United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW AND CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, was granted leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. The case is now before
the court for a merit review of plaintiff's claims. The
court is required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A to
“screen” the plaintiff's complaint, and
through such process to identify and dismiss any legally
insufficient claim, or the entire action if warranted. A
claim is legally insufficient if it “(1) is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
reviewing the complaint, the court accepts the factual
allegations as true, liberally construing them in the
plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (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. U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422
(7th Cir. 2013)(citation omitted). The court has reviewed the
complaint and has also held a merit review hearing in order
to give the plaintiff a chance to personally explain his
claims to the court.
is currently detained at the Knox County Jail. However,
plaintiff's claims arise from his detention at the Henry
County Jail (“Jail”). Plaintiff alleges that Jail
Defendants J. Lessard, Ford, Tennant, Stroud, and Milroy
“brutally assaulted” him after Plaintiff got into
a verbal altercation with other, unidentified correctional
officers. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Martija and Hayes
denied him medical care thereafter. Plaintiff also alleges
that he was detained in a suicide watch cell without
“water [he] could drink” and that staff denied
his requests for water. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant N.
Lessard snatched the phone away from him on one occasion, and
placed Plaintiff on “minimums” without a hearing.
states a Fourteenth Amendment Due Process claim for excessive
force against Defendants J. Lessard, Ford, Tennant, Stroud,
and Milroy. Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466
(2015). Plaintiff also states a Fourteenth Amendment claim
against Defendant Martija and Hayes for failure to provide
adequate medical care. Miranda v. Cty. of Lake, 900
F.3d 335, 352 (7th Cir. 2018).
does not state a due process claim against Defendant N.
Lessard because he has not sufficiently alleged that he
suffered an “atypical and significant”
deprivation required to trigger due process concerns.
Lisle v. Welborn, 933 F.3d 705, 720-21 (7th Cir.
2019). Plaintiff does not state a claim for the denial of
access to the courts because he has not alleged that the
denial of one phone call resulted in prejudice to a
potentially meritorious claim, nor does he provide enough
information to state a claim about the denial of drinking
water. Marshall v. Knight, 445 F.3d 965, 968 (7th
Cir. 2006); Budd v. Motley, 711 F.3d 840, 842 (7th
1. Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff
states Fourteenth Amendment Due Process claims for excessive
force against Defendants J. Lessard, Ford, Tennant, Stroud,
and Milroy and for failure to provide adequate medical care
against Defendants Martija and Hayes. Any additional claims
shall not be included in the case, except at the court's
discretion on motion by a party for good cause shown or
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15.
2. This case is now in the process of service. The plaintiff
is advised to wait until counsel has appeared for the
defendants before filing any motions, in order to give the
defendants notice and an opportunity to respond to those
motions. Motions filed before defendants' counsel has
filed an appearance will generally be denied as premature.
The plaintiff need not submit any evidence to the court at
this time, unless otherwise directed by the court.
3. The court will attempt service on the defendants by
mailing each defendant a waiver of service. The defendants
have 60 days from the date the waiver is sent to file an
answer. If the defendants have not filed answers or appeared
through counsel within 90 days of the entry of this order,
the plaintiff may file a motion requesting the status of
service. After the defendants have been served, the court
will enter an order setting discovery and dispositive motion
4. With respect to a defendant who no longer works at the
address provided by the plaintiff, the entity for whom that
defendant worked while at that address shall provide to the
clerk said defendant's current work address, or, if not
known, said defendant's forwarding address. This
information shall be used only for effectuating service.
Documentation of forwarding addresses shall be retained only
by the clerk and shall not be maintained in the public docket
nor disclosed by the clerk.
5. The defendants shall file an answer within 60 days of the
date the waiver is sent by the clerk. A motion to dismiss is
not an answer. The answer should include all defenses
appropriate under the Federal Rules. The answer and
subsequent pleadings shall be to the issues and claims stated
in this opinion. In general, an answer sets forth the
defendants' positions. The court does not rule on the
merits of those positions unless and until a motion is filed
by the defendants. Therefore, no response to the answer is
necessary or will be considered.
6. This district uses electronic filing, which means that,
after defense counsel has filed an appearance, defense
counsel will automatically receive electronic notice of any
motion or other paper filed by the plaintiff with the clerk.
The plaintiff does not need to mail to defense counsel copies
of motions and other papers that the plaintiff has filed with
the clerk. However, this does not apply to discovery requests
and responses. Discovery requests and responses are not filed
with the clerk. The plaintiff must mail his discovery
requests and responses directly to defendants' counsel.
Discovery requests or responses sent to the clerk will be
returned unfiled, unless they are attached to and the subject
of a motion to compel. Discovery does not begin until defense
counsel has filed an appearance and the court has entered a
scheduling order, which will explain the discovery process in
7. Counsel for the defendants is hereby granted leave to
depose the plaintiff at his place of confinement. Counsel for
the defendants shall ...