United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
STEVEN D. LISLE, JR., CORTEZ RICHARDSON, KENNETH POWELL, DIONTE D. BURTON and DENZEL O. WALKER, Plaintiffs,
MICHAEL MELVIN, et al., Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Steven Lisle and six other plaintiffs filed this lawsuit
alleging excessive force and retaliation. Two plaintiffs were
dismissed for failure to comply with the court's orders
regarding the filing fees and petitions to proceed in
forma pauperis (“IFP”). The case is now
before the court for a merit review of the remaining
plaintiffs' 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.
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 plaintiffs a chance to
personally explain their claims to the court.
are all housed at Pontiac Correctional Center. Plaintiff
Lisle signed the complaint and attached affidavits with
signatures of the other plaintiffs. A multi-plaintiff
complaint must be signed by all plaintiffs. See Lewis v.
LencSmith Mfg. Co., 784 F.2d 829, 831 (7th Cir.1986);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 11. The court must strike any unsigned paper.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a). In addition, prisoners proceeding pro se
are not allowed to act as class representatives. See
Huddleston v. Duckworth, 97 F.R.D. 512, 514-55 (N.D.
plaintiffs' complaint is dismissed. The court will grant
plaintiffs an opportunity to submit an amended complaint.
However, the plaintiffs' respective claims appear to be
separate incidents, and, therefore, the court will sever any
claims asserted by Plaintiffs Richardson, Powell, Burton and
Walker from this case and will open a new case for each
plaintiff. See Owens v. Godinez, 860 F.3d 434, 436
(7th Cir. 2017) (“[D]istrict courts should not allow
inmates to flout the rules for joining claims and
defendants…or to circumvent the Prison Litigation
Reform Act's fee requirements by combining multiple
lawsuits into a single complaint.”).
plaintiff will be given thirty (30) days to file an amended
complaint in their own respective case. The amended complaint
must state one claim against one set of defendants, and must
be a short and plain statement of the claim for relief.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8.
Plaintiffs' complaint is hereby dismissed with leave to
replead. Plaintiff Lisle may file an amended complaint in
this case within thirty (30) days that complies with the
Court's instructions above.
clerk is directed to open a new case for each plaintiff
naming the same defendants. Each plaintiff in their
newly-severed case is granted leave to file an amended
complaint within (30) days identifying their claims against
specific defendants. Failure to file an amended complaint
will result in dismissal of his newly-severed case.
clerk is also directed to:
a) File the complaint, respective motion to proceed in
forma pauperis, and accompanying text order granting IFP
in each newly-severed case;
b) File this merit review order in each newly-severed case;
c) Send the standard Notice of Case Opening for each
newly-severed case to the respective plaintiff with a copy of
this Order and a ...