United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ENOS F. TAPLIN, Jr., #2015-0915076, Plaintiff,
WARDEN PINCKNEYVILLE CC and WARDEN MENARD CC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.
is currently detained at Cook County Department of
Corrections located in Cook County, Illinois. Proceeding
pro se, he filed the instant civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on
August 18, 2016. In the Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff alleges
numerous violations of his constitutional rights that
occurred at Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”) and Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”) between 2013 and 2015. Both prisons
are located in the federal judicial district for the Southern
District of Illinois. As a result, on October 17, 2016, the
case was transferred to this District (Doc. 8).
this Court had an opportunity to screen the original
Complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint
(Doc. 13) on November 4, 2016. Along with the motion,
Plaintiff filed a proposed Amended Complaint. For the reasons
set forth herein, the motion shall be denied.
proposed Amended Complaint is incomplete and the Court does
not accept piecemeal amendments. An Amended Complaint
supersedes and replaces the original Complaint, rendering it
void. See Flannery v. Recording Indus. Ass'n of
Am., 354 F.3d 632, 638 n. 1 (7th Cir. 2004). Therefore,
Plaintiff must prepare and file an Amended Complaint that
stands on its own without reference to any prior Complaints.
the proposed Amended Complaint cannot stand on its own.
First, it is missing pages. The Amended Complaint consists of
pages that Plaintiff numbered “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5 and 5,
” followed by two pages with no numbers at the bottom.
At the top of the same pages, Plaintiff listed the following
page numbers: “2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3 and 4, ” followed
by two pages with no numbers.
the proposed Amended Complaint includes no request for
relief, an omission that violates Rule 8(a)(3) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a)(3) requires “[a]
pleading that states a claim for relief [to] contain . . . a
demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the
alternative or different types of relief.” See
id. The proposed Amended Complaint also lacks
Plaintiff's signature, which violates the requirement
under Rule 11(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that
“[e]very pleading, written motion, and other paper must
be signed . . . by a party personally if the party is
unrepresented.” With these many deficiencies, the
Amended Complaint cannot stand on its own.
the original Complaint also cannot stand on its own. In it,
Plaintiff names the wardens at Pinckneyville and Menard as
the only defendants. However, he does not mention them in his
statement of claim and he seeks only monetary damages against
them. He attempts to amend it using his proposed Amended
1983 creates a cause of action based on personal liability
and predicated upon fault; thus “to be liable under
§ 1983, an individual defendant must have caused or
participated in a constitutional deprivation.”
Pepper v. Village of Oak Park, 430 F.3d 809, 810
(7th Cir. 2005) (citations omitted). The doctrine of
respondeat superior does not apply to actions filed
under § 1983. Kinslow v. Pullara, 538 F.3d 687,
692 (7th Cir. 2008). Merely invoking the name of a
supervisory defendant in the case caption, as Plaintiff has
done in the Complaint, is not sufficient to state a claim
against that individual. See Collins v. Kibort, 143
F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998). Plaintiff must instead include
allegations indicating who violated his constitutional
rights, state when his rights were violated, and describe the
conduct of each defendant that resulted in each alleged
violation. The original Complaint does not satisfy these
standards and is subject to dismissal for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. Given the above
considerations, the Court finds that dismissal of the
original Complaint (Doc. 1) and denial of the Motion for
Leave to File Amended Complaint are both warranted. However,
Plaintiff shall be granted leave to file a “First
Amended Complaint” consistent with the instructions and
deadline set forth in the below disposition.
Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint (Doc. 13)
Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint is DENIED for the
reasons set forth in this Order.
Motion for Attorney Representation (Doc. 4)
Motion for Attorney Representation (Doc. 4) is hereby DENIED
without prejudice. There is no constitutional or statutory
right to the appointment of counsel in a civil case.
Romanelli v. Suliene, 615 F.3d 847, 851 (7th Cir.
2010); see also Johnson v. Doughty, 433 F.3d 1001,
1006 (7th Cir. 2006). Nevertheless, the district court has
discretion under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) to recruit
counsel for an indigent litigant. Ray v. Wexford Health
Sources, Inc., 706 F.3d 864, 866-67 (7th Cir. 2013).
pro se litigant submits a request for counsel, the
Court must first consider whether the indigent plaintiff has
made reasonable attempts to secure counsel on his own.
Navejar v. Iyiola, 718 F.3d 692, 696 (7th Cir. 2013)
(citing Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654 (7th Cir.
2007)). If so, the Court must then examine “whether the
difficulty of the case- factually and legally-exceeds the
particular plaintiff's capacity as a layperson to
coherently present it.” Navejar, 718 F.3d at
696 (quoting Pruitt, 503 F.3d at 655). “The
question . . . is whether the plaintiff appears competent to
litigate his own claims, given their degree of difficulty,
and this includes the tasks that normally attend litigation:
evidence gathering, preparing and responding to motions and