United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW - AMENDED COMPLAINT
MICHAEL M. MIHM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeding pro se, files an amended complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a host of constitutional
violations at the Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”). The case is before the Court for a
merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In reviewing
the Complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as
true, liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor.
Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649-51 (7th Cir.
2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are
insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to “state a
claim for relief that is plausible on its face.”
Alexander v. United States, 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th
Cir. 2013)(citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
While the pleading standard does not require “detailed
factual allegations”, it requires “more than an
accusation.” Wilson v. Ryker, 451 Fed.Appx.
588, 589 (7th Cir. 2011) quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
has filed a rambling complaint alleging deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need, deliberate
indifference to his mental health needs, disruption with his
mail, confiscation of personal property, defamation,
violations of due process, entrapment, denial of legal
copies, loss of personal property, denial of yard time, lack
of law library time, excessive noise, unsanitary showers and
excessive lighting, on dates relating back to October 2015.
This, despite the fact that the Court had issued a prior
merit review order in which it advised Plaintiff that he
could not join numerous unrelated claims in one complaint.
See Wheeler v. Wexford, 689 F.3d 680 at *5 (7th Cir
2012). In addition, Plaintiff reasserts previously dismissed
due process claims and claims against several Defendants
based solely on their having denied his grievances.
asserts that on October 4, 2015, another inmate, Terrance
Jenkins, died while in the custody of three Pontiac guards.
When he learned of it, Plaintiff stated “if they killed
him, they'll get what they got coming, charges for
murder.” Plaintiff asserts that inmates John Steinbeck,
Juan Maysonet and another unknown individual defamed him by
providing false and misleading information to the
Intelligence Unit, asserting that Plaintiff would retaliate
for the death of Terrance Jenkins. Plaintiff claims he was
wrongfully disciplined as a result of the inmates'
actions, losing state pay and personal property, likely due
to it having been confiscated by security staff.
pleads a Count II claim against Ian Cox, Lt. Forbes and a Doe
Officer for not conducting an adequate investigation into the
charges. He claims, also, that they confiscated his excess
legal boxes. Here, Plaintiff claims, alternately, that
Defendants destroyed the documents and that they shuffled and
mixed up the order of the documents. He claims, also, that
Defendants took him out of protective custody, placing him
with segregation inmates who were mentally ill.
Count III, Plaintiff alleges that Kelly Davidson and a John
Doe Voice Stress Analysis (“VSA) Examiner violated his
due process rights. On October 27, 2015, Plaintiff was taken
to Internal Affairs for the VSA lie detector test. He claims
that after the test was completed the VSA Examiner approached
Defendants Cox and Forbes with fabricated information.
Count IV, Plaintiff asserts that Adjustment Committee members
Salinas and Brown did not provide him due process at the
disciplinary hearing. The November 23, 2015 hearing was
allegedly inadequate as Defendants did not call the witnesses
whom Plaintiff had identified and failed to provide other
procedural safeguards. As Plaintiff asserted in both the
original and amended complaints, however, the conviction was
later expunged. The Court, in fact, dismissed this claim at
merit review, finding that Plaintiff had received due process
by the expungement.
Count V, Plaintiff reasserts the previously dismissed claim
against Defendant Warden Pierce and Grievance Officer James
for denying his grievances. As the Court has already noted,
“the alleged mishandling of [Plaintiff's]
grievances by persons who otherwise did not cause or
participate in the underlying conduct states no claim.”
Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 953 (7th Cir. 2011).
Count VI Plaintiff states an unrelated claim that on October
29, 2015, Defendants Prentice, Tilden and Ojelade refused to
issue him a knee sleeve brace while he was in segregation.
This claim, too, was previously dismissed for misjoinder but
Plaintiff, undissuaded, reasserts it here. He also claims
that, from October 28, 2015 through April 27, 2016,
Defendants failed to treat a rash and lump on his shoulder.
Count VII, Plaintiff makes the bare allegation that on
unidentified dates, Dr. Allie and unknown John and Jane Doe
Defendants denied him mental health treatment. In Count VIII,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Potts, Sartain and Vilt
denied him legal copies and “possibly” interfered
with him retaining an attorney. Here, again, Plaintiff fails
to identify the date of the alleged occurrences. In Count IX,
Plaintiff alleges that he was subjected to a variety of
unconstitutional conditions of confinement from October 16,
2015 through June 29, 2016.
Plaintiff has pled complaints which occurred from October 14,
2015 through June 29, 2016. Plaintiff did not file his
complaint, however, until October 18, 2018, more than two
years after the latest of the events and more than three
years after the earliest. The only potential exceptions are
his complaints of lack of mental health treatment and the
failure to provide legal copies where he fails to identify
any dates at all. These claims cannot go forward, however, as
there is no identified timeframe and it is likely that these,
too, occurred between October 14, 2015 and June 29, 2016.
appears here that the claims asserted in the amended
complaint are barred by the applicable statute of
limitations. Claims brought under' 1983 are generally
governed by a two-year statute of limitations. Draper v.
Martin, 664 F.3d 1110, 1113 (7th Cir. 2011) ("[i]n
Illinois, the statute of limitations period for § 1983
claims is two years, 735 ILCS 5/13-201”). See
also, Bray v. Gary Police Dept. Chief, No.
10-229, 2010 WL 2674531 (N.D. Ind. June 28, 2010)
(“[t]he statute of limitations is an affirmative
defense, but if a plaintiff “pleads facts that show his
suit is time-barred or otherwise without merit, he has
pleaded himself out of court.”)
Court notes, however, that the statute of limitations will be
tolled during the time the plaintiff seeks to exhaust
administrative remedies. Johnson v. Rivera, 272 F.3d
519, 521-22 (7th Cir. 2001). While it is likely that the
claims are time-barred, Plaintiff will be given an
opportunity to amend. If Plaintiff files a second amended
complaint, he is to identify any claims that were in the
grievance process long enough to toll the statute of
limitations. Plaintiff is cautioned that he is not to merely
to file 50 or 60 pages of grievance, as done with his
original complaint. Rather, he is to identify any allegations
for which the grievance process had not been completed by
October 19, 2016. In the alternative, if Plaintiff's
claims as to lack of mental health treatment are more
current, he may file an amended complaint on this issue,
providing the dates and particulars as to Defendants'
alleged refusal to provide the necessary care. If
Plaintiff's claims as to the legal copies occurred within
the statute of limitations, he may file it as a separate
action as it is unrelated to the claims regarding the mental
is not, however, to continue to replead unrelated claims in
one complaint. See Davis v. Harding, 12-cv-559, 2013
WL 6441027, at *2 (W.D. Wis. Dec. 9, 2013) (a plaintiff may
join several defendants in one suit only if the claims arose
out of a single transaction and contain a question of fact or
law common to all the defendants); Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a).
See also, Wilson v. Bruce, 400 Fed.Appx.
106 (7th Cir. 2010) (upholding the District Court's
finding of misjoinder). “Though all are based on events
that allegedly took place during [Plaintiff's] detention,
the...claims otherwise share no common questions of law or
fact.” Id. at 108. Plaintiff is placed on
notice that, if he files a second amended complaint and does
not comply with these instructions, his complaint will be
dismissed and he may be precluded from filing a subsequent
amendment. This is so, as courts are not required to allow a
party to replead after ...