United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
STEPHEN L. KNOX, Plaintiff,
WARDEN MELVIN, et al., Defendants
MERIT REVIEW AND CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
E. SHADID, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a pro se prisoner, currently has one claim before the Court
alleging Pontiac Correctional Center Warden Melvin violated
his rights pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA). Plaintiff suffers from lupus and claims the Defendant
denied an accommodation to allow Plaintiff to walk and move
in and out of the cell house. See October 10, 2017
Merit Review Order.
Court dismissed all other individual Defendants because the
Seventh Circuit has held that individual Illinois Department
of Corrections employees are not amenable to suit under the
ADA. Jaros v. Illinois Dept. of Corrections, 684
F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2012). In addition, the Court noted
it was unclear from Plaintiff's complaint if he intended
to state a separate, Eighth Amendment claim. See
October 10, 2017 Merit Review.
has now filed a motion for leave to amend his complaint.
. Plaintiff's motion is granted pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 15. .
Court is still required by 28 U.S.C. §1915A to
“screen” the Plaintiff's amended 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. §1915A.
amended complaint repeats his previous ADA claim. In
addition, Plaintiff asks to add two additional Eighth
Amendment claims based on his living conditions and
deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition.
First, Plaintiff alleges Dr. Tilden did not order prison
staff to allow him to use his crutches in his cell and on the
yard, making it very difficult for him to move. Consequently,
Plaintiff says he fell repeatedly.
also alleges Defendants ADA Coordinator Warden Emily Ruskin
and Warden Melvin “did not accommodate Plaintiff's
ADA cell after gaining personal knowledge of his
personal/medical needs and condition.” (Amd. Comp., p.
Plaintiff alleges Defendants Dr. Tilden, Ruskin, and Melvin
were personally aware he suffered with lupus and a severe
spinal injury which makes it difficult for him to stand and
walk. Nonetheless, they failed to provide him with crutches
or a wheelchair causing repeated falls and injuries.
has adequately added one Eighth Amendment claim alleging the
three Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical condition. However, his claims regarding the failure
to provide crutches or an ADA cell, are more properly
articulated as either an ADA claim or and Eighth Amendment
claim based on deliberate indifference to a serious medical
condition, rather than a separate, repetitive Eighth
Amendment claim based on his living conditions.
Plaintiff's living conditions were only inappropriate
because of his medical condition.
1) Plaintiff's motion for leave to file an
amended complaint is granted. . Pursuant to its
merit review of the amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A, the Court finds Plaintiff has alleged: 1) Defendant
Warden Melvin violated his rights pursuant to the ADA when he
was denied an accommodation to allow him to walk and move due
to his lupus and spinal injury; and 2) Defendants Melvin, Dr.
Tilden, and Emily Ruskin violated Plaintiff's Eighth
Amendment rights when they were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical conditions. Any additional claims shall
not be included in the case, except at the Court's
discretion on motion by a party for good cause shown or
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15.
2) This case is now in the process of service. Plaintiff is
advised to wait until counsel has appeared for Defendant
before filing any motions, in order to give Defendant notice
and an opportunity to respond to those motions. Motions filed
before Defendant's counsel has filed an appearance will
generally be denied as premature. Plaintiff need not submit
any evidence to the Court at this time, unless otherwise
directed by the Court.
3) The Court will attempt service on Defendant by mailing
Defendant a waiver of service. Defendant has 60 days from
service to file an Answer. If Defendant has not filed an
Answer or appeared through counsel within 90 days of the
entry of this order, Plaintiff may file a motion requesting
the status of service. After Defendant has been served, the
Court will enter an order setting discovery and dispositive
4) With respect to a Defendant who no longer works at the
address provided by Plaintiff, the entity for whom that
Defendant worked while at that address shall provide to the
Clerk said Defendant's current work address, or, if not
known, said Defendant's forwarding address. This
information shall be used only for effectuating service.
Documentation of forwarding addresses shall be retained ...