United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
TERRY C. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
SCHUYLER COUNTY, Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW AND CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
The 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 Defendants Mayes, Wear, and Rose lured him to
the Security Director's office under false pretenses for
purposes of attacking the plaintiff, who was being
investigated for a crime. While leaving the office, plaintiff
alleges that Defendant Clayton kicked and then tripped him.
The defendants who were present at the time did nothing to
prevent this alleged attack. Plaintiff alleges Defendant
Clayton attacked him because plaintiff exercised his Fifth
Amendment right to remain silent. Plaintiff was later
transported to the Schuyler County Jail wearing only a
jumpsuit and shower shoes in temperatures plaintiff alleges
were “bitterly cold, ” while Defendants Rose and
Wear drove the transport van at “very slow
speeds” and refused to turn on the heat inside the
vehicle. Plaintiff alleges these defendants laughed at his
alleges that he was initially housed in a holding cell at the
Schuyler County Jail (“jail”) for approximately
eight (8) hours “for no apparent reason other than
[plaintiff] being African American.” Plaintiff alleges
Caucasian inmates were offered a medical examination, phone
call, and showers while he was not as a result of his race.
Plaintiff alleges he was not present in person for his
probable cause hearing (held approximately one day after his
arrival at the jail) and that Defendant Clayton falsely
represented to the judge that he (Clayton) was a deputy
sheriff. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Clayton
intentionally destroyed video evidence in his criminal case,
and that the prosecuting attorney did not conduct a
sufficient investigation into his case. Plaintiff also
alleges that Defendants Redshaw and Anna Marie Schieferdecker
responded to his FOIA request.
states claims against two distinct sets of defendants. First,
plaintiff states a claim for excessive force and retaliation
against Defendant Clayton, and a failure to intervene claim
against Defendants Rose, Wear, Mayes and Winters. Plaintiff
also states a conditions-of-confinement claim against
Defendants Wear and Rose for the alleged exposure to cold
temperatures without adequate clothing. Plaintiff does not
allege that Defendants Scott, Kunkel, Clark, and Hernanez
personally participated in these events, and, therefore, they
will be dismissed. See Vance v. Peters, 97 F.3d 987,
991 (7th Cir. 1996) (“[L]iability does not
attach unless the individual defendant caused or participated
in a constitutional deprivation.”).
plaintiff states an arguable equal protection claim for the
alleged dissimilar treatment on the basis of his race against
officials at the Schuyler County Jail. This claim, however,
is against non-TDF defendants and should be brought in a
separate lawsuit. See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605,
607 (7th Cir. 2007) (“Unrelated claims against
different defendants belong in different suits . . .”).
plaintiff's claims that he was not provided with a
probable cause hearing within 48 hours, he does not state a
claim. Plaintiff received a hearing within one day after
being informed of the charges and transported to the jail.
Defendant Hooker, the judge, and Defendant Escapa, the
State's Attorney, have absolute immunity from suit.
See Lewis v. Mills, 677 F.3d 324, 330
(7th Cir. 2012) (“Prosecutors are entitled
to absolute immunity when they are performing functions-such
as determining whether charges should be brought and
initiating a prosecution-‘intimately associated with
the judicial phase of the criminal process.'”
(quoting Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 270
(1993)); Polzin v. Gage, 636 F.3d 834, 838
(7th Cir. 2011) (“A judge has absolute
immunity for any judicial actions….”).
is a civil detainee at Rushville and, therefore, his
constitutional rights are derived from the Due Process Clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment. See, e.g., Kingsley
v. Hendrickson, ___ U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 2475
(2015); Budd v. Motley 711 F.3d 840, 842
(7th Cir. 2013). However, the Seventh Circuit has
“found it convenient and entirely appropriate to apply
the same standard to claims arising under the Fourteenth
Amendment (detainees) and Eight Amendment (convicted
prisoners) ‘without differentiation.'”
Board v. Farnham, 394 F.3d 469, 478 (7th
Cir. 2005) quoting Henderson v. Sheahan, 196 F.3d
839, 845 n.2 (7th Cir. 1999).
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court finds that the plaintiff states
Fourteenth Amendment Due Process claims for (1) excessive
force and retaliation against Defendant Clayton; (2) failure
to intervene against Defendants Rose, Wear, Mayes and
Winters; and (3) conditions of confinement against Defendants
Wear and Rose. 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