United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court for merit review of the
Plaintiff's complaint. 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.
a pro se prisoner, claims 17 Defendants violated his
constitutional rights at Pontiac Correctional Center.
Plaintiff begins by explaining his complaint alleges a long
standing policy and practice of using excessive force, a long
standing policy and practice of deliberate indifferent to
serious medical conditions, individual claims of excessive
force, and individual claims of deliberate indifferent to a
serious medical condition.
provides great detail about an incident which occurred on
March 4, 2016. Plaintiff and his cell mate were told to move
items off of their table, but Plaintiff refused stating it
was a religious display. Plaintiff was told officers would be
taking him to the North Cell House to talk with Internal
Affairs. Plaintiff stated he did not want to talk with
Internal Affairs Officers, and admits he refused to follow
orders to leave his cell and admits he told officers he
“wasn't going calmly.” (Comp., p. 19).
says officers pulled him toward the door, and he
“pulled back….and decided to go to the
ground.” (Comp., p. 19). It is difficult to read the
next section of Plaintiff's complaint, but he does allege
Officer Bufford responded to Plaintiff's actions with
excessive force when he slammed Plaintiff's head to the
ground and tried to grab his throat. Plaintiff also alleges
Officer Corely twisted his arms backwards and continued to
twist his arms even when Plaintiff yelled that he was not
says he had right to remain silent and not to talk to
Internal Affairs Officers. First, it is not clear Plaintiff
did have a constitutional right to remain silent based on the
facts alleged. Second, whether or not Plaintiff chose to
speak to the officers, he clearly did not have the right to
refuse direct orders to leave his cell and go to internal
affairs. See Soto v Dickey, 744 F.2d 1260, 1270 (7th
Cir. 1984)(“[i]nmates cannot be permitted to decide
which orders they will obey, and when they will obey
them.”). Nonetheless, for the purposes of notice
pleading, Plaintiff has alleged Defendants Bufford and Corely
reacted to his refusal to leave his cell with an excessive
and unneeded use of force.
the only specific instance of excessive force alleged in
Plaintiff's complaint and Plaintiff has not clearly
articulated how this incident was the result of a particular
policy or practice involving the use of excessive force at
the facility. See Calhoun v. Ramsey, 408 F.3d 375,
380 (7th Cir.2005) (a single random incident of excessive
force does not establish a custom or policy); Smith v.
Dart, 2010 WL 4116569, at *1 (N.D.Ill. October 12,
2010)(“ Plaintiff's assertions of a policy of
excessive force being used at the Cook County Jail is a
statement of legal conclusion and is based upon a single
incident.”); see also Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d
929 (2007)(a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action with merely labels and legal conclusions is
insufficient to state a claim; a complaint must provide
enough to raise the litigant's right of relief above a
not clearly alleged, Plaintiff apparently had bruises and
cuts after the alleged incident of excessive force. Plaintiff
again provides great detail concerning the number of people
he told he needed emergency medical care. However, each had
to ask Plaintiff why he needed care and several told
Plaintiff to fill out a medical request slip. Plaintiff also
saw medical personnel when he was provided medication who had
the same response to his request. Plaintiff says he did see
Dr. Tilden at some later date, but he does not indicate if
any specific care was provided or needed for his injuries.
allege an Eighth Amendment violation, Plaintiff must provide
information alleging he suffered from a serious medical
condition and the Defendants were deliberately indifferent to
that condition. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97,
106 (1976); Hayes v. Snyder, 546 F.3d 516, 522 (7th
serious medical condition is one that has been diagnosed by a
physician as mandating treatment or one that is so obvious
that even a lay person would perceive the need for a
doctor's attention.” Hayes v. Snyder, 546
F.3d 516, 522-23 (7th Cir. 2008) quoting Greeno v.
Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 652 (7th Cir. 2005). A condition
may also be objectively serious if a “failure to treat
it could result in further significant injury or the
unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.”
Hayes, 546 F.3d at 522 (quotation marks and citation
omitted). Consequently, not “every ache and pain or
medically recognized condition” constitutes a serious
medical need. Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d 1364,
1372 (7th Cir. 1997).
has not alleged he suffered from a serious medical condition.
See Pinkston v. Madry, 440 F.3d 879, 891 (7th Cir.
2006) (“[W]e note this court has held that injuries,
such as those alleged by Pinkston-a split lip and a swollen
cheek-do not rise to the level of an objectively serious
medical need.”); Davis v. Jones, 936 F.2d 971,
972-73 (7th Cir. 1991) (“No reasonable person would
believe that a one-inch cut presents such a risk [of needless
pain or lingering disability] unless the injured person is a
hemophiliac.”); Elcock v. Whitecotton, 434
Fed.Appx. 541, 543 (7th Cir. 2011) (nurse's assessment
that scratches and bruises did not require further medical
attention did not support claim for deliberate indifference);
Pinkson v. Madry, 440 F.3d 879, 891 (7th Cir. 2006)
(finding that inmate with swollen cheek and split lip from
altercation did not have objectively serious medical need);
Conwell v. Johnsen, 2016 WL 6661169, at *15
(N.D.Ill. Nov 9, 2016)(bloody nose, cuts, bruising and
swelling not serious medical condition); Haskins v.
Sumulong, 2017 WL 1178223, at *5 (N.D.Ill. March 30,
2017)(“ cuts and bruises generally are not deemed to
constitute serious medical needs.”).
complaint also fails to articulate an official capacity claim
based on deliberate indifference to a serious medical
condition. See Olive v. Wexford Corp., 494 Fed.Appx.
671, 673 (7th Cir. 2012)(“To state a claim against
Correct Care Solutions, the plaintiff must therefore
“identify [a] concrete policy” or custom that
caused the constitutional violation; he cannot rely solely on
a conclusory policy allegation.”); see also Bingham
v. Baker, 2016 WL 8711599, at *4 (N.D.Ill. April 15,
2016)(”conclusory policy allegation is not supported by
a more specific allegation identifying a discrete policy that
is causally linked to the deficiencies and delays in the
plaintiff's medical treatment.”).
makes reference in his complaint to the Americans with
Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, but he has not
provided a factual basis for claims pursuant to these
Plaintiff ends his complaint alleging Defendants have
committed various “violations” including
violations of his constitutional rights, international law,
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the minimal rules
for the treatment of prisoners, the “convention against
Torture, ”etc. (Comp., p. 29-33). However, Plaintiff
filed his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 and the
only clear ...