United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, a civil detainee at the
Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility
(“Rushville”) is requesting leave to proceed
under a reduced payment procedure for indigent plaintiffs who
are institutionalized but are not prisoners as defined in 28
U.S.C. Section 1915(h).
“privilege to proceed without posting security for
costs and fees is reserved to the many truly impoverished
litigants who, within the District Court's sound
discretion, would remain without legal remedy if such
privilege were not afforded to them.” Brewster v.
North Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461 F.2d 649, 651
(7th Circ. 1972). Additionally, a court must
dismiss cases proceeding in forma pauperis “at
any time” if the action is frivolous, malicious, or
fails to state a claim, even if part of the filing fee has
been paid. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)(2). Accordingly, this
court grants leave to proceed in forma pauperis only
if the complaint states a federal action.
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). 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 he is a member of the Messianic
Hebrew/Messianic Judaism faith. He alleges that his religious
beliefs require that he observe the Sabbath (a weekly day of
rest between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday) and eat
Kosher meals. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants
terminated his employment because he would not work during
the Sabbath, that the defendants refused to accommodate his
requests to be provided a cooler full of food every Friday,
and that he is not being provided with a Kosher diet.
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(“RLUIPA”) prohibits government officials from
placing a substantial burden upon an incarcerated
person's exercise of sincerely held religious beliefs. 42
U.S.C. §§ n2000cc-1(a)-(b). Plaintiff's
allegations support a plausible claim that TDF officials have
violated his rights under RLUIPA.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court finds that the plaintiff states a
claim in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First
Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1 against the
named defendants. 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
of a motion to compel. Discovery does not begin until defense
counsel has filed an appearance and the Court has entered a
scheduling order, which will explain the discovery process in
Counsel for the defendants is hereby granted leave to depose
the plaintiff at his place of confinement. Counsel for the