United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Jacob Tramble is an inmate in the Illinois Department of
Corrections who brings this action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 (“Section 1983”) (Doc. 1). Tramble filed his
first amended complaint in this Court on September 19, 2016,
alleging correctional officers, a lieutenant, and a sergeant
employed at Shawnee Correctional Center
(“Shawnee”) issued him a false disciplinary
ticket, assaulted him, and denied him medical care on
February 2, 2016. Tramble proceeds on claims of excessive
force (Count 1) and denial of medical care (Count 2) under
the Eighth Amendment.
before filling his Section 1983 suit in this Court, Tramble
filed a petition for mandamus in the Randolph County,
Illinois, Circuit Court on August 15, 2016 (Doc. 56, Ex. 1).
The petition for mandamus states that correctional officers
at Shawnee violently assaulted him and issued him a false
disciplinary ticket on February 2, 2016 (Id.). The
petition sought an order compelling his release from
segregation, dismissal of his disciplinary reports, deletion
of the reports from his master file, restoration of all good
conduct credit, and his transfer to a minimum-security
facility. Tramble named John Baldwin as the defendant in the
mandamus case, but Defendants in this case all appeared and
defended themselves (Id.).
March 1, 2017, the Randolph County Circuit Court found:
Defendants have filed a combined motion to dismiss and
Plaintiff has responded. Plaintiff has failed to state a
claim against any of the defendants. In fact, the ONLY
defendant listed in the petition is Director John Baldwin and
none of the specific acts sought to be performed are
identified. The Mandamus petition fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted and should be dismissed pursuant
to 2-615. Because this is a procedural defect Plaintiff is
hereby granted 45 days to file an amended petition.
(Doc. 56, Ex. 3, pp. 1-2).
filed an amended petition in Randolph County on March 29,
2017 (Doc. 56, Ex. 3). On August 2, 2017, the Randolph County
Circuit Court dismissed Trample's petition with prejudice
because he failed to plead a cause of action and
“further attempts to amend would not cure the
defects” (Doc. 56, Ex. 2). Because the petition was
dismissed involuntarily and not pursuant to an exception
listed in Supreme Court Rule 273, the dismissal was an
adjudication on the merits. See Ill. Sup. Ct. Rule
November 21, 2018, Defendants filed a motion for summary
judgment in this case, arguing res judicata bars
Tramble's Section 1983 suit (Doc. 56). Under Illinois
law, res judicata precludes a claim where “(1)
there was a final judgment on the merits rendered by a court
of competent jurisdiction, (2) there is an identity of the
cause of action, and (3) there is an identity of the parties
or their privies.” Hicks v. Midwest Transit,
Inc., 479 F.3d 468, 471 (7th Cir. 2007). Tramble does
not dispute that the Randolph County Circuit Court's
dismissal was a final judgment on the merits. Tramble
contends, however, that there is no identity of the causes of
action, the parties, or the parties' privies (Doc. 58).
August 15, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge Gilbert C.
Sison issued a Report and Recommendation that recommends
granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment based on
res judicata (Doc. 64). Judge Sison found,
“[B]oath suits concern events that occurred on February
6, 2016. Both suits also allege that correctional officers at
Shawnee assaulted Tramble and failed to provide him with
medical attention. This plainly establishes an identity of
the causes of action between the two lawsuits”
(Id.). Judge Sison noted that the identity of the
causes of action is present, even though Tramble sought
different relief in the mandamus petition than he does in
this case (Id.). Judge Sison cited Wozniak v.
DuPage County, 845 F.2d 677 (7th Cir. 1988), where the
plaintiff sought mandamus relief in state court and then
brought a Section 1983 claim for damages in federal court
based on the same underlying facts. Id. at 680. The
Seventh Circuit found that the difference in remedies between
the two proceedings did not destroy the identity of causes of
action because the operative facts were the same.
Id. at 681-82. Finally, Judge Sison found that the
identity of the parties is satisfied because Tramble is the
named plaintiff in both cases and “all of the named
Defendants in this case are the same or are in privies with
those in the petition for mandamus” (Doc. 64). Although
Tramble named John Baldwin as the only defendant in the
mandamus petition, “Defendants in this case appeared
and defended themselves in the mandamus suit”
to the Report and Recommendation were due on or before August
29, 2019. No. objections were filed.
timely objections are filed, this Court must undertake a
de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); SDIL-LR
73.1(b); Harper v. City of Chicago Heights, 824
F.Supp. 786, 788 (N.D. Ill. 1993); see also Govas v.
Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). Where
neither timely nor specific objections to the Report and
Recommendation are made, however, this Court need not conduct
a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation.
See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). Instead, the
Court should review the Report and Recommendation for clear
error. Johnson v. Zema Systems Corp., 170 F.3d 734,
739 (7th Cir. 1999). A judge may then “accept, reject,
or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Court has carefully reviewed the briefs submitted by
Defendants, as well as Judge Sison's Report and
Recommendation. Following this review, the Court fully agrees
with the findings, analysis, and conclusions of Judge Sison
and ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation in
its entirety. The motion for summary judgment filed by Kyle
Benard, Ronnie Casper, Keiler Dillman, Larry Hicks, John
Hobbs, Devan Fischer, Patrick Kaufman, and Tyler Moore (Doc.
56) is GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is
DIRECTED to enter judgment accordingly and
close this case.