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Goings v. Jones

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 7, 2018

FREDRICK GOINGS, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY JONES, ANDRES SPILLER, FRANK EOVALDI, SGT. ENGELAGE, REVA ENGELAGE, MARTHA OAKLEY, REBECCA STEFANI, CHRISTI RAYBURN, JEANNE SAUERHAGE, BRENDA OETJEN, CHARLES COMPTON, CHRISTOPHER STOREY, JUSTIN HECHT, TONYA SMITH, JAMES BEST, JOHN DOES 1-8, and UNKNOWN DEFENDANTS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is currently before the Court on several objections filed by Plaintiff Fredrick Goings to orders entered by Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson. Specifically, Goings objects to Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's partial denial of his Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint (Doc. 87), Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's denial of his motion for recruitment of counsel (Doc. 109), and the amended scheduling order (Doc. 122). The Court discusses each order in turn.

         BACKGROUND

         Goings, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections housed at Stateville Correctional Center, filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his constitutional rights as well as Illinois state law (Doc. 2). After threshold review of his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915A (Doc. 9), Goings was permitted to proceed on the following claims:

Count 7: A state law battery claim against Big E for grabbing Plaintiff by the neck and shoving his face into the wall;
Count 8: An excessive force claim under the Eighth Amendment against Big E for grabbing Plaintiff by the next and shoving his face into the wall;
Count 10: Deliberate indifference claim against unknown correctional staff, Jones, unknown health care staff assigned to 5 gallery in North II cell house for refusing Plaintiff medical care after he was attacked by Big E and incarcerated in a cell that elevated his blood pressure;
Count 12: Fourth Amendment violation against Spiller and Big E for conducting an “unreasonable search” of Plaintiff's body by subjecting him to multiple strip searches and forcing him to spread his butt cheeks; and
Count 14: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Big E, Jones, unknown correctional staff and unknown medical staff for depriving Plaintiff of access to his blood pressure medication.

         On March 16, 2017, Goings filed a motion for leave to amend his complaint to add a number of claims and defendants (Doc. 58). Magistrate Judge Wilkerson denied the motion in part, disallowing certain claims that he found to already have been articulated in the original complaint, had no basis in the law, or were insufficiently pleaded (Doc. 76). Goings filed an objection to Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's order on October 18, 2017 (Doc. 87), which the Court construes as an appeal of the order pursuant to Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         On January 2, 2018, Goings filed a motion for recruitment of counsel arguing that the case is complex and will require substantial discovery, he has limited access to legal research and his legal materials in prison, and his reasonable attempts to secure counsel have failed (Doc. 95). On January 16, 2018, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson denied the Motion for Recruitment of Counsel without prejudice, finding that while Goings has made reasonable attempts to obtain counsel on his own, he is more than competent to litigate his own claims at this time due to his education, training in the legal system, and ability to understand the legal issues and litigation process (Docs. 96). Goings filed an appeal of Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's Order on February 26, 2018 (Doc. 109).

         Finally, on March 30, 2018, Goings filed an objection to the Amended Scheduling Order (Doc. 121), which the Court again construes as an appeal under Rule 72, arguing he needs additional time to produce his initial disclosures to Defendants (Doc. 122).

         DISCUSSION

         The Court may modify or reverse a decision of a magistrate judge on a non-dispositive issue upon a showing that the magistrate judge's decision is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(a). See also SDIL-LR 73.1(a). A decision is clearly erroneous “only if the district court is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been made.” Weeks v. Samsung Heavy Indus. Co., 126 F.3d 926, 943 (7th Cir. 1997); see also Parts & Elec. Motors, Inc. v. Sterling Elec., Inc., 866 F.2d 228, 233 (7th Cir. 1988) (“To be clearly erroneous, a decision must strike [the Court] as more than just maybe or probably wrong; it must . . . strike [the Court] as wrong with the force of a five-week-old, unrefrigerated dead fish.”).

         I. Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint

         Goings appeals several rulings within Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's September 28, 2017 Order granting in part and ...


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