United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
G. REINHARD UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
docket reflects that plaintiff paid the filing fee associated
with this action . Summonses, however, shall not issue.
Plaintiff's complaint  is dismissed without prejudice.
If plaintiff wants to proceed with this lawsuit, he must
submit an amended complaint that complies with this order.
Failure to submit an acceptable amended complaint by July 26,
2019, or the submission of one that does not comply with this
order, will result in summary dismissal of this lawsuit. The
court defers ruling on plaintiff's motion for appointment
of counsel  pending filing of an acceptable amended
complaint. The Clerk of Court is directed to send plaintiff
an amended complaint form, a blank USM-285 form, and
instructions along with a copy of this order.
Dontee Brown, an inmate at the Whiteside County Jail, brings
this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff paid the filing fee associated
with this action . Before the court is plaintiff's
complaint  for initial review.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court is required to screen
pro se prisoners' complaints and dismiss the
complaint, or any claims therein, if the court determines
that the complaint or claim is frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 214 (2007);
Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir.
screen prisoner litigation claims in the same manner as
ordinary Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motions to
dismiss. See Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709, 718 (7th
Cir. 2011). A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the
sufficiency of the complaint. See Hallinan v. Fraternal
Order of Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820
(7th Cir. 2009). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2)
must “give the defendant fair notice of what the claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(citation omitted). Under federal notice pleading standards,
a plaintiff's “[f]actual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put
differently, a “complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint under the
plausibility standard, [courts] accept the well-pleaded facts
in the complaint as true.” Alam v. Miller Brewing
Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013). Courts also
construe pro se complaints liberally. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam).
complaint cannot proceed for the reasons set forth below.
the complaint runs afoul of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
Plaintiff's complaint, which consists of one hundred and
twenty-four pages (including various attached exhibits) and
jumps around between different defendants and events that
have occurred at Whiteside County Jail since 2016, is neither
“short” nor “plain.” Plaintiff's
complaint, as drafted, simply provides too many details.
See United States ex rel. Garst v. Lockheed-Martin
Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378-79 (7th Cir. 2003) (a complaint
that is too jam-packed with details makes it too difficult to
comprehend and too difficult to answer). If plaintiff wishes
to proceed with this lawsuit, he must submit an amended
complaint that streamlines his allegations, clarifies his
claim(s), and provides only the information that is relevant
to each claim(s) he is attempting to raise.
and relatedly, misjoinder seems to be an issue in this case.
As noted above, plaintiff has set forth a lengthy narrative
about certain events that have occurred at the Whiteside
County Jail since March 2016. In the concluding section of
plaintiff's complaint entitled “Legal Claims,
” he indicates that he is attempting to raise claims of
inadequate medical care (against various named jail and
medical personnel). In this same section, he also claims
that: his “right to medical/mental health
privacy” has been violated; the jail has “faulty
grievance procedures”; his right to be “free from
discrimination and right to practice [his] Islamic
Religion/Faith” has been violated; and that he has been
retaliated against for his prior litigation activities. (
at pgs. 57-73.) The statement of claim portion of his
complaint also identifies at least one instance in March 2019
where certain named defendants verbally harassed plaintiff
and aggressively handled him. (Id. at pg. 51.)
Plaintiff identifies twenty-nine defendants in connection
with these allegations. Plaintiff may not bring unrelated
claims against unrelated defendants in a single complaint.
See George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir.
2007). Any amended complaint should be limited to related
claims against properly joined defendants. Any remaining
claim(s) must be brought in a separate lawsuit, accompanied
by a separate application to proceed in forma
following the submission of his complaint in this case,
plaintiff filed a letter  in which he states that
“[he] [is] writing because there are some major
developments and concerns that have [arisen] involving [his]
current complaint.” ( at pg. 1.) In this letter, he
complains about additional acts of alleged retaliation
against certain defendants named in this action (defendants
Booker and Erickson in particular). In this letter, plaintiff
also asks that the court take certain steps to preserve
evidence in support of his claims. (Id. at pg. 2.)
To the extent that plaintiff is attempting to amend his
complaint (with additional claims or information pertinent to
his claims) by way of his letter, he is advised that
piecemeal amendment is not permitted. See Flannery v.
Recording Indust. Ass'n of Am., 354 F.3d 632, 638
n.1 (7th Cir. 2004) (piecemeal amendments are not permitted
because an amended complaint replaces or supersedes the
original complaint). And, to the extent that plaintiff seeks
court action concerning the preservation of evidence in this
case, his request is premature given the nature of this order
and that it is unclear at this point what particular claim(s)
plaintiff is even attempting to raise in this action.
final matter, the court notes that while it is unclear what
particular claim(s) plaintiff is attempting to raise in this
action (given the aforementioned flaws with the current
complaint), a significant portion of the complaint relates to
plaintiff's medical care (or lack thereof) that he
received at the jail at the hands of certain jail/medical
personnel (including Dr. Martija, nurse Warkins, Lt.
Erickson, and others). If plaintiff chooses to submit an
amended complaint in this matter, he should keep in mind that
the doctrine of res judicata bars a second federal
lawsuit that seeks to re-litigate claims a plaintiff brought
against a defendant in a prior federal action or that he
could have brought against that defendant. Bell v.
Taylor, 827 F.3d 699, 706 (7th Cir. 2016). The doctrine
applies “when three requirements are met: (1) an
identity of the causes of action; (2) an identity of the
parties or their privies; and (3) a final judgment on the
merits.” Id. (citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). The allegations in the current complaint --
at least to some extent -- seem to track the complaint filed
by plaintiff in No. 16 C 50337 in which plaintiff claimed
that, during his confinement at Whiteside County Jail from
2016-2018, he was denied adequate medical care in connection
with certain abdominal/bowel issues (which allegedly occurred
after he ingested the wrong medication) and his PTSD/night
terrors. See Brown v. Erickson, et al., No. 16 C
50337 (N.D. Ill.) (Reinhard, J.) (granting defendants'
motions for summary judgment and dismissing case in its
entirety on 4/9/2019). The parties in No. 16 C 50337 (Dr.
Martija, nurse Warkins, and Lt. Erickson) are a subset of the
parties in the instant case, and plaintiff should keep in
mind that he cannot revive the claims against the defendants
in No. 16 C 50337 merely by filing a new case and adding
additional defendants. See Boyce v. Busch, No. 14 C
50066, 2014 WL 2480184, at *5-7 (N.D. Ill. June 3, 2014).
for the reasons stated above, the court dismisses plaintiffs
complaint  without prejudice. If plaintiff wants to
proceed with this lawsuit, he must submit one amended
complaint that complies with this order. Any amended
complaint must be submitted on the court's required form.
See Local Rule 81.1. Any amended complaint also must
comport with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11; Rule 11
provides that by signing a pleading, a party represents to
the court that his claims are warranted by existing law and
that the factual contentions have evidentiary support or
likely will have evidentiary support after further
investigation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b). Plaintiff must write both
the case number and the judge's name on the amended
complaint, sign it, and return it to the Prisoner
Correspondent. Plaintiff is cautioned that an amended
pleading supersedes the original complaint and must stand
complete on its own. Therefore, all allegations against all
defendants must be set forth in the amended complaint without
reference to the original complaint. Any documents plaintiff
wants the court to consider in its threshold review of the
amended complaint also must be attached. Plaintiff is advised
to keep a copy for his files.
Clerk of Court will provide plaintiff with an amended
complaint form, a blank USM-285 form, and instructions along
with a copy of this order. Failure to submit an amended
complaint by the ...