United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Gilbert United States District Judge.
Branden Shannon, a detainee at Washington County Jail, brings
this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In the Complaint,
Plaintiff alleges that he was traumatized due to a shoot-out
case is now before the Court for 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). 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).
Complaint (Docs. 1 and 3), Plaintiff makes the following
allegations: On February 18, 2018, while sitting at a
McDonald's drive-thru in East St. Louis, Illinois,
Plaintiff's truck was surrounded by East St. Louis police
officers who began firing on the car. (Doc. 3, p. 6). The
police officers riddled the truck with bullets, with no
apparent reason according to Plaintiff. Plaintiff's
brother was hit by the bullets. Plaintiff blacked out and
woke up on the ground, handcuffed behind his back. Plaintiff
believes that he was wrongly accused. (Id.). As a
result of the incident, Plaintiff suffers from post-traumatic
stress disorder, nightmares, and a twitch in his eye.
(Id. at pp. 6-7).
Court first notes that although Plaintiff identifies the East
St. Louis Police Department as a Defendant, a police
department is not a suable entity apart from the city which
operates it. See West By and Through Norris v.
Waymire, 114 F.3d 646, 646-47 (7th Cir. 1997). Further,
a municipality may only be sued in a civil rights action if
the constitutional deprivations were the result of an
official policy, custom, or practice of the municipality.
Monell v. Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691
(1978); see also Pourghoraishi v. Flying J, Inc.,
449 F.3d 751, 765 (7th Cir. 2006). To the extent Plaintiff
seeks to hold a municipality liable, he has not pointed to a
policy, practice, or custom that caused his constitutional
deprivations. The East St. Louis Police Department shall be
DISMISSED with prejudice.
remainder of the Complaint must be dismissed without
prejudice at this time for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. Although Plaintiff lists a
number of individuals as Defendants in his Complaint,
Plaintiff does not associate his claims with any particular
individual. Section 1983 “creates a cause of action
based on personal liability and predicated upon fault; thus
liability does not attach unless the individual defendant
caused or participated in a constitutional violation.”
Vance v. Peters, 97 F.3d 987, 991 (7th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff only alleges that the various individual Defendants
were on duty without indicating how they participated in any
constitutional violation. This is insufficient to state a
claim. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007).
the Court is unable to determine what constitutional right
Plaintiff claims was violated. He only indicates that his
truck was riddled with bullets, he was arrested, and he now
has post traumatic stress syndrome. He does not allege what,
if any, constitutional right was violated by the Defendants.
successful Complaint generally alleges “the who, what,
when, where, and how…” See DiLeo v. Ernst
& Young, 901 F.2d 624, 627 (7th Cir. 1990). Thus, if
Plaintiff wants to pursue his claims, he must file an amended
complaint. The amended complaint should identify who violated
Plaintiff's constitutional rights by name, if known, and
should include a description of how Plaintiff's rights
were violated, which he has not done with his current
Complaint. If Plaintiff does not know the names of these
individuals, he can refer to them by Doe designation (e.g.,
John Doe 1 (correctional officer working the noon shift)).
Additionally, any individual Plaintiff intends to sue should
be identified as a defendant in the case caption and should
be referenced in the body of the amended complaint.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's Complaint
(Docs. 1 and 3) is DISMISSED without
prejudice for failure to state a claim.
the East St. Louis Police Department is DISMISSED
with prejudice. The Clerk is
DIRECTED to terminate the party from the
Court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing
is GRANTED leave to file a “First
Amended Complaint” on or before July 8,
2019. Should Plaintiff fail to file his First
Amended Complaint within the allotted time or consistent with
the instructions set forth in this Order, the entire case
shall be dismissed with prejudice for failure to comply with
a court order and/or for failure to prosecute his claims.
Fed. R. App. P. 41(b). See generally Ladien v.