United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TARIQ K. BILAL, and CARLOS H. GARCIA, #M41479, Plaintiffs,
LAWRENCE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, SAMER HERNANDEZ, NICK LAMB, MIKE FUNK, and SANDRA FUNK, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Carlos Garcia, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections who is currently incarcerated at Pontiac
Correctional Center, and Plaintiff Tariq Bilal bring this
civil rights action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging the rape of Plaintiff Garcia by his
cellmate, while at Lawrence Correctional Center
(“Lawrence”). (Doc. 1). Plaintiffs seek money
damages. Before the Court is Plaintiff Bilal's renewed
Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis
(“IFP Motion”) (Doc. 15) and Amended Complaint
(Doc. 17), and Plaintiff Garcia's Motion for Leave to
Proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP Motion) (Doc.
19) and Motion to Waive Filing Fee (Doc. 20).
17, 2019, the Court issued an order advising Plaintiffs of
the consequences of bringing claims jointly in a single
lawsuit, including their filing fee obligations, and giving
Plaintiff Bilal an opportunity to withdraw from the case or
sever his claims into an individual action. (Doc. 6).
Plaintiff Bilal notified the Court that he wished to continue
in this lawsuit, (Doc. 7, p. 5), and the Court reviewed the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2).(Doc. 11). Because Plaintiffs failed to
associate their claims with a proper defendant under Section
1983, the Complaint was dismissed without prejudice, along
with Plaintiff Bilal's requests to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Id. at pp. 3, 5). The Court also
noted that it did not appear that Plaintiff Bilal had
standing to bring the claims alleged in the Complaint.
(Id. at pp. 3-4). Plaintiff Bilal was granted leave
to renew his motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis or prepay the full $400.00 filing fee for this
action and both Plaintiffs were granted leave to file a
“First Amended Complaint.” (Id. at p.
5). Plaintiff Bilal renewed his IFP Motion on September 5,
2019, (Doc.15), and filed an Amended Complaint on September
10, 2019. (Doc. 17).
discussed in the original merit review order, under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1), a federal court is authorized to permit an
indigent party to commence a civil action without prepaying
the required fees if the party submits an affidavit that
includes a statement of all assets he possesses and that
demonstrates the party is unable to pay such fees. But that
does not end the inquiry. Under Section 1915(e)(2), the Court
must also screen Plaintiff Bilal's Amended Complaint and
dismiss the complaint if it is clearly frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim, or is a claim for money
damages against an immune defendant. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). For the following reasons, the Amended
Complaint does not survive review and so the IFP Motion and
Amended Complaint will be dismissed with prejudice as to
Plaintiff Bilal. Plaintiff Bilal will also be dismissed as a
party to this case.
courts are required to determine whether a plaintiff has
standing to bring the claims alleged pursuant to Article III
of the Constitution, which limits federal jurisdiction to
“live cases and controversies.” Aljabri v.
Holder, 745 F.3d 816, 820 (7th Cir. 2014). To meet the
standing requirements of Article III, a plaintiff must
demonstrate that he or she has “suffered a concrete and
particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the
challenged conduct, and is likely to be redressed by a
favorable judicial decision.” Hollingsworth v.
Perry, 570 U.S. 693, 704 (2013)(citing Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-561 (1992)).
noted in the original merit review order, Plaintiff Bilal
does not have standing pursuant to Article III of the
Constitution to bring the claims alleged in the Amended
Complaint. (See Doc. 11, p. 3). The main allegation
in the Amended Complaint is that Plaintiff Garcia was raped
by his cellmate at Lawrence. (Doc. 17, p. 6). The Amended
Complaint does not contain allegations regarding any
violations of Plaintiff Bilal's constitutional rights.
The only connection that Plaintiff Bilal has to Plaintiff
Garcia's alleged constitutional deprivations is that he
is Plaintiff Garcia's cousin. Plaintiff Bilal can only
“assert his own legal rights and cannot assert the
legal rights of a third party.” Massey v.
Helman, 196 F.3d 727, 739 (7th Cir. 1999). As he has not
claimed that he has suffered any injury and “has no
right to vindicate” his cousin's rights,
Delgado v. Godinez, 283 Fed.Appx. 528, 529 (7th Cir.
2017), Plaintiff Bilal is dismissed as a party.
because only Plaintiff Bilal has signed the Amended
Complaint, the Amended Complaint and any claims that
Plaintiff Garcia is attempting to bring are dismissed as
well. “Every pleading, written, motion, and other paper
must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the
attorney's name-or by a party personally if the party is
unrepresented.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a). Plaintiffs were
warned that a non-attorney cannot file or sign papers for
another litigant and that any future group motions or
pleadings that do not comply with his requirement would be
stricken pursuant to Rule 11(a). (Doc. 6, p. 3). Although
Plaintiff Bilal may assist Plaintiff Garcia with pleadings
and motions, as a non-attorney, he may not file motions or
pleadings on behalf of Plaintiff Garcia. See Kalinowski
v. Ill. Cent. Mgmt., No. 08-cv-14-MJR, 2008 WL 2001966
at *1 (S.D. Ill. May 7, 2008) (allowing a pro se
plaintiff to obtain additional time for other plaintiffs by
filing a motion that contained only his signature would be to
allow plaintiff to “engage in the unauthorized practice
of law before this Court.”). As the Amended Complaint
only contains Plaintiff Bilal's signature, (Doc. 17, p.
8), and he does not have standing to bring the alleged
claims, the Amended Complaint is dismissed without prejudice.
it is unclear whether Plaintiff Garcia intends to pursue his
claims in this action, he will be given another opportunity
to re-plead his claims in an amended complaint if he wishes
to proceed with this case. When preparing the amended
complaint, Plaintiff Garcia should identify each defendant in
the case caption and set forth sufficient allegations against
each defendant in the statement of claim to describe what the
defendant did or failed to do to violate his constitutional
rights. Plaintiff Garcia must sign the document
for himself. See Lewis v. Lenc-Smigh Mfg.
Co., 784 F.2d 829, 831 (7th Cir. 1986); Fed.R.Civ.P.
reasons discussed, Plaintiff Bilal's Amended Complaint
does not survive preliminary review under Section 1915(e)(2)
and so his renewed Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma
pauperis (Doc. 15) is DENIED with
Garcia's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma
pauperis (Doc. 19) is DENIED as moot,
as his IFP Motion ...