United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
matter is before the court on Defendant Cook County's
(Cook County) and Defendant Cook County Sheriff Thomas
Dart's (Sheriff Dart) (collectively referred to as
“Defendants”) motion to dismiss. For the reasons
stated below, the motion to dismiss is granted.
Anthony Lyons (Lyons) alleges that he was placed in Cook
County jail (Jail) on April 15, 2015. Lyons alleges that he
filed an inmate grievance on May 10, 2015 complaining about
the conditions of the Jail. Lyons claimed, in his grievance,
that the Jail was in poor condition which created health
risks for Lyons. Lyons alleges that Cook County responded to
Lyons' grievance stating that Lyons' “concerns
are being addressed by the sanitation crew.” (Compl.
Par. 9). On May 16, 2015, Lyons filed a request for an appeal
and Cook County responded that their response stands and
attached the original response. Lyons filed this cause of
action on May 29, 2015 and filed an amended complaint on June
20, 2016. Lyons includes in his first amended complaint a
single claim brought against Sheriff Dart and Cook County
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983 and the eighth and
fourteenth Amendments. Federal statute “28 U.S.C.
§ 1983" does not exist. The court will construe the
complaint liberally and infers that Lyons intended to allege
a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Section 1983). On
August 19, 2015, the court granted Lyons' in forma
pauperis application. On January 7, 2016, the court
appointed an attorney for Lyons. Defendants move to dismiss
Lyons' complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) (Rule 12(b)(6)).
ruling on a motion to dismiss brought pursuant Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Rule 12(b)(6)), the court must
draw all reasonable inferences that favor the plaintiff,
construe the allegations of the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, and accept as true all
well-pleaded facts and allegations in the complaint.
Appert v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., 673 F.3d
609, 622 (7th Cir. 2012); Thompson v. Ill. Dep't of
Prof'l Regulation, 300 F.3d 750, 753 (7th Cir.
2002). A plaintiff is required to include allegations in the
complaint that “plausibly suggest that the plaintiff
has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a
‘speculative level'” and “if they do
not, the plaintiff pleads itself out of court.”
E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 496
F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007)(quoting in part Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007));
see also Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., 673 F.3d
at 622 (stating that “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss,
the complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face, ” and that “[a] claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged”)(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662 (2009))(internal quotations omitted).
argue that Lyons has failed to allege sufficient facts to
plausibly state a claim for relief under Section 1983 and
that Lyons fails to allege sufficient facts against Sheriff
Dart in his individual or official capacity.
Sufficiency of Allegations
argue that the conditions Lyons complained of do not amount
to punishment nor do they fall below the minimal civilized
measure of life's necessities. A prisoner can show that
his Eighth Amendment rights were violated based on
“conditions of confinement in a jail or prison, ”
by establishing: (1) that there was a deprivation that
“from an objective standpoint . . . was sufficiently
serious that it result[ed] in the denial of the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities, ” and (2)
that “prison officials [were] deliberately indifferent
to this state of affairs.” Gray v. Hardy, 2016
WL 3457647, at *2 (7th Cir. 2016)(internal quotations
omitted)(quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
834 (1994)). The Seventh Circuit has identified several
situations that meet this demanding test, including lack of
heat, clothing, or sanitation. Gillis v. Litscher,
468 F.3d 488, 493 (7th Cir. 2006). Also, “[s]ome
conditions of confinement may establish an Eighth Amendment
violation in combination when each alone would not do
so.” Id. If a short-term adverse condition of
confinement might not be considered an Eighth Amendment
violation, it may become one if that condition is endured
over a significant period of time. Dixon v. Godinez,
114 F.3d 640, 643 (7th Cir.1997).
alleges that there is no working water fountain in the day
room, the shower has mold, the sinks are not cleaned, there
are five bathroom stalls for thirty nine people, the
authorities have not power washed the division, other inmates
use the sinks and do other “unsanitary things, ”
and the mold affects Lyons' ability to breathe.
Defendants argue that Lyons' allegations are conclusory
statements and fail to allege facts to state a plausible
claim for relief. Defendants contend that the alleged
conditions do not fall below the threshold of minimal
civilized measures of life's necessities. Defendants also
argue that the Jail's conditions do not amount to
unconstitutional punishment and that Lyons did not suffer any
combination of these conditions, although uncomfortable, are
not sufficiently serious that it denied Lyons of the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities. Also, combining
the effects of these circumstances and conditions over a
period of time does not rise to the level of a violation of
Section 1983. The court accepts Lyons' allegations as
true and draws all reasonable inferences in Lyons' favor.
However, Lyons fails to sufficiently allege any deprivation
of necessities. See Jaros v. Illinois Dept. of
Corrections, 684 F.3d 667, 671 (7th Cir. 2012)(finding
that the availability of food and facilities to wash and use
the toilet were among the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities and the plaintiff's allegations
did not arise to a deprivation of life's necessities).
Therefore, Lyons has failed to state a claim that plausibly
suggests a right to pursue relief under Section 1983.
argue that Lyons fails to allege plausible facts stating a
claim for deliberate indifference to provide adequate medical
care because he merely speculates and provides usupported
allegations. To establish a Section 1983 claim for violating
a plaintiff's due process right to adequate medical care,
the plaintiff must demonstrate: (1) that he “had an
objectively serious medical condition, ” (2) that
“the defendants knew of the condition and were
deliberately indifferent to treating [him]; and (3) that
“this indifference caused [him] some injury.”
Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 620 (7th Cir. 2010).
When assessing an Eighth Amendment claim, the court looks for
physical injury “that a reasonable doctor or patient
would find important and worthy of comment or ...