Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Taplinn v. Warden Pinckneyville CC

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 17, 2017

ENOS F. TAPLIN, Jr., #2015-0915076, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN PINCKNEYVILLE CC and WARDEN MENARD CC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff 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).

         Before 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.

         The 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.

         Here, 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.

         Secondly, 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.

         Finally, 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 Complaint.

         Section 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.

         Pending Motions

         1. Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint (Doc. 13)

         Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint is DENIED for the reasons set forth in this Order.

         2. Motion for Attorney Representation (Doc. 4)

         Plaintiff's 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).

         When a 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 other ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.