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Means v. Haper

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 28, 2018

JOEL MEANS, #N23056, Plaintiff,
v.
JOE HAPER, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HERNDON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Joel Means is currently housed at Chester Mental Health Center located in Chester, Illinois. He brings this civil rights action against an administrator at Chester Mental Health Center named Joe Haper.[1] (Doc. 1, p. 1). The allegations in the Complaint are largely incoherent. Id. For this reason, the Court is unable to determine the exact nature of plaintiff's claims against Haper, although they appear to relate to an untreated stomach problem. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff failed to explain what role Haper played in denying him medical care or clearly describe what relief he now seeks. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         The Complaint is subject to preliminary review. However, the Court lacks sufficient information about plaintiff's status as a “prisoner” or a poor person to determine whether screening is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which applies to prisoners, or 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), which applies to non-prisoners who seek leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). Plaintiff does not disclose the basis for his current confinement at Chester. He also failed to file a motion seeking leave to proceed as a poor person. Regardless of his status as a prisoner, the Complaint fails to state any claim for relief and shall be dismissed.

         Section 1915A governs civil actions brought by prisoners against a governmental entity or officer. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The statute defines “prisoner” to include “any person incarcerated or detained in any facility who is accused of, convicted of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms and conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(c). The Court is required to dismiss a prisoner's complaint, or any portion of it, that is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1)-(2).

         A civil rights action filed by a non-prisoner who seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) is screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Notwithstanding any filing fee that has been paid, § 1915(e)(2) compels the Court to dismiss a case that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). See also Luevano v. Wal- Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1018 (7th Cir. 2013).

         The instant Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and therefore warrants dismissal under both statutes. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). An action fails to state a claim for relief when it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross “the line between possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557.

         In order to state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that he was deprived of a constitutionally protected right by a defendant who acted under color of state law. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See also McNabola v. Chicago Transit Auth., 10 F.3d 501, 513 (7th Cir. 1993); Patrick v. Jasper Cnty., 901 F.2d 561, 565 (7th Cir. 1990). A government official may not be held liable under § 1983 based only on his or her role as a supervisor. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 US. 662, 676 (2009). Liability requires personal involvement in or responsibility for the deprivation of a constitutional right. Knight v. Wiseman, 590 F.3d 458, 462-63 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted); Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995). In other words, a plaintiff who claims that he was denied adequate medical care must name as defendants those individuals who are responsible for the inadequate medical care and describe what each defendant did, or failed to do, to treat him. This does not require plaintiff to describe his claims in great detail. He must set forth a clear and simple statement of his claim against each defendant. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. Plaintiff fails to satisfy this requirement because his allegations against Haper are incoherent. Having failed to state a coherent claim, the Complaint shall be dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff shall be granted leave to file an amended complaint, if he wishes to pursue this claim further. However, he is bound by the Court's deadline and instructions in the below disposition.

         Disposition

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the COMPLAINT (Doc. 1) is DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         IT IS ORDERED that Defendant JOE HAPER is dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         IT IS ORDERED that, should he wish to proceed with this case, plaintiff must: (1) file a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis that includes his updated financial information for the 6-month period preceding this action (September 1, 2017 through March 20, 2018) or prepay the full $400.00 filing fee for this action consistent with the instructions set forth in the letter from the Clerk of this Court dated March 20, 2018 (Doc. 7), and no later than the extended deadline of April 24, 2018; and (2) file a First Amended Complaint by the same deadline of April 24, 2018. Failure to comply with this deadline or the instructions set forth in the Clerk's letter (Doc. 7) and this Order shall result in dismissal of this action with prejudice for failure to comply with a court order and/or for failure to prosecute his claims. Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). See generally Ladien v. Astrachan, 128 F.3d 1051 (7th Cir. 1997); Johnson v. Kamminga, 34 F.3d 466 (7th Cir. 1994); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         Should plaintiff decide to file a First Amended Complaint, it is strongly recommended that he use the forms designed for use in this District for such actions. He should label the form, “First Amended Complaint, ” and he should use the case number for this action (i.e., 18-cv-00590-DRH). The pleading shall present each claim in a separate count, and each count shall specify, by name, each defendant alleged to be liable under the count, as well as the actions alleged to have been taken by that defendant. Plaintiff should attempt to include the facts of his case in chronological order, inserting each defendant's name where necessary to identify the actors. Plaintiff should refrain from filing unnecessary exhibits. Plaintiff should include only related claims in his amended complaint. Claims against different defendants that are unrelated to one another will be severed into new cases, new case numbers will be assigned, and additional filing fees will be assessed.

         An amended complaint supersedes and replaces the original complaint, rendering the original complaint void. See Flannery v. Recording Indus. Ass'n of Am., 354 F.3d 632, 638 n.1 (7th Cir. 2004). The Court will not accept piecemeal amendments to a complaint. Thus, the First Amended Complaint must stand on its own, without reference to any previous pleading, and plaintiff must re-file any exhibits he wishes the Court to consider along with the First Amended Complaint. The First Amended Complaint is subject to review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A or 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).

         Plaintiff is further ADVISED that his obligation to pay the filing fee for this action was incurred at the time the action was filed, thus the filing fee of $400.00[2]remains due and payable, regardless of whether plaintiff elects to file a First Amended Complaint. See 28 ...


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