United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
JERMAINE D. CARPENTER, Plaintiff,
JAMES CLAYTON, Defendants.
E. SHADID, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se and detained in the Rushville Treatment and
Detention Center, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
The "privilege to proceed without posting security for
costs and fees is reserved to the many truly impoverished
litigants who, within the District Court's sound
discretion, would remain without legal remedy if such
privilege were not afforded to them." Brewster v.
North Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461 F.2d 649, 651 (7th Cir.
1972). Additionally, a court must dismiss cases proceeding in
forma pauperis "at any time" if the action is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim, even if part
of the filing fee has been paid. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)(2).
Accordingly, this Court grants leave to proceed in forma
pauperis only if the complaint states a federal claim.
reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory
statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be
provided to "'state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S.,
721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(quoted cite
has identified seven Defendants including Security Director
James C. Clayton, Therapist Aid Rodney Woods, Therapist Paula
Lodge, Public Service Administrator Joseph Hankins, Nurse
Lisa Logden, Assistant Director Eric Kunkel and Director Greg
Scott. Unfortunately, Plaintiff's complaint is difficult
to read due to faint print. Nonetheless, it is clear
Plaintiff is alleging Defendants have failed to take
reasonable measures to protect him from an assault. Plaintiff
says he was assaulted by Resident J.C. on January 13, 2014.
Immediately after the incident, facility staff did a good job
of keeping the two separated. However, Plaintiff says
recently staff is ignoring the danger. For instance, Rooming
Committee Members Lodge, Hankins, and Logden intentionally
arranged for Plaintiff and Resident J.C. to be housed in the
same area. Although three years have passed since the initial
assault, Plaintiff alleges Resident J.C. is still a threat to
his safety and each member of the housing committee is well
aware of the danger. For instance, the inmate threatened
Plaintiff as recently as March 10, 2017. Plaintiff also says
the three Defendants have a pattern and practice of ignoring
obvious security concerns in housing decisions.
staff members have a duty to protect residents from violent
assaults by other residents. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 833 (1994); Rice ex rel. Rice v. Correctional
Med. Serv., 675 F.3d 650, 669 (7th Cir.2012). In this
case, Plaintiff's claim is limited by the two year
statute of limitations period. See Wilson v Giesen,
956 F.2d 738, 740 (7th Cir. 1992); Farrell v.
McDonough, 966 F.2d 279, 280-82 (7th Cir. 1992).
Therefore, the initial assault on January 13, 2014 is not
before the Court and instead, Plaintiff's claim is
limited to Defendants conduct after the assault.
order to demonstrate a Defendant violated his constitutional
rights, Plaintiff must show the Defendant was aware of a
specific, impending and substantial threat to his safety.
Pope v. Shafer, 86 F.3d 90, 92 (7th Cir. 1996).
Typically, a failure to protect claim alleges the Plaintiff
has already suffered an actual injury as a result of that
threat. “However, a prisoner can assert an Eighth
Amendment claim when the prisoner plaintiff was exposed to a
risk of harm that occurred as a result of ‘an
official's malicious or sadistic intent.'”
Cole v. Johnson, 2015 WL 4037522, at *4 (S.D.Ill.
July 1, 2015) quoting Babcock v. White, 102 F.3d
267, 270 (7th Cir.1996). For the purpose of notice pleading,
Plaintiff has alleged Rooming Committee Members Lodge,
Hankins, and Logden failed to protect him when they knew of
the clear danger to Plaintiff, but still housed him with
Plaintiff has not clearly alleged how any other named
Defendant was directly involved in failing to protect him.
For instance, the fact that Defendant Wood called Plaintiff
to the Healthcare Unit where Plaintiff saw Resident J.C. is
not sufficient by itself to state a constitutional violation
against Officer Wood. In addition, a Defendant cannot be held
liable simply because he or she was a superviser. See
Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740 (7th Cir.
2001)(“The doctrine of respondeat superior
(supervisor liability) does not apply to § 1983
actions..”). Therefore, the Court will dismiss
Defendants Clayton, Woods, Kunkel and Scott.
is also admonished since he did not suffer any physical
injury, the damages he can recover in this action are
limited. For instance, Plaintiff may not recover any
compensatory damages. Instead, Plaintiff will be limited to
injunctive relief, nominal damages and perhaps punitive
damages. Calhoun v. DeTella, 319 F.3d 936, 941 (7th
Cir. 2003). Furthermore, if Plaintiff can demonstrate
punitive damages are appropriate, “generally the case
law does not support an award of substantial amount of
punitive damages in cases such as this with minimal
compensatory damages.” Shatner v. Page, 2009
WL 260788, at *34 (S.D.III. Feb. 4, 2009).
THEREFORE ORDERED that:
1) Pursuant to its merit review of the third amended
complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court finds the
Plaintiff alleges Lodge, Hankins, and Logden failed to
protect Plaintiff when they knew of the clear danger to
Plaintiff, but still housed him with Resident J.C. The claim
is stated against the Defendants in their individual and
official capacities. Any additional claims shall not be
included in the case, except at the Court's discretion on
motion by a party for good cause shown or pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 15.
2) This case is now in the process of service. Plaintiff is
advised to wait until counsel has appeared for Defendants
before filing any motions, in order to give Defendants notice
and an opportunity to respond to those motions. Motions filed
before Defendants' counsel has filed an appearance will
generally be denied as premature. Plaintiff need not submit
any evidence to the Court at this time, unless otherwise
directed by the Court.
3) The Court will attempt service on Defendants by mailing
each Defendant a waiver of service. Defendants have 60 days
from service to file an Answer. If Defendants have not filed
Answers or appeared through counsel within 90 days of the
entry of this order, Plaintiff may file a motion requesting
the status of service. After Defendants have been served, the
Court will enter an order setting discovery and dispositive
4) With respect to a Defendant who no longer works at the
address provided by Plaintiff, the entity for whom that
Defendant worked while at that address shall provide to the
Clerk said Defendant's current work address, or, if not
known, said Defendant's forwarding address. This
information shall be used only for effectuating service.
Documentation of forwarding addresses shall be retained only
by the Clerk and shall not be maintained in the public docket
nor disclosed by the Clerk.
5) Defendants shall file an answer within 60 days of the date
the waiver is sent by the Clerk. A motion to dismiss is not
an answer. The answer should include all defenses appropriate
under the Federal Rules. The answer and subsequent pleadings
shall be to the issues and claims stated in this Order. In
general, an answer sets forth Defendants' positions. The
Court does not rule on the merits of those positions unless