United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
BILLY McDADE 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). 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 omitted).
is civilly detained in the Rushville Treatment and Detention
Center (“Rushville”) pursuant to the Illinois
Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, 725 ILCS 207/1,
et seq. He files a 30-page complaint naming 48
defendants. These include staff and employees of Rushville,
Culbertson Memorial Hospital, St. John's Hospital,
Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants, Schuyler County Emergency
Services, an Emergency Helicopter Service, not otherwise
identified and the Department of Human Services
complained of pain in October and November 2015, and was
diagnosed with acid reflux. He was treated for this at the
Culbertson Hospital Emergency Room on at least one occasion.
On a subsequent date, he complained of excruciating pain and
was taken back to Culbertson Hospital where he received pain
medication. It appears that he was initially thought to have
acid reflux but subsequently found to be having a heart
attack. Plaintiff was transported to St. John's Hospital
by ambulance and medical helicopter. He underwent a triple
heart bypass surgery at St. John's several days later. He
alleges that the bypass surgery had to be put off for several
days due to the medication he had been given at Culbertson.
files a lengthy complaint asserting causes of action against
all who provided him related care and aid. He also asserts a
claim against Doe DHS officials for entering into a contract
with Wexford to provide medical treatment to civil detainees
at Rushville. It is well established that deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need is actionable as a
violation of the Eighth Amendment. Hayes v. Snyder,
546 F.3d 516, 522 (7th Cir. 2008). A deliberate indifference
claim must establish “(1) an objectively serious
medical condition; and (2) an official's deliberate
indifference to that condition.” Arnett v.
Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 750 (7th Cir. 2011). Deliberate
indifference is proven by demonstrating that a prison
official knows of a substantial risk of harm to an inmate and
“either acts or fails to act in disregard of that
risk.” Id. at 751.
complaint impermissibly attempts to allege § 1983
actions against two private hospitals and a physician's
office. “In order to state a cause of action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff must allege that some
person has deprived her of a federal right [and] ... he must
allege that the person who has deprived her of the right
acted under color of state law.” Brandenberger v.
Norfolk S. R. Co., No. 10-117, 2010 WL 2346339, at *1
(N.D. Ind. June 7, 2010) (internal citation omitted). Acting
“under color of state law” is defined as
“[m]isuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law
and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with
the authority of state law.” Monroe v. Pape,
365 U.S. 167, 184 (1961). If the alleged infringement is not
“fairly attributable to the State” there is no
action under §1983. Rendell- Baker v. Kohn, 457
U.S. 830, 838 (1982).
§ 1983 claim may be asserted against private individuals
who exercise government power only if the actions of that
party are effectively directed or controlled by the state, or
if the state delegates a public function to the party. A
private party's conduct can be considered state action
only if there is a sufficiently close nexus between the state
and the private conduct so that the action “may be
fairly treated as that of the State itself.” Wade
v. Byles, 83 F.3d 902, 904-05 (7th Cir. 1996) (internal
citations omitted). Here, Plaintiff fails to allege such a
nexus and the Culbertson Hospital, St. John's Hospital
and Prairie Cardiovascular Consultant Defendants are
claim against the three DHS Doe Defendants also fails to
state a claim as his claim that they should not have
contracted with Wexford does not allege the DHS
Defendants' personal participation in the alleged
infringement. See Pepper v. Village of Oak Park, 430
F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005) (“to be liable under
§ 1983, the individual defendant must have ‘caused
or participated in a constitutional deprivation.”')
Defendants in a § 1983 action can only be held liable
for their individual wrongdoing. Duckworth v.
Franzen, 780 F.2d 645, 650 (7th Cir. 1985). “To
recover for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff
must establish defendant's personal responsibility for
the claimed deprivation of a constitutional right. However, a
defendant's direct participation in the deprivation is
not required. An official satisfies the personal
responsibility requirement of section 1983 if she acts or
fails to act with a deliberate or reckless disregard of
plaintiff's constitutional rights, or if the conduct
causing the constitutional deprivation occurs at her
direction or with her knowledge and consent.” Smith
v. Rowe, 761 F.2d 360, 369 (7th Cir. 1985), citing
Crowder v. Lash, 687 F.2d 996, 1005 (7th Cir. 1982).
Here, Plaintiff fails to plead an Eighth Amendment violation
against the DHS Defendants and they are DISMISSED.
claims against the Schuyler County EMTs and the unidentified
Emergency Helicopter Service, Plaintiff attempts to join
unrelated claims. While he states a potentially colorable
claim against the Rushville Defendants, this is not related
to the EMTs and Helicopter personnel who were allegedly
deliberately indifferent in transporting Plaintiff.
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007)
(“[u]nrelated claims against different defendants
belong in different suits[.]”). The claims against the
Schuyler County EMTs and the Emergency Helicopter Service are
DISMISSED for misjoinder.
complaint is lengthy and names dozens of defendants not
amendable to suit under § 1983. Furthermore, he names
multiple Doe Defendants without pleading specific complaints
against them. As a result, it is not practical to sever the
Complaint and it is, therefore, DISMISSED with leave to
replead within 30 days, consistent with this Order.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
1. Plaintiff's petition to proceed in forma pauperis 
is DENIED, with leave to reassert if he files an amended
complaint. The Culbertson Hospital, St. John's Hospital,
Prairie Cardiovascular Consultant, DHS, Schuyler County EMT,