United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. No.
3) is granted on condition that she complies with the
remaining directions in this paragraph. Plaintiff's
Complaint is dismissed without prejudice to her submission of
an amended complaint, and her failure to do so by May 30,
2017 will result in summary dismissal of this case. To enable
her to comply with this memorandum order's directions,
the Clerk is directed to send her an amended civil rights
Complaint form with instructions, a blank Motion for Attorney
Representation ("Motion"), a copy of this
memorandum order and a blank USM-285 (United States Marshals
Service) form. Meanwhile plaintiff's current Motion (Dkt.
No. 4) is denied without prejudice.
Bernetta Stovall brings this pro se civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging she was confined
under unconstitutional conditions at the Cook County Jail.
Currently before the Court are plaintiff's Application To
Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("Application"), her
Complaint for initial review under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) and her Motion.
Application demonstrates that she cannot pay the filing fee
and is thus granted on condition that she complies with the
directions set out in the opening paragraph of this
memorandum order. However, plaintiff's Complaint is
dismissed without prejudice.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) the Court is required to screen
pro se complaints and dismiss a complaint, or any claims
therein, if the Court determines that the complaint or claim
is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. Under Fed.R.Civ.P.
("Rule") 8(a)(2) a complaint must include "a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief." That statement under
Rule 8(a)(2) must "give the defendant fair notice of
what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests"
(Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (citation omitted)). Under federal notice pleading
standards a plaintiff's "[f]actual allegations must
be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level" (Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Put
differently, a "complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face'" (Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint under the
plausibility standard, [courts] accept the well-pleaded facts
in the complaint as true" (Alam v. Miller Brewing
Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013)). Courts also
construe pro se complaints liberally (Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam)).
alleges that she was housed on three tiers in Division 4 --
identified as "LZ Cermak, Div 8, Q1 and P1" -- of
the Jail beginning October 8, 2016 (Dkt.1, p. 4.) She alleges
that "most of them have the same problems, "
identifying asserted unconstitutional living conditions of
heat not reaching the entire tier, the presence of rodents
and insects, mold in the showers and day room and brown
drinking water from the rust in the pipes (id.) She
further alleges that the beds have "no lining, " so
she puts "books" under her back, pelvis and ankle,
(id.) Plaintiff seeks "to be compensated for
the time I spent in here" (id. at 5).
must submit an amended complaint, as the document on file
fails to state a claim with the required plausibility.
Incarcerated persons are entitled to confinement under humane
conditions that satisfy "basic human needs"
(Rice ex rel. Rice v. Correctional Med. Servs., 675
F.3d 650, 664 (7th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted)). Although
the Due Process Clause prohibits conditions that amount to
"punishment" of a pretrial detainee (Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979); Lewis v.
Downey, 581 F.3d 467, 473 (7th Cir. 2009)), punishment
in the constitutional sense requires something more than
routine discomfort (Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337,
349 (1981); Granville v. Dart, No. 09 C 2070, 2011
WL 892751, *5 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 11, 2011) . Punishment
generally requires allegations of extreme deprivations over
an extended period of time (Hudson v. McMillian, 503
U.S. 1, 8-9 (1992); Bell, 441 U.S. at 542;
Henderson v. Sheahan, 196 F.3d 839, 845 (7th Cir.
1999); Johnson v. Bryant, No. 11 C 5785, 2011 WL
5118415, *2 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 26, 2011)).
the conditions described in the Complaint are unacceptable,
its minimal and vague allegations fail to give defendant
sufficient notice of the basis of the claims against him,
particularly without specifics of the length of time
plaintiff lived in the allegedly unconstitutional conditions
and which conditions existed in each of the tiers she was
housed. Any claims regarding each tier must clearly identify
the dates, locations and the allegedly unconstitutional
living conditions in that tier for that time period. While
fact pleading is not required, there must be sufficient
factual allegations to put defendant on notice of the basis
of her claims.
on the above, plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed without
prejudice for failure to state a claim, although plaintiff is
given leave to submit an amended complaint if she can do so
consistently with what has been said above. Plaintiff must
write both the case number and this Court's name on the
amended complaint, sign it and return it to the Prisoner
Correspondent. In addition, plaintiff must include a
completed USM-285 form for each defendant named in the
is also cautioned that an amended pleading supersedes the
previous filings and must stand complete on its own. All
allegations must therefore be set forth in the amended
complaint without reference to the previous Complaint. Any
exhibits that plaintiff wants this Court to consider in its
threshold review of the amended complaint must be attached.
plaintiff's Motion is denied without prejudice. In making
the decision whether to recruit counsel, this Court must
engage in a two-step analysis: (1) whether plaintiff has made
a reasonable attempt to obtain counsel on her own behalf or
has been effectively precluded from doing so and (2) whether,
given the factual and legal complexity of the case, plaintiff
appears competent to litigate the matter herself (Pruitt
v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654-55 (7th Cir. 2007) (en
banc)). Here plaintiff has not identified any attempt to
retain counsel on her own. Only after she meets the first
threshold requirement does this Court proceed to examine the
second (Pruitt, id. at 654; Jackson v.
County of McLean, 953 F.2d 1070, 1073 (7th Cir. 1992);
Russell v. Bukowski, 608 F.App'x 426, 428 ...