United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ERIC I. CLANTON, #M11654, Plaintiff,
JEFFERY DENNISON, and IDOC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Eric Clanton, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (âIDOCâ) who is currently incarcerated at Shawnee
Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983 for deprivations of his constitutional
rights. Plaintiff claims that staff at Shawnee were
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and
seeks money damages.
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).
Plaintiff makes the following allegations: On May 4, 2019, at
1 a.m., Plaintiff started having an asthma attack. (Doc. 1,
p. 6). He repeatedly pressed the black button located in his
cell, which is supposed to notify main control that there is
a problem in the cell, but no one came. He stood by his cell
door, but he could not breath, and he was unable to alert
officers for help. For over three house no one came by his
cell to do the routine wellbeing check, as is required by
IDOC policy. At 4:30 a.m., the cell doors opened for
breakfast, and Plaintiff was able to tell an officer that he
needed medical attention. He walked to health care and was
given numerous breathing treatments, which did not slow down
his breathing. The nurses then treated Plaintiff with a
steroid administered through an IV. He remained in health
care for twenty-four hours and was prescribed Prednisone for
a month. Plaintiff claims that because he suffered for over
three hours without treatment, his asthma has worsened
causing him to have to take Prednisone, which has side
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to designate the following Count:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim of
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against
Defendants for failing to respond to Plaintiff's asthma
attack causing him to suffer for over three hours and his
asthma to become worse.
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
Court finds that Plaintiff's Complaint, as currently
drafted, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. Plaintiff identifies Warden Jeffery Dennison and
IDOC as defendants in the case caption, but he does not
describe how either defendant violated his constitutional
rights. In fact, neither defendant is referenced in the
statement of claim at all. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
8(a)(2) requires “‘a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief,' in order to ‘give the defendant fair
notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.'” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
Merely invoking the name of a potential defendant by listing
him or her in the case caption is not sufficient to state a
claim against that individual. See Collins v.
Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998). Because
Plaintiff has failed to associate his claims with any of the
named defendants the Complaint will be dismissed.
the Court notes that IDOC, as a state government agency, is
generally immune from suit under Section 1983. The Supreme
Court has held that “neither a State nor its officials
acting in their official capacities are ‘persons'
under § 1983.” Will v. Mich. Dep't of
State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). See also Wynn
v. Southward, 251 F.3d 588, 592 (7th Cir. 2001)
(Eleventh Amendment bars suits against states in federal
court for money damages); Billman v. Ind. Dep't of
Corr., 56 F.3d 785, 788 (7th Cir. 1995) (state
Department of Corrections is immune from suit by virtue of
Eleventh Amendment); Hughes v. Joliet Corr. Ctr.,
931 F.2d 425, 427 (7th Cir. 1991) (same); Santiago v.
Lane, 894 F.2d 218, 220 n. 3 (7th Cir. 1990) (same).
Accordingly, IDOC shall be dismissed from this action with
light of these deficiencies, Plaintiff's Complaint does
not survive preliminary review and shall be dismissed. If he
wishes to pursue his claims, Plaintiff must file an amended
complaint describing how
defendants, named as a party in the case caption, violated
his rights, keeping in mind that in Section 1983 actions,
there is no supervisory liability. To be held individually
liable a defendant must be “‘personally
responsible for the deprivation of a constitutional
right.'” Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d
724, 740 (7th Cir. 2001) (quoting Chavez v. Ill. State
Police, 251 F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001)).
for Recruitment of Counsel
has filed a Motion for Recruitment of Counsel (Doc. 10).
There is no constitutional or statutory right to appointment
of counsel in federal civil cases. Romanelli v.
Suliene,615 F.3d 847, 851 (7th Cir. 2010). Federal
district courts have discretion under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(1) to request counsel to assist pro se
litigants. Id. When presented with a request to
appoint counsel, the Court must consider: “(1) has the
indigent plaintiff made a reasonable attempt to obtain
counsel or been effectively precluded from doing so; and if
so, (2) ...