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Hulet v. Wexford Healthcare Providers

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 8, 2019

DONALD HULET, #M06288, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS, JOHN BALDWIN, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, JEFFRY DENNISON, and KAREN SMOOT, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Donald Hulet, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights that occurred while he was incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). Plaintiff claims that inmates with mental health problems incarcerated at Shawnee are subjected to cruel and unusual conditions of confinement and are denied adequate mental health treatment. He is seeking monetary damages.

         Plaintiff's 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).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint: Plaintiff was placed on crisis watch in March 2019 at Shawnee. At some point, he was harassed by staff because of his mental health. Shawnee has a policy of celling inmates on crisis watch for mental health reasons in cruel and unusual conditions. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Inmates are placed in cells that are constantly lit, covered in human waste, and have soiled old mattresses and broken windows so that a cell's temperature becomes unbearably hot and cold. Inmates on crisis watch are also deprived of their property and left without shoes to wear or hygiene products.

         Inmates at Shawnee also receive inadequate mental health treatment and must wait weeks to be seen by a mental health provider. When an inmate does receive an appointment, the meeting lasts under five minutes. Id. at p. 5. Inmates that have been designated as having a serious mental illness are without reason no longer being designated as such. This sudden change in designation results in inmates not receiving the appropriate level of treatment.

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate the following Counts:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim of unconstitutional conditions of confinement of inmates on crisis watch for mental health reasons.
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need by providing inadequate mental health treatment to inmates.
Count 3: American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) claim for failing to accommodate inmates with mental health needs by not providing regular appointments with mental healthcare professionals.
Count 4: Eighth Amendment claim against staff for harassing Plaintiff because of his mental health.

         The 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[1] pleading standard.

         Discussion

         The Complaint does not survive preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and shall be dismissed. Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on personal liability and predicated upon fault; thus, “to be liable under [Section] 1983, an individual defendant must have caused or participated in a constitutional deprivation.” Pepper v. Village of Oak Park, 430 F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005). To state a claim against a defendant, Plaintiff must describe what each named defendant did or failed to do that violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Plaintiffs are also required to associate specific defendants with specific claims so that defendants are put on notice of the claims brought against them and they can properly answer the Complaint. See Twombly, 550 at 555; Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). In the case of a ...


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