United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ashton Daniel, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections who is currently incarcerated at Shawnee
Correctional Center (“Shawnee”), brings this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff claims that Defendants provided him with inadequate
medical treatment. Following an initial screening of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, Plaintiff was
allowed to proceed on an Eighth Amendment claim of inadequate
mental health treatment against Dennison, Justice,
Hammersiey, and Allard for denying Plaintiff mental health
services for fourteen months (Count 1). (Doc. 6).
Defendants filed an answer to the Complaint, Plaintiff filed
a Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint and submitted
a proposed amended complaint. (Doc. 27). Defendants did not
file a response to the motion. The Court now considers the
Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint.
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that leave to amend
should be freely given when justice so requires. The Seventh
Circuit maintains a liberal attitude toward the amendment of
pleadings “so that cases may be decided on the merits
and not on the basis of technicalities.” Stern v.
U.S. Gypsum, Inc., 547 F.2d 1329, 1334 (7th Cir. 1977).
The Circuit recognizes that “the complaint merely
serves to put the defendant on notice and is to be freely
amended or constructively amended as the case develops, as
long as amendments do not unfairly surprise or prejudice the
defendant.” Toth v. USX Corp., 883 F.2d 1297,
1298 (7th Cir. 1989). A court may also deny a party leave to
amend if there is undue delay, dilatory motive or futility.
Guise v. BMW Mortgage, LLC, 377 F.3d 795, 801 (7th
motion is not unduly delayed or brought with any apparent
dilatory motive. Nonetheless, the First Amended Complaint is
still subject to review under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A.Accordingly, prior to granting leave to
amend, the Court will screen the First Amended Complaint in
accordance with this statute.
First Amended Complaint, as also stated in the original
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff alleges that he was denied
mental health and medical treatment for his manic depression
and insomnia for fourteen months. He brings this claim
against existing Defendants Justice and Hammersiey, and new
Defendant Karen Smoot, Administrator of Health Care. He
alleges that Defendants are no longer treating his manic
depression and insomnia, and that Justice wrongly reported
that: (1) Plaintiff only needs to be seen once a month; (2)
Plaintiff had no need to see a psychiatrist; and (3)
Plaintiff's conditions of manic depression and insomnia
were nothing more than sleep disturbances. He claims that
Justice and Smoot are informing inmates that they no longer
give medication for sleep disturbances, and that Justice and
Smoot are denying him medication and to treat his insomnia
because of his past abuse of medication.
also voluntarily dismisses Defendants Jeff Dennison and Harry
Allard and modifies his request for relief.
review of the First Amended Complaint, the Court finds that
Plaintiff has pled the following claim:
1: Eighth Amendment claim of inadequate medical treatment
against Justice, Hammersiey, and Smoot for denying Plaintiff
mental health services and medical treatment for fourteen
months and continuing to provide inadequate treatment for
Plaintiff's manic depression and insomnia.
parties and the Court will use this designation in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial
officer of this Court. Any other claim that is
mentioned in the First Amended Complaint but not addressed in
this Order should be considered dismissed without prejudice
as inadequately pled under the Twombly pleading
claims that Defendants have denied him medical treatment and
continued to provide inadequate treatment for his manic
depression and insomnia are sufficient state a claim of
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against
Justice, Hammersiey, and Smoot. See Sanvill v.
McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 733 (7th Cir. 2001);
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976).
Accordingly, Count 1, as designated in this Order, survives
request to dismiss all claims against Dennison and Allard is
granted. See Taylor v. Brown, 787 F.3d 851, 858 (7th
Cir. 2015). Because Plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief,
Dennison, as the warden of Shawnee, shall remain a defendant
in his official capacity only. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
17(d) & 21; Gonzalez v. Feinerman, 663 F.3d 311,
315 (7th Cir. 2011) (proper defendant in a claim for
injunctive relief is the government official responsible for
ensuring any injunctive relief is carried out).
for Preliminary Hearing and ...