United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Johnny Ingram, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Pontiac Correctional Center (“Pontiac”), brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights. Plaintiff claims
that when he was housed at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”), officials subjected him to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement by housing him in
a segregation cell with no lights for 88 days (from October
16, 2017 to January 12, 2018). He seeks compensatory damages.
Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review
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). The factual allegations
of a pro se Complaint are liberally construed at
this phase of litigation. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth
Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
makes the following allegations in the Complaint: Plaintiff
has been “diagnosed with hearing voices, multiple
personality disorder, some type of schizophrenia, depression
and bipolar disorders.” (Doc. 5, p. 5). He has also
been labeled as “Seriously Mentally Ill” or
“SMI.” (Doc. 5, p. 10). On October 16, 2017,
Officer Campbell placed Plaintiff in a cell in the
segregation unit. (Doc. 5, p. 10). Although the lights in the
cell did not work, Officer Campbell did not change
Plaintiff's cell assignment; he simply stated he would
put in a request to have the lights fixed. Id.
Plaintiff remained in the same cell, without lights, for
approximately 88 days. Id. During this time, he was
confined to his cell for 24-hours a day. Id.
Plaintiff filed grievances and sought help from Officer
Campbell, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2, but nothing came of his
requests. Because of these conditions, Plaintiff suffered
from headaches and blurry vision, and his mental health
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to designate a single Count in this pro
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against
Campbell, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2 for subjecting 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. Any claim that is mentioned in the
Complaint but not addressed herein is considered dismissed
without prejudice as inadequately pled under the
Twombly pleading standard.
claims that Officer Campbell knowingly placed him in a cell
without a functioning light source. He also alleges that
despite complaining to Officer Campbell, John Doe 1, and John
Doe 2, the lights were not repaired and he remained in the
same segregation cell without any light for 88 days. These
conditions allegedly caused Plaintiff to suffer from
headaches, blurry vision, and psychological harm. These
allegations are sufficient to allow Count 1 to proceed as to
Officer Campbell, John Doe 1, and John Doe 2. See Farmer
v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994); Thomas v.
Illinois, 697 F.3d 612, 614-15 (7th Cir. 2012).
of Unknown Defendants
Lawrence, the Acting Warden of Menard, will be added as a
defendant in his official capacity only for the purpose of
responding to discovery aimed at identifying the unknown
defendants. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 832 (7th Cir. 2009); Fed.R.Civ.P.
21. Guidelines for discovery will be set by the undersigned
judge. Once the names of the unknown defendants are
discovered, Plaintiff shall file a motion to substitute the
newly identified defendants in place of the generic
designations in the case caption and throughout the
Motion for Recruitment of Counsel (Doc. 3) is
DENIED. Plaintiff discloses several
unsuccessful efforts to contact attorneys. Accordingly, he
appears to have made reasonable efforts to retain counsel on
his own. With respect to his ability to pursue this action
pro se, Plaintiff indicates that, although he has
some college education, his mental illness and the medication
he takes for his mental illness will make it difficult for
him to prosecute this action without the assistance of
counsel. These alleged impediments suggest that, as this
action progresses, Plaintiff may have difficulty proceeding
pro se and may require the assistance of counsel.
Nonetheless, the Court declines to appoint counsel at this
time. Plaintiff's Complaint survives screening and will
now be ...