United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
WENDELL R. SMIZER, Plaintiff,
SHERIFF JEFF STANDARD and JAIL SUPERINTENDENT DOUG LAFARY, Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW OPINION
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
filed this case pro se from his incarceration in the Danville
Correctional Center regarding an alleged lack of mental
health treatment while at the Fulton County Jail. His
Complaint is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This section requires the Court to
identify cognizable claims stated by the Complaint or dismiss
claims that are not cognizable. In reviewing the complaint, the
Court accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally
construing them in Plaintiff's favor and taking
Plaintiff's pro se status into account. 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)(quoted cite omitted).
alleges that, from March 23, 2015 to April 6, 2016, during
his detention at the Fulton County Jail, he asked Defendant
Lafary repeatedly for mental health treatment, in particular
to talk to a mental health professional. Defendant Lafary
allegedly withheld mental health treatment in order to
pressure Plaintiff to confess to a crime Plaintiff did not
commit. Defendant Lafary also denied Plaintiff access to a
mental health professional, telling Plaintiff that either
Plaintiff or his family must pay for the consultations.
Instead of providing Plaintiff access to a mental health
professional, Defendant Lafary placed Plaintiff in a suicide
watch cell, which worsened Plaintiff's mental condition.
Plaintiff twice attempted suicide and also went on a hunger
strike in an attempt to obtained needed mental health
treatment. Plaintiff appears to allege that Sheriff Standard
was made aware of this situation and took no action.
allegations state a plausible constitutional claim for
deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's need for treatment
for a serious mental health condition. Plaintiff also pursues
a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but
the viability of that claim is questionable because the ADA
does not provide a remedy for the failure to treat a
condition. See Bryant v. Madigan, 84 F.3d 246, 249
(7th Cir. 1996)(ADA is not violated by a “prison's
simply failing to attend to the medical needs of its disabled
prisoners.”). However, the ADA claim will remain in for
further development as well, subject to a motion to dismiss
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court finds that Plaintiff states a
constitutional claim for deliberate indifference to his
serious mental health needs and a possible claim under the
Americans with Disabilities Act. This case proceeds solely on
the claims identified in this paragraph. 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. Plaintiff is advised
to wait until counsel has appeared for Defendants before
filing any motions, in order to give 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. Plaintiff need not submit
any evidence to the Court at this time, unless otherwise
directed by the Court.
Court will attempt service on Defendants by mailing each
Defendant a waiver of service. Defendants have 60 days from
the date the waiver is sent to file an Answer. If Defendants
have not filed Answers or appeared through counsel within 90
days of the entry of this order, Plaintiff may file a motion
requesting the status of service. After 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 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 Defendants' positions. The
Court does not rule on the merits of those positions unless
and until a motion is filed by Defendants. Therefore, no
response to the answer is necessary or will be considered.
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 Plaintiff with the Clerk. Plaintiff does
not need to mail to Defense counsel copies of motions and
other papers that 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. 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 Defendants is hereby granted leave to depose
Plaintiff at his place of confinement. Counsel for Defendants
shall arrange the time for the deposition.
Plaintiff shall immediately notify the Court, in writing, of
any change in his mailing address and telephone number.
Plaintiff's failure to notify the Court of a change in
mailing address or phone number will result in dismissal of
this lawsuit, with prejudice.
9) If a
Defendants fails to sign and return a waiver of service to
the clerk within 30 days after the waiver is sent, the Court
will take appropriate steps to effect formal service through
the U.S. Marshal's service on that Defendant and will
require that Defendant to pay the ...