United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jose Morales, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently housed at Western
Illinois Correctional Center filed this pro se
action on May 15, 2018. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff asserts claims
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 pertaining to his prior
incarceration at Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”). According to the Complaint,
officials at Lawrence failed to properly treat Plaintiff for
Human Papillomavirus (“HPV”).
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
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).
December 2015, when Plaintiff was incarcerated at Lawrence,
he began seeking treatment for genital warts. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
He was not referred to a physician, however, until August 29,
2016. Id. By that time, Plaintiff's genital
warts had “turned black and had changed.” (Doc.
1, p. 7).
September 15, 2016, Plaintiff was examined by Dr.
Vipin. Id. Plaintiff showed Dr. Vipin
his genital warts and said “I've had this problem
for two years.” (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff told Dr.
Vipin he thought he was suffering from herpes or HPV. (Doc.
1, pp. 7, 11). Dr. Vipin did not order any testing or refer
Plaintiff to a specialist. Id.
in April 2017, Plaintiff was referred for testing. (Doc. 1,
p. 7). At that time, an unspecified individual “noted
that Plaintiff's warts were worsening and turning colors
badly.” Id. Although testing was ordered in
April 2017, the testing did not actually take place until
July 2017. Id. According to the Complaint,
“defendants doctors” and “the health care
administrator” received Plaintiff's test results on
or before July 5, 2017. The Complaint does not expressly
state what type of testing was performed or the results of
those tests, but an exhibit attached to the Complaint
indicates that Plaintiff was informed he had HPV. (Doc. 1, p.
August 10, 2017, “defendant doctor” attempted to
remove the warts. (Doc. 1, p. 7). He performed the procedure
himself because it cost too much to send Plaintiff to an
outside specialist. Id. During the procedure, the
“doctor” cut Plaintiff too deeply and the wound
required “a stitch.” Id. Plaintiff was
in excruciating pain, but “defendant doctor” did
not give him any pain medication. Id.
August 13, 2017, the stitching broke, causing bleeding and
severe pain. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Plaintiff could see “the
white, meat flesh beneath the skin, ” and he asked
Correctional Officer Bridgewell to send him to the healthcare
unit for emergency treatment and pain medication.
Id. That request was denied. Id.
August 17, 2017, Plaintiff's stitch was removed.
Id. Plaintiff does not know “what the doctor
did to him or whoever this doctor was, ” but he
continues to have pain in his penis and has trouble
urinating. Id. Plaintiff also states that he
“saw more than one doctor” and that “he is
not sure who is exactly who, but knows that the doctor
defendants worked there.” (Doc. 1, p. 9).
claims he wrote letters to the “warden” and
“previous warden” regarding “this is[sue]
as well as on the issue of delayed, needed tests and
treatment.” (Doc. 1, p. 7). Additionally, after
Plaintiff's stitching broke, Plaintiff submitted
“emergency requests” and/or letters seeking
medical treatment to the healthcare unit, healthcare unit
administrator, and warden. Id. Plaintiff's
correspondence was not answered. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Finally,
Plaintiff claims that “Defendants John Doe Warden and
the Health Care Administrator Duncan” violated their
duties by failing to ensure that health care staff were
following policies and providing proper medical care to
inmates. Id. Plaintiff also claims that Defendants
failed to properly treat him for HPV in retaliation for the
“complaints and grievances he wrote.” (Doc. 1, p.
of Certain Defendants
has identified John/Jane Doe Health Care Administrator,
Warden Kink, and Warden Dunkin as defendants. The body of the
Complaint, however, does not direct any claims against
“John/Jane Doe Health Care Administrator, ”
“Warden Kink, ” or “Warden Dunk.”
Plaintiff does assert claims against individuals with similar
titles (e.g., “the warden, ” “the previous
warden, ” “John Doe Warden, ” and
“Health Care Administrator Duncan.”), but this is
insufficient. Plaintiffs are required to associate specific
defendants with specific claims, so that defendants are put
on notice of the claims brought against them and so they can
properly answer the complaint. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
Where a plaintiff has not included a defendant in his
statement of the claim, the defendant cannot be said to be
adequately put on notice of which claims in the complaint, if
any, are directed against him. Merely invoking the name of a
potential defendant is not sufficient to state a claim
against that individual. See Collins v. Kibort, 143
F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998). For this reason, John/Jane Doe
Health Care Administrator, Warden Kink, and Warden Dunkin
shall be dismissed from the action without prejudice.
also has identified John Doe Doctor/John Doe Doctor #2 as a
defendant. This individual is subject to dismissal
for the same reason. The body of the Complaint does not
include any allegations directed against “John Doe
Doctor” or “John Doe Doctor #2.” The
Complaint includes several allegations directed against
“defendant doctor” and “doctor.”
(Doc. 1, pp. 7-8). These claims may relate to a single
physician (possibly the physician that removed
Plaintiff's genital warts on August 10, 2017), but that
is not entirely clear. (See Doc. 1, p. 9)
(“Plaintiff saw more than one doctor. He is not sure
who is exactly who.”). Further, the Court cannot simply
presume that claims directed against an unspecified doctor
are associated with John Doe Doctor/John Doe Doctor #2 (as
opposed to Dr. Vipin or ...