United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge
a prisoner civil rights lawsuit involving events that
occurred at Shawnee Correctional Center
(“Shawnee”), a facility within the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) prison system.
Plaintiff's claims allege that he has received inadequate
medical care for penile and testicular pain. He brings his
claims against the Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1983 and 1985. After conducting an initial
screening of this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
this Court allowed the case to proceed against Defendants
Louis Schicker, Wexford Health Source, Alfonso David, Marry
Miller, Camilla Etienne, Robert Hilliad, and Sheri Stokes
Lynn, as well as Kurtis Hunter (in his official capacity
only) (Doc. 16). Service proceeded, and multiple Defendants
sought a stay of the case to await the conclusion of state
court proceedings dealing with strikingly similar or
identical claims and parties (Docs. 40, 45). On March 2,
2016, this Court granted a stay to await the resolution of
state court proceedings (Doc. 62).
the case was stayed, the Court addressed numerous piecemeal
filings by Plaintiff whereby he sought various injunctive and
emergency relief, as well as motions attempting to remove the
stay. The stay was lifted in April 2016 upon Defendants'
notification to the Court that the state court proceedings
had concluded (Dkt. entry 79). The Defendants then began
filing various dispositive motions to resolve the case on the
basis of res judicata, or summary judgment (Docs.
91, 93). Before the Court could address the merits of those
motions, the case was stayed for a second time because
apparently there were issues about the finality and
appealability of the state court litigation (Doc. 106). At
that time, the Court denied without prejudice the motions for
res judicata and summary judgment (Id.).
the course of the second stay, Plaintiff filed motions
seeking to have the case proceed before this Court despite
the unsettled nature of state court proceedings (Docs. 112,
113). The Court, via a detailed text order, warned the
Plaintiff of the potential risks and consequences for his
perpetual filings, cautioning him that such conduct could
result in sanctions (Dkt. entry 114).
November 2016, the Defendants sought an extension of the
stay, or in the alternative, a ruling dismissing the matter
on res judicata grounds (Docs. 115, 116). The
Defendants' motions informed the Court that the state
court proceedings had reached finality, absent an appeal by
the Plaintiff of those matters. In light of the update, the
Court directed the Plaintiff to respond on the very narrow
issue of whether or not he intended to pursue an appeal in
state court so that this Court could best determine if it was
appropriate to lift the stay, or if the case should await
further disposition in state court (Dkt. entry 117). The
Plaintiff responded by filing multiple verbose documents that
made it extremely unclear what he intended to do in state
court, and he ultimately sought an extension of time to craft
his state court strategy as it were (Docs. 118, 120). The
Court reviewed the filings and directed the Plaintiff to file
a brief explicitly addressing his intention to appeal in
state court, and including specifics such as case numbers and
deadlines (Dkt. entry 121). The Court strongly cautioned that
a failure to do so, or a brief not tailored to the
Court's inquiry could result in dismissal (Id.).
December 30, 2016, the Plaintiff filed a document titled
“Judicial Notice Instanter” (Doc. 122)-the only
document he timely filed in response to the Court's
directive instructing him to provide specifics about any
state court appeal. The succinct four-paragraph document
(1) On 12-19-2016 Plaintiff sent a post judgment motion
indicating he MAY voluntarily dismiss defendants upon hearing
regarding issue of ‘frivolous' both of which hinder
state court appeal.
(2) In response to this court stating it would not issue
injunction, Plaintiff has filed a notice of appeal in state
court on 12-22-2016.
(3) Wherefore since plaintiff has to dismiss defendants to
make it appealable plaintiff requests this court consider any
dismissal in this court without prejudice and/or without
(4) Plaintiff requests this court stay involved until
resolution of state appeal as failure to follow specialists
recommendations and practice/policy/failure to supervise by
Wexford remain live and in controversy.
(Id.). Subsequently, on January 19, 2017, the
Plaintiff filed a second document styled as a response to
this Court's Order (Doc. 121) directing him to provide
specifics about his appellate prospects in state court (Doc.
124). In the document, he claims that he did not receive this
Court's Order (Doc. 121) until January 13, 2017, after
the date set by that order for filing a brief had already
elapsed (Doc. 124 at 1-2). Plaintiff claims that he has no
documentation of any efforts to take an appeal in state
court, and yet to the contrary, he also indicates that he
filed a dismissal of any appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme
Court Rule 309.
309 states that “the trial court may dismiss the appeal
of any party (1) on motion of that party or (2) on
stipulation of the parties. A copy of the order of dismissal
filed in the trial court shall be forwarded by the clerk to
the reviewing court within five days after the entry of such
order.” Thus, based on the plain language of the
precise Rule Plaintiff identifies, there would necessarily be
a document evidencing his voluntary dismissal of any state
court appeal. Yet, Plaintiff did not file such a document,
nor did he provide his trial court case number, the date of
the dismissal, or any other verifying information.
Defendants' Motions for Extension of Stay or disposition
on res judicata grounds (Docs. 115, 116), as well as
the Plaintiff's Notice Instanter (Doc. 122) and the
Plaintiff's Response to Doc. 121 (Doc. 124) are now
before the Court for a ruling. For the reasons stated ...