United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
NATHAN C. WALKER, Plaintiff,
JEFF STANDARD et al., Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW AMENDED COMPLAINT
MICHAEL M. MIHM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeding pro se, files an amended complaint
alleging interference with his mail while a pretrial detainee
at the Fulton County Jail (“Jail”). The case is
before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. In reviewing the Complaint, the Court accepts
the factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649-51 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements
and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to
“state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d
418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013)(citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). While the pleading standard does not require
“detailed factual allegations”, it requires
“more than an unadorned,
Wilson v. Ryker, 451 Fed.Appx. 588, 589 (7th Cir.
2011) quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
claims that in March, April and May, 2016, he sent six
letters directed to a judge at the Fulton County Courthouse.
He was apparently expecting a response and, when none was
forthcoming, filed grievances with Defendants Sheriff
standard and Jail Administrator Lafary. Plaintiff claims that
Defendant Hooker later told him that Defendant Hampton, a
bailiff at the Fulton County Courthouse, had posted a Memo
advising the Jail officers to throw away any mail addressed
to a Fulton County judge. Plaintiff does not state whether
the memo was posted at the Jail or at the courthouse, and
does not address how a court bailiff would have the authority
to direct Jail officers to act.
asserts that Defendant Hampton violated his First Amendment
rights by posting a memo which caused his mail to be
discarded. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Standard and
Lafary were aware of the memo and did not “take it
down.” It is not clear where the memo was posted or how
Plaintiff was aware that Defendants Standard and Lafary knew
of it. Inmates have a First and Fourteenth Amendment
substantive right to send and receive mail. Rowe v.
Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 781 (7th Cir.1999). While it
strains credulity to believe that a courthouse bailiff was
systematically throwing out judges' mail, and ordering
others to do so, the Court must review the complaint in the
light most favorable to Plaintiff. As a result, the claims
against Defendants Standard, Lafary and Hampton will proceed.
also names 10 Jail officers claiming that it was their job to
sort the mail and give it to Defendant Hampton who would then
walk it over to the courthouse. Plaintiff believes that the
10 officers threw away his mail or “participated”
in it being thrown away. He does not address the possibility
that it was Hampton who threw away the mail and does not make
any specific allegations as to any individual officer. This
vague claim is insufficient to plead that any one particular
officer personally participated in the alleged wrongdoing.
Section 1983 liability is predicated on fault, so to be
liable, a defendant must be “personally responsible for
the deprivation of a constitutional right.”
Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740 (7th
Cir.2001) (quoting Chavez v. Ill. State Police, 251
F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001)). Defendants Williams, Burget,
White, Hooker, Hapke, Gohde, Gray, Twidwell, Bard and Jenny
and they are DISMISSED.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
case shall proceed solely on the First and Fourteenth
Amendment claims against Defendants Standard, Lafary and
Hampton, identified herein. Sheriff Standard and Jail
Administrator Lafary are to be added as Defendants. Any
claims not identified will not be included in the case,
except in the Court's discretion upon motion by a party
for good cause shown, or by leave of court pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15. Defendants Williams,
Burget, White, Hooker, Hapke, Gohde, Gray, Twidwell, Bard and
Jenny are DISMISSED.
Clerk is directed to send to Defendants Standard and Lafary
pursuant to this District's internal procedures: 1) a
Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service; 2) a
Waiver of Service; 3) a copy of the Complaint; and 4) a copy
of this Order.
3. If a
Defendant fails to sign and return a Waiver of Service to the
Clerk within 30 days after the Waiver is sent, the Court will
take appropriate steps to effect formal service on that
Defendant and will require that Defendant pay the full costs
of formal service pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4(d)(2). If a Defendant no longer works at the address
provided by Plaintiff, the entity for which Defendant worked
at the time identified in the Complaint shall provide to the
Clerk Defendant's current work address, or, if not known,
Defendant's forwarding address. This information will be
used only for purposes of effecting service. Documentation of
forwarding addresses will be maintained only by the Clerk and
shall not be maintained in the public docket nor disclosed by
Defendants shall file an answer within the prescribed by
Local Rule. A Motion to Dismiss is not an answer. The answer
it to include all defenses appropriate under the Federal
Rules. The answer and subsequent pleadings are to address the
issues and claims identified in this Order.
Plaintiff shall serve upon any Defendant who has been served,
but who is not represented by counsel, a copy of every filing
submitted by Plaintiff for consideration by the Court, and
shall also file a certificate of service stating the date on
which the copy was mailed. Any paper received by a District
Judge or Magistrate Judge that has not been filed with the
Clerk or that fails to include a required certificate of
service will be stricken by the Court.
counsel has appeared for a Defendant, Plaintiff need not send
copies of filings to that Defendant or to that
Defendant's counsel. Instead, the Clerk will file
Plaintiff's document electronically and send notice of
electronic filing to defense counsel. The notice of
electronic filing shall constitute notice to Defendant
pursuant to Local Rule 5.3. If electronic service on
Defendants is not available, Plaintiff will be notified and
Counsel for Defendants is hereby granted leave to depose
Plaintiff at Plaintiff's place of confinement. Counsel
for Defendants shall arrange the time for the depositions.
Plaintiff shall immediately notice the Court of any change in
mailing address or phone number. The Clerk is directed to set
an internal court deadline 60 days from the entry of this
Order for the Court to ...