United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MICHAEL F. DISCH, #03398-424 Plaintiff,
WARDEN TRUE, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge
Michael Disch, an inmate who is currently incarcerated in the
Federal Correctional Institution at Marion, Illinois
(“FCI-Marion”), filed a Motion for Emergency
Preliminary Injunctive Relief (“Motion”) that is
now before this Court for consideration (Doc. 1). Plaintiff
“is a Care Level 3 Mental Health Inmate with many
suicide attempts . . . and has high risk suicidal
ideations.” Id. Plaintiff has engaged in
suicidal behaviors, such as cutting and overdosing on pills,
while housed in a Solitary Housing Unit (“SHU”).
Id. He is now housed in SHU and has been housed
there since he was assaulted on April 7, 2017. Id.
Plaintiff seeks an Order requiring him to be removed from
SHU, or for his conditions in SHU to be modified, and
requiring him to receive mental health treatment and therapy.
(Doc. 1, p. 3). For the reasons discussed herein,
Plaintiff's Motion shall be DENIED without prejudice.
the plaintiff is a prisoner, the Court must conduct a
preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. This is not possible, however, because
Plaintiff failed to file a complaint. The Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure provide that “[a] civil action is
commenced by filing a complaint with the court.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 3. This is “the first step in the
action.” Id., Advisory Committee Notes, 1937
Adoption. Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. 1) does not suffice as
pro se litigants are not held to the same standards
that apply to licensed attorneys, Kyle v. Patterson,
196 F.3d 695, 697 (7th Cir. 1999), they are not entitled to
general dispensation from the rules of civil procedure.
Jones v. Phipps, 39 F.3d 158, 163 (7th Cir. 1994).
The requirement that all plaintiffs must file a complaint is
a fundamental rule in our legal system. Without a complaint,
the Court cannot ascertain the basis for jurisdiction.
See Bell v. Hood, 327 U.S. 678, 681-82 (1946);
Greater Chicago Combine & Ctr., Inc. v. City of
Chicago, 431 F.3d 1065, 1069-70 (7th Cir. 2005). Nor can
the Court determine the exact causes of action that Plaintiff
intends to bring against the defendant. Plaintiff is required
to associate specific defendants with specific claims, so
that defendants are put on notice of the claims brought
against them and so they can properly answer the complaint.
See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555 (2007); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
of example only, the case caption in the Motion refers to
Warden True as the only defendant. However, the pleading does
nothing to clarify what claims Plaintiff intends to assert
against Defendant True, or how True may have been involved in
Plaintiff's situation. In the absence of a complaint that
identifies how True may be responsible for a violation of
Plaintiff's rights and the conduct giving rise to such a
claim, the Court is unable to fully analyze Plaintiff's
claims or consider his Motion.
appears to recognize the requirement that a complaint must be
filed to commence the action, given his statement that he
will file a complaint under Bivens after he has
exhausted his administrative remedies, which he admits he has
not yet exhausted. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Plaintiff is warned that
his case is subject to dismissal without prejudice if he has
indeed not exhausted his administrative remedies.
See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); see also Pavey v.
Conley, 544 F.3d 739, 740 (7th Cir. 2008); Dole v.
Chandler, 438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th Cir. 2006). In the
meantime, because Plaintiff's Motion does not qualify as
a complaint, until he files a complaint, he cannot proceed.
expressing any opinion regarding the ultimate merits of
Plaintiff's claim(s) for relief, the Court concludes that
a preliminary injunction should not be issued at this time.
That being said, the Court takes Plaintiff's allegations
seriously. If he wishes to renew his request for a
preliminary injunction, Plaintiff is free to do so at any
time after filing his complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion for Emergency Preliminary
Injunctive Relief (Doc. 1) is DENIED without prejudice.
FURTHER ORDERED that on or before August 9, 2017, Plaintiff
shall file a complaint, thereby initiating this action.
Plaintiff is reminded that a complaint must contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
Plaintiff is encouraged to use the Court's standard civil
rights complaint form to prepare the pleading. He must
clearly identify what claim(s) he is bringing against
Defendant True. In particular, the allegations should
demonstrate how Defendant True is personally responsible for
any claimed violation of Plaintiff's rights.
is further reminded that he may not bring several unrelated
claims against different defendants in the same complaint.
Such unrelated claims are subject to severance into one or
more separate actions, and Plaintiff will be obligated to pay
a separate filing fee for each action. See George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007) (unrelated claims
against different defendants belong in separate lawsuits). If
Plaintiff wishes to avoid severance and the associated filing
fees, he should limit his complaint to claims that are
factually and legally related.
is hereby WARNED that failure to file a proper complaint by
the prescribed deadline will result in dismissal of this
action for failure to comply with a court order and/or
failure to prosecute the action. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
addition, Plaintiff must prepay his full $400.00 filing fee
for this action or file a Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis (“IFP motion”) along with a
certified copy of his Trust Fund Statement for the 6-month
period immediately preceding the filing of this action (from
January 10, 2017 to July 10, 2017). He is required to do so
on or before August 9, 2017. Failure to
comply with this Order shall result in dismissal of this
action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
Clerk is DIRECTED to mail Plaintiff a standard Civil Rights
Complaint form and instructions for a person in custody and a
blank form IFP motion, along with this Order.
Plaintiff is advised that he is under a continuing obligation
to keep the Clerk of Court and each opposing party informed
of any change in his address; the Court will not
independently investigate his whereabouts. This shall be done
in writing not later than seven (7) days after a transfer or
other change in address occurs. Failure to comply with this
order will cause a delay in the transmission of ...