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Green v. Lochard

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 17, 2019

PRESTIN DWAYNE GREEN, #B89232, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Prestin Green, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections who is currently incarcerated at Sheridan Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against officials at Perry County Jail (“Jail”). (Doc. 1). Plaintiff claims that he was denied necessary treatment and medication for an unspecified medical condition at the Jail. (Id. at p. 5). He suffered numerous seizures that caused injuries. (Id.). Plaintiff seeks monetary relief against the defendants. (Id. at p. 6).

         The Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner Complaints and filter out non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations are liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in the Complaint: During his detention at the Jail in October 2018, Plaintiff was denied medication for an undisclosed medical condition. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He suffered multiple seizures that resulted in injuries, and he was treated at Carbondale Memorial Hospital. Before discharging Plaintiff, a neurologist provided him with a prescription for benzodiazepines and orders that cautioned against sudden cessation of the medication. Plaintiff provided the prescription and orders to Jail “authorities,” who again failed to administer the medication as prescribed. Plaintiff suffered additional seizures and related injuries. He blames “the [d]octor and staff . . . who[se] attention it was brought to that this was occurring.” (Id.).

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate a single claim in this pro se action:

Count 1: Defendants denied Plaintiff adequate medical care and medication for his unspecified medical condition at the Jail in October 2018.

         Any other claim that is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed herein is considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[1]


         The analytical framework for Plaintiff’s claim depends on his status as a pretrial detainee or a convicted person in October 2018, when his claims arose against Jail officials. The Fourteenth Amendment governs claims for the denial of medical care brought by a pretrial detainee, and the Eighth Amendment governs claims brought by a convicted person. Currie v. Chabra, 728 F.3d 626, 628-29 (7th Cir. 2013). It is unclear which constitutional amendment governs Plaintiff’s claim at this stage, but this issue can be resolved as the case proceeds.

         Plaintiff faces a more fundamental problem with his claim at screening. Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on personal liability and predicated upon fault. Pepper v. Village of Oak Park, 430 F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005). An individual defendant cannot be liable under Section 1983, unless he or she “caused or participated” in a constitutional deprivation. Id. The allegations must at least suggest that each defendant violated Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.

         The Complaint does not establish any defendant’s involvement in a constitutional deprivation. Plaintiff identifies Defendants Lochard, Clark, Lilly, Loucks, and Baris as defendants in the case caption of the Complaint and the list of defendants. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2). However, he mentions none of them in the statement of claim. (Id. at p. 5). The reason that plaintiffs, even those proceeding pro se, for whom the Court is required to liberally construe complaints, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972), are required to associate specific defendants with specific claims is so these defendants are put on notice of the claims brought against them and so they can properly answer the complaint. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “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)). However, invoking a potential defendant’s name by listing him or her in the case caption is not enough to state a claim against that individual. See Collins v. Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334 (7th Cir. 1998). Accordingly, Count 1 cannot proceed against any of the defendants and shall be dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim.

         Because Count 1 is the only claim, the Complaint does not survive preliminary review and shall be dismissed. However, Plaintiff will have an opportunity to re-plead his claim, if he wishes to proceed any further with this action. When preparing a First Amended Complaint, he should identify each defendant in the case caption and set forth sufficient allegations against each defendant to describe what the defendant did, or failed to do, to violate his constitutional rights.

         Pending ...

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