United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
L. Ellis, Judge
Court denies DuPage County Sheriff John E. Zaruba's
motion to dismiss . The Court dismisses DuPage Medical as
a Defendant. The Clerk is directed to add DuPage County
Sheriff John E. Zaruba as a nominal Defendant for the sole
purpose of identifying Nurse Jane Doe 1 and Nurse Jane Doe 2.
See statement for further details.
case, one of a number of cases Plaintiff James Ayot has filed
over the past two years in this district, Ayot complains that
Defendants DuPage Medical and Nurse Jane Doe 1 and Nurse Jane
Doe 2 acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs
in August 2017 while he served a thirty-day sentence at the
DuPage Jail (the “Jail”). He alleges that, when he
arrived at the Jail, he informed the DuPage Medical staff
that he required a special diet, but Nurse Jane Doe 1 ignored
his needs and told him he would eat what the Jail served.
Ayot claims that his blood pressure increased, requiring
emergency medication, and that he could not eat the food
served at the Jail. When he filled out a request form to see
a doctor, he was instead seen by Nurse Jane Doe 2, who also
ignored his need for a special diet and his request to see a
dentist. To avoid elevating his risk of stroke or heart
attack, Ayot went on a thirteen-day hunger strike, which
ended only after a sergeant ordered the DuPage Medical staff
and Jail kitchen to change his diet. Ayot also complains of
filthy living conditions, including not being allowed to take
a shower for fifteen days.
DuPage County Sheriff John E. Zaruba (the
“Sheriff”) filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint, arguing that Ayot has not stated a constitutional
or state law negligence claim against the Sheriff and that
Ayot has not exhausted his administrative
remedies. Ayot, however, has not named the Sheriff
as a defendant in the suit, and therefore the Court denies
the Sheriff's motion. As currently pleaded, no federal
claims exist against the Sheriff in his individual capacity,
where Ayot does not mention the Sheriff or suggest in any way
his personal involvement in any of the alleged conduct.
See Pepper v. Vill. of Oak Park, 430 F.3d 805, 810
(7th Cir. 2005) (“[T]o be liable under § 1983, the
individual defendant must have caused or participated in a
constitutional deprivation.” (citation omitted)
(internal quotation marks omitted)). Ayot also makes clear in
his response that he is not asserting any state law
negligence claims. And the Court cannot conclude from even an
extremely generous reading of Ayot's complaint that he
has asserted a Monell claim against the Sheriff for
unconstitutional conditions of confinement, particularly
where the Sheriff is not named as a defendant in the suit. If
Ayot wishes to pursue a Monell claim against the
Sheriff, he must amend his complaint, adding the Sheriff as a
defendant and more clearly laying out the policy or practice
that caused him constitutional injury. See McCauley v.
City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011) (to
adequately allege a Monell policy or practice claim,
a plaintiff must “plead [ ] factual content that allows
the Court to draw the reasonable inference that the
[Sheriff's Office] maintained a policy, custom, or
practice” that contributed to the alleged violation
(citation omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted)).
based on the Court's own review of the complaint, Ayot
appears to be trying to sue the Jail's medical staff by
naming DuPage Medical as a defendant. But DuPage Medical and
the DuPage Jail are not independently suable entities.
See Castillo v. Cook County Dep't Mail Room, 990
F.2d 304, 307 (7th Cir. 1993). The Court therefore dismisses
DuPage Medical as a defendant.
complaint stands, then, Ayot cannot obtain any damages unless
he serves the Jane Doe defendants (or obtains a waiver of
service) in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4. Ayot therefore must determine the Jane Doe nurses'
actual names. The Court adds the Sheriff as a nominal
Defendant for the sole purpose of assisting Ayot in
identifying the Jane Doe nurses. As counsel has already
entered an appearance on the Sheriff's behalf, Ayot may
send defense counsel interrogatories (that is, a list of
questions) eliciting information regarding the identity of
the individuals who allegedly violated Ayot's
constitutional rights. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 33. After
Ayot learns the Jane Doe nurses' identities, he may
submit an amended complaint identifying the nurses by name so
they can be served. Ayot is advised that there is a two-year
statute of limitations for § 1983 actions in Illinois.
See, e.g., Ray v. Maher, 662 F.3d
770, 772-73 (7th Cir. 2011). Thus, Ayot should promptly
attempt to name the Jane Doe nurses. Nothing in this order
precludes any legal argument that the Jane Doe nurses may
advance in response to Ayot's allegations.
 Ayot titles his complaint as one for
“medical and criminal negligence, ” Doc. 10 at 1,
but he makes clear in his response that his claims are
federal constitutional claims, and not state claims, and so
the Court construes them as ones for deliberate indifference
in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
 The Sheriff's argument that Ayot
did not exhaust his administrative remedies with respect to
the claims he raises in his complaint does not apply in this
case. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”)
provides that “[n]o action shall be brought with
respect to prison conditions under section 1983 . . . by a
prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional
facility until such administrative remedies as are available
are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). But the
PLRA's administrative exhaustion requirement does not
apply to Ayot, who was no longer incarcerated when he filed
this complaint. See Lewis v. Stamper, No.
14-cv-446-wmc, 2017 WL 5633172, at *2 (W.D. Wis. Nov. 21,
2017) (collecting cases that stand for the principle that the
PLRA does not apply to plaintiffs who are released from
prison at the time they file suit); Campos v.