United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER #2
A. BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the court for a merit review of the
plaintiff's amended complaint. 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 amended 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).
alleges that while she was a pretrial detainee at Kankakee
County Jail, jail officials isolated her for 24 hours a day
while denying religious services and diets, showers, access
to the law library, and protection from other inmates who
threatened to sexually assault her. Plaintiff also alleges
that a prison guard sexually assaulted her. Plaintiff alleges
this occurred over the course of two years.
states a Fourteenth Amendment conditions-of-confinement claim
against defendants Grant, Martin, and Kolitwenzie, the
correctional officers presumably responsible for the
conditions she allegedly endured. See Budd v.
Motley, 711 F.3d 840, 842 (7th Cir. 2013) (To
state a conditions-of-confinement claim, Plaintiff must
allege that he suffered a sufficiently serious deprivation
and that jail officials were deliberately indifferent to a
serious risk of harm); Gray v. Hardy, 826 F.3d 1000,
1005 (7th Cir. 2016) (an adverse condition of confinement, if
endured over a significant time, can become an constitutional
violation even if it would not be impermissible if it were
only a short-term problem). Plaintiff also states a First
Amendment claim for the denial of religious accommodation.
See Grayson v. Schuler, 666 F.3d 450 (7th Cir.
cannot sue other inmates as § 1983 applies only to state
actors, nor can she sue the Kankakee County Jail or
Sheriff's Department as they are not
“persons” under the statute. See Powell v.
Cook County Jail, 814 F.Supp. 757, 758 (N.D. Ill. 1993)
(holding the Cook County Jail was not a person under Section
1983). Therefore, these defendants will be dismissed.
1) Plaintiff's motion to amend complaint (#14) is
granted. Clerk is directed to docket the amended complaint
attached to plaintiff's motion.
2) Pursuant to its merit review of the amended complaint
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court finds that the
plaintiff states a Fourteenth Amendment claim for inhumane
conditions of confinement and a First Amendment claim for the
denial of religious accommodation against Defendants Grant,
Martin, and Kolitwenzie. All remaining Defendants are
dismissed. 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.
3) 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.
4) 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
5) 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.
6) 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 motion is filed
by the defendants. Therefore, no response to the answer is
necessary or will be considered.
7) This 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 ...