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Gurley v. Doe
United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
February 21, 2018
JEFFREY ROBERT GURLEY, Plaintiff,
JOHN DOE #1, JOHN DOE #2, JOHN DOE #3, JOHN DOE #4, JOHN DOE #6, JOHN DOE #7, JOHN DOE #10, JOHN DOE #11, JOHN DOE #12, JOHN DOE #15, HUBBER, GOTAY, WEDEL, JONES, JANE DOE #20, NWARU, PEREZ, STOVER, ROGERS, JOHN DOE #26, LORINZE, BRIDGE, CAUSALENO, DAVIS, CHAVEZ, WILSON, KIM, ORONA, HEIN, BAKER, FITZPATRICK, JANE DOE #39, POWELL, JEWEL, SMITH, SZUL, PETTERSON, CCDOC, CCDOC CERMARK HEALTH SERVICES, JOHN DOE #47, BAKER, MCGORDE, SANTOS, JOHN DOE #52, HOUSKIN, JOHN DOE #54, and WEXFORD HEALTH SERVICES Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jeffrey Gurley, an inmate of Menard Correctional Center,
brings this action seeking damages for deprivations of his
constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
regarding events that occurred at Cook County Jail and Menard
Correctional Center. Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief,
damages, and fees and costs. This case is now before the
Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:
(a) Screening - The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
Court's initial review of the Complaint suggests that
there are parties and claims that are improperly joined in
this action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20.
Thus, before screening the case on the merits, the Court must
sever this action into separate cases.
was placed in restraints on January 9, 2017 to be transported
to Maybrook Courthouse. (Doc. 1, pp. 38-29). At the time, he
was in the custody of the Cook County Department of
Corrections (“CCDOC”), located in Cook County,
Illinois. While shackled, Plaintiff fell down some stairs,
allegedly due to the negligence of John Does #1 and #2. (Doc.
1, p. 40). Plaintiff immediately experienced pain in his back
and neck. (Doc. 1, p. 40). He alleges that everyone that
responded to the incident, including paramedics and hospital
staff, was deliberately indifferent and negligent. (Doc. 1,
pp. 41-46). Plaintiff alleges that he was denied adequate
medical care for his neck and back pain after the incident by
CCDOC, Cermak Health Services, and many of the individual
defendants associated with CCDOC from January 9, 2017 through
May 17, 2017. (Doc. 1, pp. 38, 46-60) (Doc. 1-1, pp. 1-18).
also alleges that Defendants at the CCDOC were deliberately
indifferent to his safety in his weakened and recovering
condition. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 18-23). Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that he was attacked by several other inmates on
January 27, 2017 while incarcerated at Cook County Jail, and
that CCDOC staff was negligent and deliberately indifferent
in failing to prevent or properly respond to the attack.
(Doc. 1-1, pp. 23-45).
was transferred to Menard Correctional Center sometime
between April 2017 and July 2, 2017. (Doc. 1-1, pp. 49-50).
Plaintiff made complaints regarding his injury to Menard
staff on July 2, 2017 and August 1, 2017 and requested an
extra mattress and stronger medication. (Doc. 1-1, p. 50). On
September 4, 2017, Plaintiff complained to John Doe #54, the
doctor at Menard, that his medication was not helping his
continuous pain. Id. Doe #54 denied Plaintiff's
requests for an extra mattress and different pain medication.
Id. Instead, Doe #54 prescribed physical therapy.
Id. Plaintiff alleges he was only permitted to
attend physical therapy 9 times and that the quality was
poor. (Doc. 1-1, p. 51). Plaintiff renewed his request for
“more useful” medication on January 20, 2018.
Id. Plaintiff alleges that Doe #54 and Wexford were
negligent in protecting Plaintiff, and failed to provide him
with suitable quarters and adequate health care.
George v. Smith, the Seventh Circuit emphasized that
unrelated claims against different defendants belong in
separate lawsuits, “not only to prevent the sort of
morass” produced by multi-claim, multi-defendant suits,
“but also to ensure that prisoners pay the required
filing fees” under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) (citing 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(g)); Wheeler v. Talbot, 695 F. App'x
151, 152 (7th Cir. 2017) (failing to sever mis-joined claims
prejudices the United States Treasury); Owens v.
Godinez, 860 F.3d 434, 436 (7th Cir. 2017). A prisoner
who files a “buckshot complaint” that includes
multiple unrelated claims against different individuals
should not be allowed to avoid “risking multiple
strikes for what should have been several different
lawsuits.” Turley v. Gaetz, 625 F.3d 1005,
1011 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court has broad discretion as to
whether to sever claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 21 or to dismiss improperly joined Defendants.
See Owens v. Hinsely, 635 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir.
2011); Rice v. Sunrise Express, Inc., 209
F.3d 1008, 1016 (7th Cir. 2000).
Rule of Civil Procedure 20 permits joinder of all claims that
“aris[e] out of the same transaction, occurrence, or
series of transactions or occurrences; [when] any question of
law of fact common to all defendants will arise in the
action.” That means that a plaintiff cannot join
separate claims against different defendants or sets of
defendants in the same lawsuit, unless the plaintiff asserts
a claim for relief against each defendant that arises out of
the same ...