United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert, United States District Judge.
Kenneth Wayne McKinney brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged unconstitutional conditions of
confinement and seeks monetary damages. The Complaint is now
before the Court for preliminary review under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or
requests money damages from an immune defendant must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
alleges Lt. Nancy placed him in disciplinary segregation on
lock down in a cell that has a sprinkler head missing and
thereby endangered his life. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2). Based on this
allegation, the Court designates the following single count:
Count 1: Defendant subjected Plaintiff to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement.
parties and the Court will use this designation in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial
officer of this Court. The designation does not constitute an
opinion regarding its merit. Any other intended claim
that has not been recognized by the Court is considered
dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pleaded under the
Twombly pleading standard.
names a single defendant in connection with his claim, the
Jefferson County Justice Center (“the Jail”).
However, the Jail is not a “person” subject to
suit under Section 1983. Smith v. Knox County Jail,
666 F.3d 1037, 1040 (7th Cir. 2012); Powell v. Cook
County Jail, 814 F.Supp. 757, 758 (N.D. Ill. 1993).
Further, the county jail is not considered a legal entity
capable of being sued. Hedger v. Wexford, No.
18-cv-2081-JPG, 2019 WL 117986, at *2 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 7,
2019) (citing Magnuson v. Cassarella, 812 F.Supp.
824, 827 (N.D. Ill. 1992); West v. Waymire, 114 F.3d
646, 646-47 (7th Cir. 1997). Accordingly, the Jefferson
County Justice Center will be dismissed with prejudice.
Plaintiff intended to name Jefferson County instead of the
Jail, the Complaint still fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. Governmental entities can only be held
liable for the unconstitutional acts of employees that are
carried out pursuant to an official policy or custom.
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658,
694 (1978). The Complaint refers to no policy or custom that
caused Plaintiff's injury. Therefore, any claim against
Jefferson County will be considered dismissed without
makes an allegation against Lt. Nancy, but this individual is
not identified as a defendant in the case caption.
Accordingly, any claim Plaintiff intended to bring against
Lt. Nancy is dismissed without prejudice. See Myles v.
United States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir. 2005)
(holding that to be properly considered a party, a defendant
must be specified in the caption).
Plaintiff has failed to name a proper defendant, the
Complaint will be dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff is
granted leave to file an amended complaint. 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). A 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 claim, the amended complaint should identify who violated
Plaintiff's constitutional rights by name and should
include a description of how Plaintiff's rights were
violated. Additionally, should Plaintiff amend his complaint,
he should tell the Court whether he was a pretrial detainee
or prisoner at the time of any alleged constitutional
IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action is
DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant JEFFERSON
COUNTYJUSTICE CENTER is
DISMISSED with prejudice from the action.
The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to
TERMINATE this defendant in the ...