United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Freddie Clemons is an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections who currently resides at Lincoln Correctional
Center. His claims in this case arise from an incident he
alleges occurred at Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”) when he slipped and fell on water in
the inmate food hall. The case is now before the Court for
consideration of Clemons' Rule 60 Motion for
Reconsideration (Doc. 18), Motion for Recruitment of Counsel
(Doc. 16), Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) (Doc. 17), and threshold review of his
Amended Complaint (Doc. 15).
case got off to a rocky start because he repeatedly filed
disjointed and incomplete pleadings. Initially, Clemons
submitted a Complaint with no signature page or demand for
relief (Doc. 1). He was directed to amend the Complaint and
was advised that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require
an individual to make “a demand for the relief sought,
which may include relief in the alternative or different
types of relief” (Doc. 6). In response, Clemons
submitted a signature page and 30 pages of exhibits (Doc. 7)
which the Court struck as “piecemeal” (Doc. 8).
He then filed another Complaint with no signature page (Doc.
10). The Court gave Clemons a final opportunity to file a
complete pleading, warning him that his failure to do so
would result in his case being dismissed (Doc. 12). The
deadline for Clemons to amend his Complaint came and went,
and as a result, on September 14, 2018, the Court dismissed
the case for Clemons' failure to comply its Orders (Docs.
November 8, 2018, Clemons filed an Amended Complaint (Doc.
15), Motion for Recruitment of Counsel (Doc. 16), Motion to
Proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 17), and a Rule
60(b) Motion to Reopen the Proceedings (Doc. 18).
60(b) Motion (Doc. 18)
60(b) permits a court to relieve a party from an Order or
Judgment on the following grounds: mistake, surprise or
excusable neglect by the movant; fraud or misconduct by the
opposing party; a judgment that is void or has been
discharged; or newly discovered evidence that could not have
been discovered within the 28-day deadline for filing a Rule
59(b) motion. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1)-(5). There is also a
catch-all provision for “any other reason that
justifies relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6). Relief under
Rule 60 is reserved for extraordinary circumstances.
Rule 60(b) Motion, Clemons claims that his failure to timely
file documents was not his fault. Specifically, he alleges
that he frequently asked to be placed on the law library line
so he could complete his legal matters, but did not receive
needed library time. As a result, he was unable to timely
comply with this Court's previous Orders. The Court finds
Clemons' explanation to be credible and warranting Rule
60(b) relief. Accordingly, the Rule 60(b) Motion to Reopen
the Proceedings is GRANTED and the Court
will consider and review the most recently submitted Amended
Amended Complaint (Doc. 15)
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Amended 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). Any portion of a 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 must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the
factual allegations of the pro se Complaint are to
be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(3) requires "[a] pleading
that states a claim for relief [to] contain... a demand for
the relief sought, which may include relief in the
alternative or different types of relief." A failure to
comply with Rule 8(a)(3) can result in the dismissal of an
action. See e.g., Graham v. Watson, 2016 WL 2755169,
*1, *5 (S.D. Ill. 2016) (dismissing a prisoner's
complaint for failure to demand specific monetary relief, and
noting injunctive relief was not viable because he was not at
same place of confinement as events complained of).
“[W]hen a prisoner who seeks injunctive relief for a
condition specific to a particular prison is transferred out
of that prison, the need for relief, and hence the
prisoner's claim, become moot.” Lehn v.
Holmes, 364 F.3d 862, 871 (7th Cir. 2004); Higgason
v. Farley, 83 F.3d 807, 811 (7th Cir. 1996). Under such
circumstances, it would only be proper for the Court to
consider a request for injunctive relief if the plaintiff can
show a realistic possibility that he would again be housed at
the prison under the conditions described in the Complaint .
Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709, 716 (7th Cir. 2011)
(citing Ortiz v. Downey, 561 F.3d 664, 668 (7th Cir.
Amended Complaint is 35 pages long and includes two signature
pages. However, the “request for relief” portion
of each of those pages was left blank. The remainder of the
pleading consists of copies of grievances,  a sworn affidavit
by other inmates, and a handwritten narrative. In essence,
the handwritten narrative alleges that various individuals
exhibited deliberate indifference to Clemons' serious
medical needs that arose from a slip-and-fall in the chow
hall. It does not, however, contain an explicit demand for
relief. Clemons was previously warned by this Court that he
needed to enumerate a demand for relief. Once again, he
failed to do so, and thus, the Amended Complaint does not
comply with Rule 8(a)(3).
appears that Clemons is improperly seeking injunctive relief
in the form of medical appointments with outside specialists.
Clemons has been relocated from Lawrence where he allegedly
slipped and fell to Lincoln Correctional Center. There is no
recent grievance or information in the Amended Complaint
suggesting that he needs injunctive relief to get adequate
care at Lincoln. There is also no ...