United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, and currently not in
custody, 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, while incarcerated at East Moline Correctional Center,
he was forced to live in a cell with black mold “coming
[through] the walls” for approximately 30 days. As a
result, plaintiff alleges he developed a cough and headaches.
Plaintiff alleges that prison officials ignored his requests
to be moved to a different cell and for medical treatment.
face, plaintiff states an Eighth Amendment claim for the
alleged inhumane conditions of confinement. Defendant
Baldwin, the Director of IDOC, should be dismissed. Plaintiff
cannot sue him just because he is in charge and no reasonable
inference arises that this defendant was responsible for the
deprivation plaintiff alleges. See Pepper v. Village of
Oak Park, 430 F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005)
(“To be liable under [Section] 1983, an individual
defendant must have caused or participated in a
constitutional deprivation. “); see also Pacelli v.
DeVito, 972 F.2d 871, 877 (7th Cir. 1992)
(The mere fact that a defendant was a supervisor is
insufficient to establish liability because the doctrine of
respondeat superior does not apply to actions filed
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983).
1. Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff
states an Eighth Amendment claim for inhumane conditions of
confinement against Defendants Christine Brannon and Lt.
Jensen. 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 motion is filed
by the defendants. Therefore, no response to the answer is
necessary or will be considered.
6. 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 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
7. Counsel for the defendants is hereby granted leave to
depose the plaintiff at his place of confinement. Counsel for
the defendants shall arrange the time for the deposition.
8. The plaintiff shall immediately notify the court, in
writing, of any change in his mailing address and telephone
number. The plaintiff's failure to notify the court of a
change in mailing address or phone number will ...