United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
DONNIE R. BARRETT, Plaintiff,
ARAMARK CORPORATION, et al. Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se and currently civilly detained
at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility
(“Rushville”) is requesting leave to proceed
under a reduced payment procedure for indigent plaintiffs who
are institutionalized but are not prisoners as defined in 28
U.S.C. Section 1915(h).
“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 Circ. 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 action.
case is before the court for a merit review of the
plaintiff's claims. The court is required by 28 U.S.C.
Â§1915A to “screen” the plaintiff's complaint,
and through such process to identify and dismiss any legally
insufficient claim, or the entire action if warranted. A
claim is legally insufficient if it “(1) is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. Â§1915A.
reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in the
plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7thCir. 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)(citation omitted). The Court
has reviewed the complaint and has also held a merit review
hearing in order to give the plaintiff a chance to personally
explain his claims to the Court.
alleges that he has been placed on a vegetarian diet for
medical reasons and that Defendant Dredge, the food
supervisor, refused to feed him for a total of 38 days over
the course of 2016. Plaintiff appears to be alleging that
beans are the primary source of protein in vegetarian entrees
and that he cannot eat them. Therefore, Plaintiff's
allegations suggest that the failure to provide a protein
substitute given his inability to eat beans renders the meals
rights arise under the Fourteenth Amendment's due process
clause rather than the Eighth Amendment. Burton v.
Downey, 805 F.3d 776, 784 (7th Cir. 2015). The standards
under the respective amendments are essentially the same.
Id. Plaintiff has a right to “nutritionally
adequate food that is prepared and served under conditions
which do not present an immediate danger to the health and
well-being of the [detainees] who consume it.”
French v. Owens, 777 F.2d 1250, 1255 (7th
Cir. 1985). Plaintiff's allegations, if true, state a
plausible constitutional claim.
plausible inference arises from Plaintiff's allegations
that the deprivations Plaintiff suffered arose from an
official policy or practice of Defendant Aramark Corporation
or Defendant Correctional Services LLC. See Monell v.
Dep't of Social Srvcs of City of New York, 436 U.S.
658, 690 (1978). In addition, Plaintiff identifies Defendant
Dredge as the food service director in his complaint.
Therefore, Defendants Aramark, Correctional Services LLC, and
Food Service Director will be dismissed.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that:
1. Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff
states a Fourteenth Amendment claim for the alleged denial of
a nutritionally adequate diet against Defendants Dredge,
Scott, and Kunkel. 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. The plaintiff
is advised to wait until counsel has appeared for the
defendants before filing any motions, in order to give the
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.
The 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 the defendants by
mailing each defendant a waiver of service. The defendants
have 60 days from the date the waiver is sent to file an
answer. If the defendants have not filed answers or appeared
through counsel within 90 days of the entry of this order,
the plaintiff may file a motion requesting the status of
service. After the defendants have been served, the court
will enter an order setting discovery and dispositive motion
4. With respect to a defendant who no longer works at the
address provided by the 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. The 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 opinion. In general, an answer sets forth the
defendants' positions. The court does not rule on the
merits of those positions unless and until a ...