United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Gilbert District Judge United States District Court
pro se, Plaintiffs Lisa Niepert and/or Michelle
Williams filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against the Sheriff of Bond County, Illinois, in
order to challenge the conditions of their confinement at
Bond County Jail in Greenville, Illinois. The Complaint (Doc.
1) presents several immediate concerns. Plaintiffs must
address these problems before the Court can screen this
matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
not the first case that Plaintiffs Niepert and Williams have
filed in this District to complain about the conditions of
confinement at Bond County Jail. They were two of eight
detainees at the Jail who filed a similar case earlier this
year. Smith v. Brown, No. 17-cv-00006-JPG (S.D. Ill.
Jan. 6, 2017). Although Plaintiffs Niepert and Williams asked
to proceed together in group litigation, this Court found
that their claims were improperly joined and severed each
Plaintiff's claims into two new cases on March 20, 2017.
Niepert v. Brown, No. 17-cv-00288-JPG (S.D. Ill.
Mar. 20, 2017); Williams v. Brown, No.
17-cv-00289-JPG (S.D. Ill. Mar. 20, 2017). The Court ordered
each Plaintiff to file a “First Amended
Complaint” in her newly severed case on or before April
14, 2017. To date, neither Plaintiff has done so.
the Court received the instant Complaint. (Doc. 1). Both
Plaintiffs are listed as parties in the case caption. No case
number is mentioned, and the document is not identified as a
“First Amended Complaint.” Therefore, a new case
was opened. But before this Court can screen the Complaint,
Plaintiffs must respond to the following Orders, all aimed at
clarifying whether they intended to open a new case or not.
Plaintiffs are ORDERED to confirm their intention to file a
new case on or before May 5, 2017. Each plaintiff must do so
in writing. Timely written confirmation to this effect will
result in the imposition of a filing fee for this action, the
screening of this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and the
potential assessment of a “strike” under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Plaintiffs are alternatively ORDERED to confirm their
intention to file the Complaint (Doc. 1) as the “First
Amended Complaint” in each Plaintiff's respective
severed case on or before May 5, 2017. Timely written
notification to this effect will relieve that individual of
any obligation to pay a filing fee for this action, which
will be administratively closed.
should they wish to proceed any further with this action,
Plaintiffs are ORDERED to file a “First Amended
Complaint” in this case that includes a request for
relief on or before May 5, 2017. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
8(a)(3). In a civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, the request for relief typically includes a
request for monetary damages and/or injunctive relief. The
Complaint includes neither. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Plaintiffs are ORDERED to each sign all group documents that
are filed with the Court, including the “First Amended
Complaint.” See Lewis v. Lenc-Smith Mfg. Co.,
784 F.2d 829, 831 (7th Cir. 1986); Fed.R.Civ.P. 11. Plaintiff
Niepert was the only plaintiff to sign the Complaint. (Doc.
1, p. 6). Williams is listed as a co-plaintiff but did not
sign it. As long as Plaintiffs appear without counsel in this
action, each must sign documents for herself. See
id. A non-attorney cannot file or sign papers
for another litigant. Plaintiffs are WARNED that future group
motions or pleadings that do not comply with this requirement
shall be stricken pursuant to Rule 11(a), including the
Complaint and/or First Amended Complaint.
Plaintiffs are each ORDERED to prepay the full
filing fee of $400.00 for this action or to file a properly
completed Motion and Affidavit to Proceed in District Court
Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (“IFP Motion”) on
or before May 5, 2017. If a Plaintiff files an IFP Motion,
the Court must review that individual's trust fund
account statement for the 6-month period immediately
preceding the filing of this action. Thus, she must have the
Trust Fund Officer at her facility complete the attached
certification and provide a copy of his trust fund account
statement (or institutional equivalent) for the period
10/1/2016 to 4/5/17. (See Doc. 2). This information
should be mailed to the Clerk of Court at the following
address: United States District Court - Southern District of
Illinois, 750 Missouri Avenue, East St. Louis, Illinois
62201. Id. The Clerk has already provided Plaintiffs
with a copy of the form IFP Motion, along with Doc. 2, and
will not need to send another form at this time.
to comply with this Order will result in the striking of the
Complaint and/or the dismissal of this action for failure to
comply with a court order and/or for failure to prosecute her
claims. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b). To enable
Plaintiffs to comply with this Order, the CLERK is DIRECTED
to return a copy of the Complaint (Doc. 1) to both Plaintiffs
along with this Order and a blank civil rights complaint
are further ADVISED that each is under a continuing
obligation to keep the Clerk of Court and each opposing party
informed of any change in her address; the Court will not
independently investigate a plaintiff's whereabouts. This
shall be done in writing and not later than 7 days after a
transfer or other change in address occurs. Failure to comply
with this order will cause a delay in the transmission of
court documents and may result in dismissal of this action
for want of prosecution. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).