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Means v. Sairwar

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 27, 2018

JOEL MEANS, # N-23056, Plaintiff,
v.
SAIRWAR, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge

         Plaintiff is currently confined at the Chester Mental Health Center. He has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming Dr. Sairwar as the only Defendant. (Doc. 1, p. 1). The Complaint is largely unintelligible. To the extent it can be understood, it appears that Plaintiff is complaining about Dr. Sairwar's failure to diagnose and/or treat Plaintiff's stomach problem. (Doc. 1, p. 3).

         The Complaint is now before the Court for a preliminary merits review. Plaintiff has also applied for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). (Doc. 3).

         The Complaint

         The Court can only decipher a portion of Plaintiff's allegations. Interspersed among a number of incomprehensible statements, Plaintiff indicates that Dr. Sairwar at some point sent him to an outside hospital. (Doc. 1, p. 2). The doctor laughed and called Plaintiff a nigger. Id. Sairwar claimed that Plaintiff's medical results came back normal, but Plaintiff is still sick. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Plaintiff thinks the doctor tries to kill patients. “They cannot explain why [Plaintiff's] stomach [is] mess[ed] up.” Id. The doctor and nurse are not doing their job. The federal court or FBI should order an investigation. (Doc. 1, p. 3).

         The Complaint does not clearly state what relief Plaintiff seeks, but he says, “the doctor half kill me[.]” (Doc. 1, p. 4).

         Discussion

          As the Court previously noted in the order reviewing Plaintiff's Complaint in another action he filed in this district, Means v. Haper, No. 18-cv-590-DRH (Doc. 8 in that case), Plaintiff's current confinement status at Chester is unclear.[1] A “prisoner” is defined in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h) and § 1915A(c) as follows:

As used in this section, the term “prisoner” means 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.

         A complaint filed by a plaintiff who is a “prisoner” under this definition is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which directs the Court to dismiss the complaint, or any portion of it, if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from an immune defendant. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). Further, a prisoner-plaintiff is subject to the restriction set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), which states:

In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

         In the past, Plaintiff has been a prisoner at the Cook County Jail and in the Illinois Department of Corrections, as shown in his extensive litigation history in the Northern District of Illinois.[2] In 1997, the Northern District informed Plaintiff that he had accumulated 3 “strikes” within the meaning of § 1915(g), and thus was ineligible to proceed IFP as a prisoner unless he could show he was in imminent danger. See Means v. Dept. Corration [sic], No. 97-cv-8057 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 25, 1997, Doc. 3).[3] Accordingly, if Plaintiff is currently a “prisoner” as defined in § 1915A(c), his motion to proceed IFP will not be granted unless he shows that he is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. The current Complaint does not meet this requirement.

         Alternatively, a complaint from a non-prisoner (such as a civil detainee) who seeks leave to proceed IFP must survive a merits screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). This section (like § 1915A) directs the dismissal of the case if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks ...


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