United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
DONNA HOGLE, as Administrator of the Estate of Patrick A. Regan, Deceased, Plaintiff,
JOHN BALDWIN, Illinois Department of Corrections Director, MELVIN HINTON, WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., GUY PIERCE, Pontiac Correctional Center Warden, LINDA DUCKWORTH, STEPHEN LANTERMAN, KELLY HAAG, REZWAN KAHN, UNKNOWN EMPLOYEES OF ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, UNKNOWN MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF PONTIAC CORRECTIONAL CENTER Defendants.
ORDER & OPINION
BILLY MCDADE UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant John Baldwin's
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and to Stay Discovery.
(Doc. 45). For the reasons explained below,
Baldwin's motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
an inmate in the custody of Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”) located in Pontiac, Illinois, Patrick
A. Regan hanged himself in his cell on February 10, 2016.
(Doc. 29, ¶ 1). Regan had previously been diagnosed with
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”), Bipolar
Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and
Borderline Personality Disorder, and at various times
throughout his incarceration, was on a regimen of
psychotropic medications. Id. at ¶2.
February 8, 2017, Plaintiff Donna Hogle, as Administrator of
the Estate of Patrick A. Regan, filed an eleven-count
complaint against the Defendants. Counts I-IV alleged
violations of the Fourteenth Amendment under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against the Illinois Department of Corrections (the
“IDOC”) Director John Baldwin, Chief of Mental
Health Services for the IDOC Melvin Hinton, Unknown Medical
Director of Pontiac, Wexford Health Sources, Inc.
(“Wexford”), Pontiac Warden Guy Pierce, various
individual Wexford employees, and Other Unknown Employees of
the IDOC, for failing to (1) supervise Regan, (2) provide him
with needed medical care, and (3) assess and treat
Regan's mental health issues in a timely manner. (Doc. 2
at 13-23). Counts V-VII alleged violations of Title II of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42
U.S.C. §§12131-12134, and the Rehabilitation Act,
against Baldwin, Hinton, Unknown Medical Director of Pontiac,
and Wexford for failing and refusing to accommodate
Regan's medical and mental health disabilities.
Id. at 23-30. Count VIII alleged that Wexford is
liable for damages under Monell v. Department of Social
Services of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), for
failing to establish and/or implement policies, practices,
and procedures to ensure that Pontiac inmates received
appropriate medical care. Id. at 31-32. Finally,
Counts IX-XI alleged wrongful death claims under Illinois law
against Baldwin, Hinton, Unknown Medical Director of Pontiac,
and Wexford. Id. at 32-37.
September 18, 2017, the Court granted the Defendants'
Motions to Dismiss (Docs. 7, 13), and granted Plaintiff leave
to amend certain claims. (Doc. 24). Pertinent to the instant
motion, the Court held in its September 18, 2017, Order &
Opinion that “to the extent Plaintiff seeks damages
from Baldwin” in his “official capacity, . . .
§ 1983 does not permit such an action.” (Doc. 24
at 8). The Court further denied Plaintiff's request to
amend her § 1983 claims against Baldwin in his official
capacity “because Regan is deceased and necessarily no
longer in IDOC or Pontiac custody, ” so
“prospective injunctive relief is not available”
against Baldwin in his official capacity. Id. The
Court also held that it lacked jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's wrongful death claim against Baldwin because
the Illinois Court of Claims possesses exclusive jurisdiction
over all tort claims brought against the State or its
agencies. Id. at 10. Although, Plaintiff was granted
leave to amend her wrongful death claim. Id. at 11.
October 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint
(Doc. 29) alleging claims under the ADA, Rehabilitation Act
and Illinois Wrongful Death Act against Baldwin (in addition
to her claims against the other Defendants). On April 30,
2018, Baldwin filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
and to Stay Discovery (Doc. 45), arguing that
“Plaintiff cannot obtain any relief under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 from Baldwin in his official capacity, ”
and “[s]tatutory sovereign immunity deprives this Court
of jurisdiction over the tort claims against defendant
Baldwin.” (Doc. 45 at 3- 4). Plaintiff filed a response
(Doc. 54) on May 29, 2018, which will be discussed in more
detail below. Thus, this matter is ripe for decision.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), a party can move for
judgment on the pleadings after the filing of the complaint
and answer. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c); Moss v. Martin, 473
F.3d 694, 698 (7th Cir. 2007). “A motion for judgment
on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is governed by the same standards as a motion
to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule
12(b)(6).” Adams v. City of Indianapolis, 742
F.3d 720, 727-28 (7th Cir. 2014).
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint
must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility 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). “Factual
allegations are accepted as true at the pleading stage, but
‘allegations in the form of legal conclusions are
insufficient to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.'”
Adams, 742 F.3d at 728 (quoting McReynolds v.
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., 694 F.3d 873, 885 (7th
Cir.2012) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678)).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “[T]he
court must treat all well-pleaded allegations as true and
draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party.”
In re marchFIRST Inc., 589 F.3d 901, 904 (7th Cir.
2009). The Court will grant a Rule 12(c) motion only if
“it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff cannot
prove any facts that would support his claim for
relief.” N. Ind. Gun & Outdoor Shows, Inc. v.
City of S. Bend, 163 F.3d 449, 452 (7th Cir. 1998).
outset, the Court notes that Defendant's first argument
is confusing. Defendant specifies that he is entitled to
judgment on the pleadings as to Counts II and IV of the
Amended Complaint. “Count II is a claim against John
Baldwin pursuant to the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, ”
and “Count IV is a ‘State Claim for Wrongful
Death' against Baldwin pursuant to Illinois state
law”. (Doc. 45 at 2). Defendant then goes on to argue
that “Plaintiff cannot obtain any relief under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 from Baldwin in his official
capacity.” Id. at 3. Strangely, Defendant does
not make any arguments whatsoever concerning Plaintiff's
ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims. Even stranger, Plaintiff
responds and concedes that she “cannot seek
relief against [Baldwin] in his official capacity through
her claims pursuant to the ADA and Rehabilitation
Acts”. (Doc. 54 at 3). Plaintiff asks for leave to
amend and seek relief against Baldwin in his individual
capacity for these claims.
September 18, 2017, Order & Opinion the Court already
ruled that the Eleventh Amendment barred Plaintiff from
seeking money damages from Baldwin in his official capacity
under § 1983. (Doc. 24 at 7-8). The Court also ruled
that Plaintiff had brought ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims
against “the proper defendant, Baldwin, in his official
capacity as director of the IDOC.” Id. at 9.
There is no personal liability under the ADA or the
Rehabilitation Act, Stanek v. St. Charles Cmty. Unit
Sch. Dist. No. 303, 783 F.3d 634, 644 (7th Cir.
2015), so Plaintiff could not seek relief against Baldwin in
his individual capacity for these claims. Because Plaintiff
is not suing the IDOC, Baldwin in his official capacity as
Director of the IDOC, is the proper defendant and
Plaintiff's request to amend her claims is denied.
extent Baldwin argues that Plaintiff's ADA and
Rehabilitation Act claims against him are barred by Eleventh
Amendment sovereign immunity, Baldwin is incorrect.
“Illinois has waived its immunity from suits for
damages under the Rehabilitation Act as a condition of its
receipt of federal funds. Jaros v. Illinois Dep't of
Corr., 684 F.3d 667, 672 n.5 (7th Cir. 2012) (citing
Stanley v. Litscher,213 F.3d 340, 344 (7th
Cir.2000)). As to the Title II ADA claim, “where the
state's conduct is alleged to violate both the
Constitution and the ADA, a state is not immune from suit
under the Eleventh Amendment.” Johnson v.
Godinez, No. 13-2045, 2015 WL 135103, at *7 (N.D. Ill.
Jan. 9, 2015); see United States v. Georgia, 546
U.S. 151, 159 (2006) (Eleventh Circuit erred in dismissing
Plaintiff's Title II claims that were based on
unconstitutional conduct). Here, not only does Plaintiff
allege that Regan suffered from a mental health disability
and was discriminated against because of his disability by
Baldwin and his employees, (Doc. 29 at 14-16), but Plaintiff
also alleges that Baldwin “was aware that there was not
sufficient mental health staff at Pontiac Correctional Center
to address the mental health needs of inmates suffering from
severe symptoms and self-destructive behavior, ” and
that he “was aware that correctional staff was
untrained and prone to ignore mental health problems,
frequently causing harm to inmates in their care.”