United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, and currently
incarcerated in Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”), was granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. The case is now before the court for a
merit review of plaintiff's claims. The court is required
by 28 U.S.C. § 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. § 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 (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)(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.
filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
that Defendants Copeland, Whicker, Meister, and the Doe
Defendants kicked him in the head, face, and lower body for
five (5) minutes following plaintiff's alleged
less-than-amicable discussion with Defendant Prentice about
getting a food tray. Plaintiff alleges he was lying on the
ground (per orders to do so) in shackles when the attack
occurred. Plaintiff stated at the hearing that, as a result,
his eye was swollen shut, his forehead was cut open, his
wrists were scarred from the handcuffs, and they messed up
his back. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Meister denied him
access to medical treatment on one occasion shortly after the
incident, but he apparently received medical treatment later
that day. Plaintiff also alleges that another inmate told him
that Defendants Prentice and Meister took his stuff.
Plaintiff also alleges delays in medical treatment and the
grievance process caused by individuals not named as
states a claim for excessive force against Defendants
Copeland, Whicker, Meister, and the Doe Defendants. See
Hudson v. Palmer, 503 U.S. 1 (1992). Plaintiff also
states a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious
medical need against Defendant Meister. See Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976) (prison guards can be
held constitutionally liable for denying or delaying access
to medical treatment).
does not provide enough information regarding his other
allegations to state a constitutional claim. Plaintiff's
allegations that suggest Defendant Prentice ordered the
attack are speculative at best and Plaintiff does not allege
Defendant Prentice was involved in the alleged use of force.
See Pepper v. Village of Oak Park, 430 F.3d 805, 810
(7th Cir. 2005) (“To be liable under [Section] 1983, an
individual defendant must have caused or participated in a
constitutional deprivation.”). Plaintiff also does not
provide enough information about why his property was taken
or whether he got it back, and he has no right to the
grievance process itself.
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff states
Eighth Amendment claims for (1) excessive force against
defendants Copeland, Whicker, Meister, and the Doe
Defendants, and (2) deliberate indifference to a serious
medical need against Defendant Meister. 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.
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.
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 deadlines.
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
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 motion is filed by the defendants.
Therefore, no response to the answer is necessary or will be
district uses electronic filing, which means that, after
defense counsel has filed an appearance, defense counsel will
automatically receive electronic notice of any motion or
other paper filed by the plaintiff with the clerk. The
plaintiff does not need to mail to defense counsel copies of
motions and other papers that the plaintiff has filed with
the clerk. However, this does not apply to discovery requests
and responses. Discovery requests and responses are not filed
with the clerk. The plaintiff must mail his discovery
requests and responses directly to defendants' counsel.
Discovery requests or responses sent to the clerk will be
returned unfiled, unless they are attached to and the subject
of a motion to compel. Discovery does not begin until defense
counsel has filed an appearance and the court has entered a
scheduling order, which will explain the discovery process in
Counsel for the defendants is hereby granted leave to depose
the plaintiff at his place of confinement. Counsel for the