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Norfleet v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 19, 2019



          Staci M. Yandle United States District Judge.

         This case was severed on November 21, 2018 from Norfleet v. Baldwin, No. 18-cv-1758-MJR (Doc. 1). It involves the claims designated as Counts 4 and 5 in the original case, described as follows:

Count 4: Baldwin, Lashbrook, Love, Jaimet, Malcolm, Hubber, Onalski, Wahl, Pitman, and IDOC refused to comply with Plaintiff's indefinite waist chain permit, causing bruising, cuts, and swelling to Plaintiff's wrists and fingers in November 2016 and February 2017 in violation of the Eighth Amendment, Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and Rehabilitation Act (“RA”).
Count 5: Myers, McBride, Baldwin, and Lashbrook either instituted or were deliberately indifferent to IDOC's policy, practice, or custom of breaking inmates fingers to force them to comply with black box restraints, pursuant to which Plaintiff's fingers were broken in November 2016 in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         The case is now before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint (Doc. 12), Motion to Clarify (Doc. 11), and preliminary review of the First Amended Complaint.

         Plaintiff's proposed First Amended Complaint adds dates when his waist chain permit was allegedly ignored in November 2016. He also seeks to add Patrick Keane to his allegations in Count 4. Finally, the First Amended Complaint does not include Count 5. The Court GRANTS the Motion to Amend (Doc. 12) and DIRECTS the Clerk to file the First Amended Complaint on the docket. The Clerk is also DIRECTED to add Patrick Keane to the docket as a defendant.

         Plaintiff's Motion to Clarify (Doc. 11) is DENIED. In the Motion, Plaintiff informs the Court that he is seeking to amend his Complaint in Norfleet v. Baldwin, No. 18-cv-1524-SMY to add the claims in this case. Those claims were previously dismissed as they were improperly joined with other claims. (No. 18-cv-1524, Doc. 9, p. 11). Plaintiff's claims in this case are not currently claims in No. 18-cv-1524. As such, the Court will proceed with its review of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint.

         The Amended Complaint

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 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).

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations with respect to Count 4 in his Amended Complaint: On November 1, 2016, November 8, 2016, November 15, 2016, November 17, 2016, and February 14, 2017, Defendants Baldwin, Lashbrook, Jaimet, Keane, Malcom, Hubber, Love, Onalski, Wahl, Pitman, and the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) refused to comply with Plaintiff's waist chain permit. As a result, Plaintiff suffered cuts, bruising, and swelling to his wrists during numerous transports. His chronic displaced nerve condition was also aggravated by the failure to abide by the permit.


         Plaintiff states a viable claim under the Eighth Amendment, ADA, and/or RA. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976); 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. §§ 794-94e. However, Plaintiff's inclusion of IDOC as a defendant separately from John Baldwin is duplicative. While IDOC is the only proper defendant for an ADA/RA claim, a suit against Baldwin in his official capacity suffices to name IDOC. See 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1)(b); Jaros v. Illinois Department of Corrections, 685 F.3d 667, 671, 670 n.2 (7th Cir. 2012) (individual capacity claims are not available; the proper defendant is the agency or its director (in his official capacity)). Therefore, IDOC will be dismissed from Count 4 and Count 4 will proceed against Baldwin in his individual and official capacity.[1] To the extent Plaintiff sues the remaining named defendants in their official capacities, those claims will be DISMISSED without prejudice. Because Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint does not assert claims against Marcus Myers and Carol McBride, those individuals will also DISMISSED without prejudice.


         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Count 4 shall proceed against John Baldwin, Jacqueline Lashbrook, Karen Jaimet, Patrick Keane, Mr. Malcom, ...

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