United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL M. MIHM, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
currently at the Dixon Correctional Center, files this action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging various constitutional
injuries while housed at Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”). The case is before the Court for a
merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In reviewing
the Complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as
true, liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor.
Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649-51 (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. United States, 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th
Cir. 2013)(citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
While the pleading standard does not require “detailed
factual allegations”, it requires “more than an
accusation.” Wilson v. Ryker, 451 Fed.Appx.
588, 589 (7th Cir. 2011) quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
alleges that on February 23, 2017, he requested to be seen by
a Pontiac mental health crisis team member. Defendants Klus
and Newhall escorted him from his cell but were told by
Defendant Lt. Lindsay to take Plaintiff back to his cell as
it was too close to shift change. Defendants Klus and Newhall
returned Plaintiff to his cell though he threatened to harm
himself. Plaintiff claims that he thereafter wrapped tissues
around his hand and set his hand on fire, sustaining a burn
not otherwise identified, responded to the incident and used
pepper spray to subdue Plaintiff. Defendant Klus took
Plaintiff to be seen by Nurse Powell so that his eyes could
be flushed of the pepper spray. Plaintiff objected that he
did not want his eyes flushed, but rather, wanted treatment
to his hand. Defendant Powell did not provide the requested
treatment though Plaintiff's hand was treated later that
day by Nurse Becky, not a Defendant.
alleges that he sustained third degree burns to his right
hand. He was seen the following day by Defendant Ojelade, a
Physician's Assistant (“PA”). Plaintiff does
not reveal the care provided by Defendant Ojelade and asserts
he was deliberately indifferent without providing any detail.
Plaintiff also complains that he was not seen by a physician
until February 26, 2017, three days after the injury.
asserts that Defendants Lindsay, Klus and Newhall failed to
protect him when they returned him to his cell despite his
claim that he would injure himself. He claims that Defendant
Powell was deliberately indifferent for not offering any
treatment for his right hand. He makes the conclusory claim
that Defendant Ojelade was deliberately indifferent, without
elaborating in what way he exhibited deliberate indifference.
This is not enough to place Defendant Ojelade on notice of
the potential claim against him.
only claim against Dr. Tilden is that Defendant did not send
him to a “skin professional.” Plaintiff does not
discuss the treatment he received from Dr. Tilden or
establish that he should have been seen by a skin specialist.
This is insufficient to allege deliberate indifference
against this Defendant.
alleges that Counselor Amy Wykes was
“unprofessional” in her response to his
grievances. This, however, will not support a § 1983
claim as, while there is a constitutional right to grieve
there is no constitutional right to an effective grievance
process. See Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d 763,
772 (7th Cir. 2008). Defendant Wykes is DISMISSED.
also alleges neglect, discrimination and medical malpractice.
Plaintiff cannot state a § 1983 claim based on
negligence and this is dismissed. While he may make a state
law claim of professional negligence or medical malpractice,
Illinois law requires that he file a written report by a
health professional, known as a “certificate of merit,
” attesting that there is a “reasonable and
meritorious cause for the filing.” 735 ILCS 5/2-622(a).
See Hahn v. Walsh, 762 F.3d 617, 628-33 (7th Cir.
2014) (Rule 2-622 requirement applies to state law claim
filed in federal court). As Plaintiff has not included a
certificate of merit with his complaint, the medical
negligence claim is DISMISSED, with leave to replead.
Plaintiff will be given 90 days in which to amend his
complaint to reassert his medical negligence claim and file a
certificate of merit, should he wish.
makes only a conclusory statement of discrimination, without
any supporting facts. He does not reveal his race or that of
the Defendants and does not claim that any Defendants'
actions were racially motivated. As a result, Plaintiff's
discrimination is DISMISSED. See Nunez v. Gerber,
No.: 08- 011, 2008 WL 5220857, at *3 (N.D. Ind. Dec. 11,
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
1. This case shall proceed on the claims that Defendants
Lindsay, Klus and Newhall failed to protect Plaintiff when
they returned him to his cell despite his claim that he would
injure himself; and that Defendant Powell was deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs. Defendants Ojelade,
Tilden and Wykes are DISMISSED though Plaintiff will be given
30 days in which to replead the claims against them, should
2. Plaintiff's discrimination and negligence claims are
DISMISSED. Plaintiff's medical malpractice claim is
DISMISSED though he will have 90 days in which to amend his
complaint to replead his medical negligence claim and attach
a Rule 6-22 Certificate of Merit.
3. Plaintiff has filed a motion for recruitment of pro bono
counsel , providing a single response to his request for
representation. The response, however, predates the filing of
the complaint by six months and is insufficient to support
that plaintiff has made reasonable attempts to secure counsel
on his own. Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 653 (7th
Cir. 2007).  is DENIED. Plaintiff's , request that
officials at Pontiac take photographs of his injured right
hand is GRANTED. Counsel for Defendants is requested to
facilitate the taking ...