United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE.
David Bentz is currently incarcerated in Menard Correctional
Center. This matter is before the Court on
“Plaintiff's Response to Court Order D/E #130 for
Sanctions and Affidavit” (Doc. 144), filed in response
to the Court's Show Cause Order. (Doc. 130). For the
reasons set forth herein, this case will be dismissed with
prejudice as a sanction against Plaintiff. Plaintiff's
pending Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 22) and Motion for
Order, Motion for Status (Doc. 141) will also be
DENIED as moot.
facts relevant to the issue herein are articulated at length
in this Court's Show Cause Order (Doc. 130) and are
incorporated by reference herein. In essence, multiple
individuals who were named as plaintiffs in this case filed
by Plaintiff Bentz have claimed in various motions and
affidavits that Plaintiff Bentz added them to this action
without their permission, forged their signatures, and/or
used their signatures on filings in this case, including the
complaint, that they did not have an opportunity to review.
See (Doc. 119, p. 2); (Doc. 126, p. 1); (Doc. 111,
p. 1); (Doc. 128, p. 1); (Doc. 109, p. 1); (Doc. 52, p. 1);
(Doc. 95, p. 1); (Doc. 94, p. 1); (Doc. 120, pp. 2-3); (Doc.
60, p. 1); (Doc. 21, p. 1); (Doc. 139). The Court also noted
in its Show Cause Order that Plaintiff Bentz was warned
recently in several cases that sanctions would be imposed
against him if he attempted to deceive the
court. See (Doc. 130, pp. 4-5)
November 17, 2017, the Court ordered Plaintiff Bentz to show
cause why this case should not be dismissed as a sanction for
forging at least one fellow plaintiff's signature,
including individuals in this lawsuit as plaintiffs without
their knowledge or consent, and submitting the First Amended
Complaint with signatures from plaintiffs who were not given
the opportunity to review it. (Doc. 130, pp. 1, 7-8) (citing
Ayoubi v. Dart, 640 F. App'x 524, 528-29 (7th
Cir. 2016) (citing Rivera v. Drake, 767 F.3d 685,
686-87 (7th Cir. 2014); Hoskins v. Dart, 633 F.3d
541, 543-44 (7th Cir. 2011); Mathis v. N.Y. Life Ins.
Co., 133 F.3d 546, 547 (7th Cir. 1998); Jackson v.
Murphy, 468 F. App'x 616, 620 (7th Cir. 2012))).
Cause Response and Issuance of Sanctions
Bentz's response to the Show Cause Order has not altered
the Court's conclusion that dismissal is warranted in
this case, for Plaintiff's attempt to deceive the Court
described herein and in the Show Cause Order.
Response (Doc. 144), Plaintiff Bentz claims that he
“did not witness any plaintiff's signature[s] and
cannot say for [a] fact if plaintiffs signed any
documents.” (Doc. 144, p. 1). Plaintiff Bentz also
claims that he “did not sing [sic], doctor, forge,
missleed [sic] Court, or file any document with such a
signature of plaintiff[s] with this Court in this
action.” Id. Plaintiff claims that the
“allegations against Plaintiff Bentz by this Court are
(or Plaintiffs) in fact supported by no evidence at all, and
are simply bias to Plaintiff Bentz.” Id.
Plaintiff also takes issue with this Court's citation of
several of his previous cases in its Show Cause Order,
claiming that the accusations of dishonesty against him in
those cases are false. Id.
Court finds Plaintiff Bentz's arguments unpersuasive. He
claims that there is no evidence of his wrongdoing, when in
fact at least ten former plaintiffs in this action have
submitted affidavits and/or motions attesting to the various
ways in which he appears to have attempted to use their names
and/or signatures inappropriately in this case. See
(Doc. 130, pp. 2-4); (Doc. 139). Plaintiff also claims that
accusations of dishonesty leveled against him in previous
actions are untrue, but the Court does not rely on previous
accusations to find that Plaintiff has attempted to deceive
the Court in this case. Instead, it referenced these previous
instances to illustrate that Plaintiff was on notice when he
filed this action that attempts to deceive the Court,
including forging other inmates' signatures, are
sanctionable. The Court also finds it notable, if not
probative, that accusations or suggestions of potential
dishonesty on the part of Plaintiff Bentz are not uncommon in
aforementioned reasons, and those outlined in this
Court's Show Cause Order (Doc. 130), this case will be
dismissed with prejudice as a sanction for Plaintiff
Bentz's attempts to deceive the Court.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this action is
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as a sanction for
Plaintiff Bentz forging at least one fellow plaintiff's
signature, including individuals in this lawsuit as
plaintiffs without their knowledge or consent, and submitting
the First Amended Complaint with signatures from plaintiffs
who were not given the opportunity to review it.
Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 22) and
Motion for Order, Motion for Status (Doc. 141) are
DENIED as MOOT.
dismissal shall not count as a “strike” under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Clerk is DIRECTED to close this case and