United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
BRYON K. CHAMP, #1100250125, Plaintiff,
CHERYL SIMMON, and DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL Chief U.S. District Judge
Byron Champ, a pretrial detainee held at the Winnebago County
Jail, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional rights
arising from events that occurred during his time at Chester
Mental Health Center (“Chester”). He seeks
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). At this juncture, the
factual allegations of the pro se complaint are to
be liberally construed. Rodriquez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
alleges the following: Cheryl Simmon is the Coordinator for
Unit Three Module and is responsible for all mail at Chester.
(Doc. 1, p. 4). On July 6, 2018, Plaintiff's mail was
received “unduly, tainted, exp[loi]ted, disarray,
disorderly.” Id. One of the letters he
received from Simmon sent by the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois had been opened and
taped. Id. p. 5. When she handed Plaintiff the
letter, Simmon said that it had been opened “before
here.” Id. p. 8. Plaintiff claims that his
constitutional rights have been violated because legal mail
is to be opened in the presence of a detainee. Id.
names the Department of Social Services as a defendant, but
makes no allegations against the Department in the body of
the complaint. Plaintiffs are required to associate specific
defendants with specific claims, so that defendants are put
on notice of the claims brought against them and can properly
answer the complaint. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
Where a plaintiff has not included a defendant in his
statement of the claim, the defendant cannot be said to be
adequately put on notice of which claims in the complaint, if
any, are directed against him or her. Furthermore, merely
invoking the name of a potential defendant is not sufficient
to state a claim against that individual. See Collins v.
Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998). Accordingly,
Department of Social Services is dismissed from the complaint
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the claims in this case into the
following three Counts:
Count 1: First Amendment and privacy
violation claim against Cheryl Simmon for the opening of
Plaintiff's legal mail.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment violation
claim against Cheryl Simmon for the opening of
Plaintiff's legal mail.
Count 3: Fifth and Eleventh Amendment
parties and the Court will use these designations 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 in this Order is
considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled
under the Twombly pleading standard.