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Garrettt v. Party

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 21, 2018

CARLOS GARRETT, Plaintiff,
v.
UNKNOWN PARTY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Phil Gilbert United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff is a former detainee at the St. Clair County Jail (“the Jail”). The claim in this action was severed on April 11, 2018, from Plaintiff's original case, Garrett v. McLauren, et al., Case No. 17-cv-871-JPG (S.D. Ill. filed Aug. 16, 2017), which was filed while Plaintiff was a prisoner at the Jail. He has since been released from custody. The original civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 included a number of other inmates as co-Plaintiffs. All of the other co-Plaintiffs were dismissed from the action before the instant claim was severed.

         This severed claim was designated as Count 4 in the original case, described as follows:

Count 4 - Fourteenth Amendment claim for failure to provide Plaintiff with an adequate sick call procedure at the Jail.

(Doc. 1, p. 5).

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         An action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers to a claim that “no reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.” Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross “the line between possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of action or conclusory legal statements.” Id. At the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         After fully considering the allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court concludes that this action is subject to summary dismissal. However, Plaintiff shall be allowed an opportunity to re-plead his claim if he still wishes to pursue it.

         The Complaint

         The portion of Plaintiff's Complaint that relates to Count 4 states that “the sick call procedure is broken” at the Jail. (Doc. 2, p. 4). Inmates submit sick call requests seeking medical care either through paper requests or through a “kiosk” in the cellblock. Inmates have submitted multiple requests without getting any response. This occurs on a daily basis. “The medical staff make a conscious choice not to reply to inmates call for help.” Id. Because of this neglect, inmates' medical issues go untreated. Inmates have complained by submitting captain complaints, but have received no responses to those grievances either. Plaintiff believes this problem has been occurring for years. Id.

         Plaintiff seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction ordering the Jail to address the sick call process so that inmates can see a medical professional. (Doc. 2, p. 6). He also requests money damages. Id.

         Merits Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

         The Court shall continue to refer to the claim in this action as Count 4, consistent with the description of Plaintiff's claims as set forth in the Order severing this case. (Doc. 2, p. 6). The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of this count does not constitute an opinion as to its merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be considered dismissed without prejudice.

         Count 4 - Fourteenth Amendment claim for failure to provide Plaintiff with an adequate ...


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