United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ALAN DUNCAN, No. B-69424, Plaintiff,
LT. PEARCE, C/O DAVIS, C/O MOORE, C/O WANNACK, SGT. CHAPMAN, M. MYERS, C/O HOLTEN, JOHN DOE doctor, JANE DOE nurse, COUNSELOR BARTMAN, JOHN DOE c/o, JOHN DOE c/o, D. CLELAND Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Alan Duncan, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff contends officials at Menard subjected him to
excessive force and were deliberately indifferent to his
related injuries. In connection with these claims, plaintiff
sues Lt. Pearce (lieutenant), C/O Davis (correctional
officer), C/O Moore (correctional officer), C/O Wannack
(correctional officer), Sgt. Chapman (sergeant), M. Myers
(correctional officer), C/O Holton (correctional officer),
John Doe (doctor), Jane Doe (nurse), Counselor Bartman
(counselor), John Doe (correctional officer), and D. Cleland
(major). According to the complaint, plaintiff sues all
defendants in their individual and official capacities.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:
(a) Screening - The court shall review, before docketing, if
feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after
docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner
seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the court shall
identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any
portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable
person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209
F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of
entitlement to relief must cross “the line between
possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At
this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se
complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority
under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to
claims relate to excessive force incidents that occurred on
March 29, 2016. (Doc. 1, p. 6). According to the complaint,
Moore arrived at plaintiff's cell, reportedly to escort
plaintiff to a mental health appointment. Id. Moore
began using racial slurs and verbally harassing plaintiff.
Id. Although it is not entirely clear, the complaint
indicates that plaintiff may have completed a mental health
visit with an individual identified as “Ms.
Mason” and that “Ms. Mason” placed
plaintiff on suicide watch. Id. It appears that
after the mental health meeting, plaintiff was confronted by
Pearce. Id. Pearce told Plaintiff to face the wall.
Id. Plaintiff indicated there was no wall to face.
Id. At that point, Pearce grabbed Plaintiff's
head and forced it into a window on a security door, causing
Plaintiff's lips to bust open. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff
contends Wannack, Holten, Moore, and Bartman observed the
assault and failed to intervene. Id.
contends the assault continued when Holten threw Plaintiff to
the ground while Pearce was choking the Plaintiff.
Id. During this time, plaintiff was handcuffed.
Id. Additionally, while plaintiff was on the ground
leg shackles were applied. Id. Plaintiff yelled that
he could not breathe. Id. In response, Pearce
loosened his grip on plaintiff's neck, temporarily, only
to proceed with applying more pressure to Plaintiff's
windpipe. Id. Pearce choked plaintiff until he lost
point during the attack, plaintiff was being punched by
Wannack, Pearce, and two unidentified correctional officers.
Id. The unidentified correctional officers were from
the 7am to 3pm shift for the R-5 cell house. Id.
Plaintiff was then placed on a property cart and the two
unidentified correctional officers sat on his back
“bouncing up and down.” Id. Plaintiff
continued to tell the officers that he could not breathe.
was then placed in cell 6B-6. Id. Plaintiff
instantly began vomiting and had a loose bowel movement.
Id. Plaintiff requested medical attention. (Doc. 1,
p. 8). Plaintiff's requests for medical attention were
directed to Pearce, Moore, Holten, Chapman, Wannack, an
unidentified nurse, and the two unidentified correctional
officers. Id. Plaintiff lost consciousness.
point after plaintiff lost consciousness, Cleland, Myers, an
individual identified as “C/O Huff” (not a named
defendant) and another individual identified as “Lt.
Webb” (not a named defendant) woke plaintiff.
Id. Cleland woke plaintiff by slapping plaintiff in
the face with enough force to dislodge his tooth from his
mouth. Id. When plaintiff attempted to shield his
face, Cleland yelled “put your fucking hands
down.” Id. Cleland then grabbed
plaintiff's fingers and twisted them until they cracked
in three different places. Id. Myers then began to
knee plaintiff in the back while he was laying on the ground.
Id. Plaintiff did not receive medical attention for
his injuries at that time. Id.
April 11, 2016, plaintiff was taken to an outside hospital
for treatment (the Orthopedic Institute of Southern
Illinois). (Doc. 1, pp. 8-9). An unidentified doctor at the
outside hospital prescribed tramadol and ibuprofen. (Doc. 1,
p. 8). Plaintiff contends the treatment he received was
inadequate in that he was allergic to ibuprofen. (Doc. 1, pp.
necessary to clarify who the defendants are in the instant
action. The first clarification relates to individuals
identified as “C/O Huff” and “Lt.
Webb.” Although the body of the Complaint raises
allegations with regard these individuals, they are not
identified as defendants in the caption of the complaint or
in section of the complaint that identifies the parties.
Because these individuals are not listed in the caption by
name or by Doe designation, they will not be treated as
defendants in this case, and any claims against them should
be considered dismissed without prejudice. See FED. R. CIV.
P. 10(a) (noting that the title of the complaint “must
name all the parties”); Myles v. United
States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir. 2005) (to be
properly considered a party a defendant must be
“specif[ied] in the caption”); Id. at
553 (“[It is] unacceptable for a court to add litigants
on its own motion. Selecting defendants is a task for the
plaintiff, not the judge.”).
second clarification relates to Davis. Although Davis is
identified as a defendant in the caption of the complaint,
plaintiff has not asserted any specific allegations with
respect to Davis. When a defendant is named in the caption,
but not referenced within the body of the complaint, the
defendant is not adequately put on notice of which claims in
the complaint, if any, are directed against him. Accordingly,
Davis shall be dismissed from this action without ...