United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JUAN J. TORRES, #N84619, Plaintiff,
HARRIS, Dietary Supervisor, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Rosenstengel Chief U.S. District Judge.
Juan J. Torres, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville
Correctional Center, brings this action for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges he has been denied a
job because of his disability in violation of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA).
He also asserts due process and equal protection claims. He
seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires
the Court to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out
nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion
of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from
an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. §
alleges he was not able to obtain a job at Pinckneyville due
to being wheelchair bound. (Doc. 1, pp. 3, 4). Plaintiff
submitted a request slip to his counselor inquiring about the
types of jobs he could have while in a wheelchair.
(Id., p. 3). His counselor responded that he could
be approved for a job in dietary or as a porter, but informed
him that there were no ADA jobs in dietary. (Id.,
pp. 3, 14). Plaintiff does not believe he can be a porter
because he cannot sweep from his wheelchair, and his chair
will not fit in the laundry room. (Id., p. 3).
Instead, Plaintiff requested a job in the kitchen from
dietary supervisor Harris. (Id., p. 3, 4). He
submitted a request slip to Harris, but Harris has never
responded to Plaintiff's request. (Id., p. 3).
Plaintiff alleges that Harris violated the ADA, RA, and his
due process and equal protection rights in denying him a job
in the prison dietary. (Id., p. 7).
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide this action into the following counts:
Count 1: ADA and/or RA claims for failing to provide
Plaintiff with a job in dietary.
Count 2: Dietary Supervisor Harris violated Plaintiff's
due process rights by failing to provide Plaintiff with a job
Count 3: Dietary Supervisor Harris violated Plaintiff's
equal protection rights by failing to provide Plaintiff with
a job in dietary and because there are no ADA jobs in
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. The designations do not
constitute an opinion regarding their merit. Any other claim
that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed in this
Order should be considered dismissed without prejudice as
inadequately pled under the Twombly pleading
preliminary matter, the Court notes that Plaintiff has not
named a proper defendant with respect to Count 1. The proper
defendant with respect to the ADA and RA claims is the
agency, in this case the Illinois Department of Corrections,
or its director (in his official capacity). See 42 U.S.C.
§ 12131(1)(b); Jaros v. Illinois Dep't of
Corr., 684 F.3d 667, 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)).
Normally, the Court would give Plaintiff the opportunity to
correct this mistake by amendment. As explained below,
however, even if Plaintiff had named a proper defendant, his
ADA and RA claims would fail. Accordingly, amendment would be
Seventh Circuit has held that the ADA does not apply to the
employment of prisoners. Starry v. Oshkosh Correctional
Institution, 731 Fed.Appx. 517 (7th Cir. 2018). In
Neisler v. Tuckwell, the Court held that workplace
discrimination on the basis of a disability in connection
with paid prison employment is not covered under Title II.
807 F.3d 225, 227-28 (7th Cir. 2015) (citations omitted). In
Murdock v. Washington, the Court found that Title I
did not apply because plaintiff was “an inmate of the
prison, not an employee or job applicant” 193 F.3d 510,
512 (7th Cir. ...