United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
E. SHADID, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court for consideration of
Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend his complaint 
and motion for appointment of counsel. .
initial complaint was dismissed as a violation of Rule 8 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See October 5,
2017 Merit Review Order, see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 8.
Plaintiff's 40-page complaint listed 27 Defendants and
alleged a variety of violations pursuant to the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act (RA), the
First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment,
the Fourteenth Amendment, and various state law claims.
However, Plaintiff had not identified the correct Defendants,
it was difficult to discern the basis of his claims, he
repeated claims already pending in another lawsuit, and it
appeared some claims were outside the two year statute of
limitations period. Therefore, Plaintiff's complaint was
dismissed, but he was given additional time to file an
amended complaint clarifying his allegations. See
October 5, 2017 Merit Review Order.
has now submitted a proposed amended complaint which has been
filed as a motion for leave to amend. . The motion is
granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15. .
Court is still required by 28 U.S.C. §1915A to
“screen” the Plaintiff's amended 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. §1915A.
amended complaint is more concise, but now identifies 28
Defendants at Pontiac Correctional Center. Plaintiff repeats
that he has been diagnosed with severe degenerative joint
disease of the spine, a disk bulge, a sciatic nerve
condition, foramina stenosis, a labrum tear in his shoulder
and carpel tunnel. (Amd. Comp., p. 3). He claims all the
conditions interfere with his life activities and qualify as
a disability. As a result, Plaintiff first appears to claim
he has a special cuffing permit, a low gallery permit, and a
permit for a cane and wheelchair. (Amd., p. 3-4). However, at
other instances in his amended complaint, Plaintiff seems to
allege individuals either ignored his permits, or the permits
had expired, or the permits were never issued.
also continues to allege all of his Defendants had notice of
his condition because he sent them letters including some by
certified mail. This is not sufficient. Plaintiff cannot
choose who to hold responsible for his allegations merely by
launching a letter writing campaign. See Johnson v.
Snyder, 444 F.3d 579, 583-84 (7th Cir.2006) (letters to
Director “insufficient to create a genuine issue of
material fact regarding personal responsibility of Director,
where Director had delegated responsibility for reviewing
grievances, and there was no evidence that Director had read
letters); Catrabone v. Farley, 1995 WL 646281, at *6
(N.D.Ind. Oct. 10, 1995)(plaintiff “cannot establish
personal involvement and subject an official to liability
under § 1983 based merely upon a ...letter writing
campaign.”); Lieberman v. Budz, 2010 WL
369614, at *4 (N.D.Ill., 2010) (“Plaintiff cannot
establish personal involvement on the part of Defendants
based on letters he allegedly wrote notifying them about the
does make reference to the involvement of some individual
Defendants in his amended complaint, but he simply claims
they are responsible for events without explaining how or
why. In this case, Plaintiff chose to name a wide range of
Defendants with a wide range of responsibilities. Therefore,
the Court cannot assume or infer the involvement of all
Defendants. Plaintiff must explain the specific involvement
of each Defendant in each relevant allegation.
still makes reference to falling in the shower in 2014, but
Plaintiff says he began complaining about the lack of
accommodations for his living conditions shortly after the
incident. Nonetheless, his rambling account of events is
difficult to follow. In addition, as the Court previously
advised Plaintiff, his claims pursuant to the ADA or RA
cannot proceed against “individual employees of
IDOC.” Id. Instead, the proper defendant is
the relevant state department or agency. See 42
U.S.C. § 12131(1)(b); Peters, 2017 WL 2533652,
at *4; Jaros, 684 F.3d at 670 n.2. Plaintiff
therefore can only proceed against Director John Baldwin in
his official capacity for any ADA or RA violation.
Plaintiff was specifically admonished not to repeat any
claims pending in other lawsuits, his second claim again
alleges Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
severe degenerative joint disease of the spine, disk bulge,
sciatic nerve condition, foramina stenosis, labrum tear and
carpel tunnel. Plaintiff has a pending lawsuit in the
Northern District of Illinois which complains about the
medical care provided for these exact conditions and this
lawsuit encompasses his care at Pontiac Correctional Center.
See Medrano v Ghosh, Case No. 13-0084 in the
Northern District, March 19, 2013 Opinion. If Plaintiff is
attempting to state a new claim based on injuries he received
after falling in the shower on November 15, 2015, then he
must limit his claim to the specific injuries he suffered to
his back and shoulder, not all medical conditions previously
final claim is actually several claims alleging
“retaliation, conspiracy, violation of due process in
malicious manner.” (Amd Comp., p. 10). Plaintiff
appears to be alleging doctors retaliated against him by
falsifying medical records. Plaintiff also alleges Defendants
violated his due process rights when they failed to properly
respond to his grievances.
state a First Amendment retaliation claim, a plaintiff must
claim“(1) he engaged in activity protected by the First
Amendment; (2) he suffered a deprivation that would likely
deter First Amendment activity in the future; and (3) the
First Amendment activity was at least a motivating factor in
the [d]efendants' decision to take the retaliatory
action.” Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546
(7th Cir.2009) (internal quotations omitted). Plaintiff
should identify the lawsuit(s) or grievance(s) which he
claims sparked the retaliatory action and a general time
frame. In addition, Plaintiff has not clearly explained why
he believes his medical records were falsified. If Plaintiff
simply disagrees with the doctor's opinions or entries,
this does not demonstrate fraud.
addition, Plaintiff can not articulate a due process claim
based on his problems with the grievance procedure.
“Prison grievance procedures are not mandated by the
First Amendment and do not by their very existence create
interests protected by the Due Process Clause” of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d
950, 953 (7th Cir.2011) (citations omitted). The Constitution
requires no procedure at all, and the failure of state prison
officials to follow their own procedures does not, standing
alone, violate the Constitution. Maust v. Headley,
959 F.2d 644, 648 (7th Cir.1992); Shango v. Jurich,
681 F.2d 1091, 1100-01 (7th Cir.1982).
Court acknowledges the pro se Plaintiff has made an effort to
provide a more concise pleading with numbered paragraphs in
his amended complaint. In addition, “pro se
litigants are held to a lesser pleading standard than other
parties, ” Federal Exp. Corp. v. Holowecki,552 U.S. 389, 402 (2008); see also McGowan v..
Hulick,612 F.3d 636, 640 (7th Cir.2010) (noting that
the district court must construe a pro se complaint
liberally). However, “where the lack of organization
and basic coherence renders a complaint too confusing to
determine the facts that constitute the alleged wrongful
conduct, dismissal is an appropriate remedy.”
Stanard, 658 F.3d at 798; Lindell v.
McCallum,352 F.3d 1107, 1110 (7th Cir.2003) (“If
a complaint's length and lack of clarity make it
unintelligible, dismissal under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) is
permitted.... though leave to replead should ordinarily be
granted.”)(citations omitted); Vicom, Inc. v.
Harbridge Merchant Services, Inc.,20 F.3d 771, 775-76
(7th Cir. 1994)(“ A complaint that is prolix
and/or confusing makes it difficult for the defendant to file
a responsive pleading and makes it ...