a Monell claim. See
Calhoun v. Ramsey, 408 F.3d 375, 380 (7th Cir. 2005) (a
plaintiff must show “that there is a true municipal
policy at issue, not a random event”); Strauss v.
City of Chicago, 760 F.2d 765, 767 (7th Cir. 1985).
Bridges's Monell claim consists of boilerplate legal
conclusions and alleges nothing more than an isolated
incident related to Bridges's April 2014 fall from an
upper bunk. Bridges concedes that he has based his claim on a
single incident and thus cannot establish a constitutional
violation.  at 2. He has not pled facts allowing an
inference that the sheriff had a widespread practice of
ignoring detainee's needs for a lower bunk. Bridges has
failed to state a Monell claim, and Count II is dismissed.
argue that Cook County should be dismissed as a defendant
because Bridges failed to allege any facts about Cook County
or its alleged role in causing his injuries. The complaint
lacks any facts relating to Cook County, and Bridges did
respond to this argument, thus forfeiting any argument on
that issue. See Alioto v. Town of Lisbon, 651 F.3d
715, 721 (7th Cir. 2011). Cook County is dismissed as a
dismissal of the complaint is without prejudice because
Bridges should be given at least one opportunity to amend.
See Foster v. DeLuca, 545 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir.
Bracketed numbers refer to entries on the district court