United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Brandon Taylor, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center
(“Shawnee”), filed a Motion for a Temporary
Restraining Order (“TRO”) and/or for Preliminary
Injunction (“Motion”) that is now before the
Court for consideration. Plaintiff seeks an order requiring
Warden Dennison to comply with the settlement agreement that
was adopted in Rasho v. Walker, No. 07-cv-1298-MMM
(C.D. Ill) (pertaining to mental health treatment for inmates
in IDOC custody who are “seriously mentally
ill”). The Motion also suggests that officials at
Shawnee are exhibiting deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's mental health needs and that his conditions
of confinement may violate the Eighth Amendment.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that “[a]
civil action is commenced by filing a complaint with the
court.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 3. In other words, “the
first step in the action is the filing of the
complaint.” Id., Advisory Committee Notes,
1937 Adoption. The Court cannot ascertain the basis for
jurisdiction without it. Bell v. Hood, 327 US. 678,
681-82 (1946); Greater Chicago Combine & Ctr., Inc.
v. City of Chicago, 431 F.3d 1065, 1069-70 (7th Cir.
2005). The Court also cannot determine what causes of action
Plaintiff intends to assert against the defendants.
the Court cannot consider an application for a temporary
restraining order and/or preliminary injunction without an
affidavit or verified complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
65(b)(1)(A). Although pro se litigants are not held
to the same standards as licensed attorneys, they are not
entitled to general dispensation from the rules of procedure.
See Kyle v. Patterson, 196 F.3d 695, 697 (7th Cir.
1999); Jones v. Phipps, 39 F.3d 158, 163 (7th Cir.
the Court notes that Plaintiff may be a member of the class
defined in Rasho. On August 14, 2015, the court
certified the litigation class in Rasho as follows:
Persons now or in the future in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) [who] are
identified or should have been identified by the IDOC's
mental health professionals as in need of mental health
treatment as defined in the current edition of the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American
Psychiatric Association. A diagnosis of alcoholism or drug
addiction, developmental disorders, or any form of sexual
disorder shall not, by itself, render an individual mentally
ill for the purposes of this class definition.
(Doc. 252, p. 7, in Rasho).
23, 2016, the Rasho court adopted a settlement
agreement (Docs. 696, 710 in Rasho), which contains
provisions to ensure that seriously mentally ill prisoners
receive mental health treatment while confined in segregation
and that mental health staff evaluate such prisoners and may
make recommendations that their segregation terms be
shortened. The Rasho case addresses injunctive
relief only, in order to remedy the alleged problems of
inadequate access to mental health treatment within Illinois
prisons. The court in Rasho has noted that an inmate
who wishes to seek damages arising from deliberate
indifference to a mental health condition must do so in an
individual action, as Plaintiff may be attempting to do here.
Without a complaint, however, the Court cannot properly
assess Rasho as it relates to Plaintiff's claims
and requested relief.
reasons stated above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED
that Plaintiffs Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or
Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 1) is DENIED without
prejudice to refiling. If Plaintiff still seeks a
temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, he
must file a new motion. And the Court cannot consider another
motion for injunctive relief until it receives a Complaint.
The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to send a
blank civil rights complaint form to Plaintiff to assist him
in filing a complaint.
also must prepay his full $400.00 filing fee for this action
or file a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis (“IFP motion”), along with a
certified copy of his Trust Fund Statement for the 6-month
period immediately preceding the filing of this action. He is
required to do so on or before August 29,
2018. (Doc. 2). Plaintiffs Complaint should likewise
be filed on or before August 29, 2018.
Failure to comply with this Order shall result in
dismissal of this action under Federal Rule of Civil
is ADVISED that he is under a continuing
obligation to keep the Clerk of Court and each opposing party
informed of any change in his address; the Court will not
independently investigate his whereabouts. This shall be done
in writing and not later than 7 days after a
transfer or other change in address occurs. Failure to comply
with this order will cause a delay in the transmission of
court documents and may result in dismissal of this action
for want of prosecution. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).