United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, and currently
incarcerated at the Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”), was granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. The case is now before the court for a
merit review of plaintiff's claims. The court is required
by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A to “screen” the
plaintiff's complaint, and through such process to
identify and dismiss any legally insufficient claim, or the
entire action if warranted. A claim is legally insufficient
if it “(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.tIn 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 (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)(citation omitted). 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 Pontiac officials forced him to share a cell
with another inmate for purposes of instigating a fight
between the two despite Plaintiff's “single cell
status” and his warnings to mental health professionals
that he felt he would seriously harm someone. Plaintiff
alleges that correctional officers had been “paying him
in trays” to assault his future cellmate on the yard
(by throwing feces at him), but when no opportunity to do so
arose, they forced him into the cell. Once Plaintiff's
handcuffs came off, he beat the inmate (as he was allegedly
told to do) and subsequently got disciplined.
construed, Plaintiff alleges that prison officials forced him
to inflict physical harm on another inmate in exchange for
extra food or other benefits. If true, the Court cannot
envision what legitimate penological purpose these alleged
actions served, and, therefore, the Court finds that
Plaintiff states a plausible Eighth Amendment claim. Cf.
King v. McCarty, 781 F.3d 889, 897 (7th Cir.
2015) (actions motivated by reasons other than legitimate
penological purposes may violate the Eighth Amendment).
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff states an
Eighth Amendment claim for unnecessary and unwanton
infliction of pain 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
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
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. The
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
defendant 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. Marshals service on that defendant and will require that
defendant to pay the ...