United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert, United States District Judge
matter is before the Court for a merits review of Plaintiffs
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10), filed of record on April
25, 2017,  at the direction of the Court. On
March 24, 2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs original
Complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. He
was ordered to file an amended complaint, limited to the
claim in Count 2, if he wished to proceed with the action.
(Doc. 9). Count 2 of the Complaint was outlined as follows:
First Amendment claim against Officer John Doe #2 and Lt.
Jane Doe #1, for the mishandling and loss of Plaintiff s two
outgoing legal letters.
claims arose while he was a pre-trial detainee at the
Jefferson County Jail. He has since been returned to the Cook
County Department of Corrections, where he was confined at
the time he filed this action.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the First Amended Complaint that is legally frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or asks for money damages from a defendant who by
law is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10)
November 2016, Plaintiff was transferred from Cook County to
the Jefferson County Jail ("the Jail"). (Doc. 10,
p. 9). Plaintiff had been on regular doses of psychiatric
medications for about 4 years, and he notified the Jail nurse
that he needed these medications. However, he received only
one of his prescriptions (veneflexin). Plaintiff informed 2
lieutenants and "every officer on the first and second
shift" that he had not been given his medications. He
filed a grievance as well. On November 14, 2016, Captain
Mount notified Plaintiff that he would not be medicated in
the Jail, but would only be medicated under the care of his
"parenting facility medical department." (Doc. 10,
submitted multiple additional grievances over the medication
denial, to no avail. He told Mount and the John/Jane Doe
Lieutenant(s) and C/O's that he intended to file a
federal lawsuit if he did not get his prescribed medication.
(Doc. 1, p. 10). He then took the step of writing to the
"Office of Professional Review" to complain about
the refusal by the Jail nurses and other officials to provide
him with his prescribed psychiatric medications. That letter
was lost and unaccounted for as a result of the alleged
defects in the Jail's outgoing mail procedures -and that
incident prompted Plaintiff to bring Count 2 of the instant
action. (Doc. 10, p. 10).
discovered that a different outgoing personal letter was
placed in another inmate's envelope and delivered to the
other inmate's relative. (Doc. 10, p. 10). He claims that
this occurred because of the Jail's policy that detainees
are not allowed to seal their mail in an envelope, but
instead must leave it open for inspection by Jail staff.
Plaintiff hand-delivered his outgoing mail to the C/O in
charge, and was told by Officer Gorden that she had
personally logged his mail. However, when Plaintiff filed a
grievance over the missing mail (which presumably included
the letter to the Office of Professional Review), the
response informed him that his letters were never logged, and
there was no explanation of what happened to his outgoing
mail. (Doc. 10, p. II).
asserts that the denial of his medications subjected him
to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of his
constitutional rights. (Doc. 10, pp. 10, 12). He seeks
damages and injunctive relief with respect to his need to
have his prescribed medications, and to stop the Jail from
continuing its policy forbidding inmates from sealing their
own mail. (Doc. 10, p. 13). As to the requests for injunctive
relief, Plaintiff asserts that because he is still being held
pending trial on a Cook County charge, he may be transferred
back to the Jefferson County Jail if his case is continued.
(Doc. 10, p. 11). If that were to occur, he could again be
subjected to the constitutional violations complained of in
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the First Amended Complaint, the Court
shall add an additional count to the pro se
action. The parties and the Court will use
the designations below in all future pleadings and orders,
unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this
Court. The designation of these counts does not constitute an
opinion as to their merit. Any other claim that is mentioned
in the Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice. The counts under
consideration herein are:
Count 2: First Amendment claim against
Officer John Doe #2 and Lt. Jane Doe #1, for the mishandling
and loss of Plaintiff s two ...