United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Jeffrey Whitehead, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center
(“Shawnee”), brings this civil rights action
pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1,
pp. 1-34). Plaintiff claims that he was denied medical
treatment for injuries he sustained by falling from an
unsecured step box at Shawnee on September 21, 2018.
(Id. at p. 18). Although he filed grievances seeking
repair of the step box and compensation for the delay in
diagnosing and treating his injuries, Plaintiff's request
for compensation was denied. (Id.). He now seeks
monetary relief from the prison. (Id. at p. 34).
Complaint is before the Court for preliminary review pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section 1915A, the Court is
required to screen prisoner complaints to filter out
non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any
portion of a complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious,
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
asks for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune
from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the
pro se Complaint are to be liberally construed.
Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816,
821 (7th Cir. 2009).
on the allegations, the Court finds it convenient to
designate a single count in the pro se Complaint:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against
Defendant Shawnee Correctional Center for delaying
Plaintiff's medical treatment for injuries he sustained
when he fell from an unsecured step box on September 21,
parties and the Court will use this designation in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by this
Court. Any claim in the Complaint that is not
addressed herein should be considered
dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under
does not survive preliminary review. Plaintiff names a single
defendant in connection with the claim: Shawnee Correctional
Center. The prison is not a “person” subject to a
suit for money damages under Section 1983. Will v. Mich.
Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). The
Eleventh Amendment bars suits against states in federal court
for money damages. Wynn v. Southward, 251 F.3d 588,
592 (7th Cir. 2001). The Supreme Court has held that
“neither a State nor its officials acting in their
official capacities are ‘persons' under §
1983.” Will, 491 U.S. at 71. The IDOC is
immune from suit by virtue of the Eleventh Amendment.
Billman v. Ind. Dep't of Corr., 56 F.3d 785, 788
(7th Cir. 1995). And, as a division of the IDOC, Shawnee is
likewise immune. Count 1 shall therefore be dismissed with
prejudice against the prison.
even if Plaintiff named a person, such as the prison warden,
as a defendant, he would have fared no better. There is no
respondeat superior liability in a Section 1983
action. Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740
(7th Cir. 2001) (quoting Chavez v. Ill. State
Police, 251 F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001)). To be held
individually liable, a defendant must be
“‘personally responsible for the deprivation of a
constitutional right.'” Id. Therefore,
Plaintiff must name those individuals who were responsible
for the delay or denial of medical care as defendants in the
case caption and also set forth allegations describing what
each defendant did, or failed to do, to deprive him of a
constitutional right. Plaintiff's Complaint and exhibits
mention the names of several individuals who may have been
responsible for delaying or denying him necessary medical
care, but Plaintiff decided not to name them as defendants.
When parties are not listed in the caption, this Court will
not treat them as defendants, and any claims against them
should be considered dismissed without prejudice.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a) (noting that the title of
the complaint “must name all the parties”);
Myles v. United States, 416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th
Cir. 2005) (holding that to be properly considered a party, a
defendant must be “specif[ied] in the caption”).
All claims against these non-parties should be considered
dismissed without prejudice.
these reasons, Plaintiff's Complaint shall be dismissed
without prejudice. Plaintiff will have an opportunity to file
a First Amended Complaint, if he wishes to proceed with this
matter. If he chooses to do so, Plaintiff must comply with
the deadline and instructions set forth below.
IS ORDERED that the Complaint (Doc. 1) is
DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
IS ORDERED that COUNT 1 is
DISMISSED with prejudice against Defendant
SHAWNEE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, and the Clerk
of Court is DIRECTED to
TERMINATE this defendant as a party in the
Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (“CM/ECF”)
is GRANTED leave to file a First Amended
Complaint on or before November 29, 2019.
The First Amended Complaint is subject to review under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A.
strongly recommended that Plaintiff use the civil rights
complaint form designed for use in this District. He should
label the form “First Amended Complaint” and use
the case number for this action (No. 19-cv-00943-NJR). To
enable Plaintiff to comply with this Order, the
CLERK is DIRECTED to mail
Plaintiff a blank civil rights complaint form. An amended
complaint generally supersedes and replaces the original
complaint, rendering the original complaint void. See
Flannery v. Recording Indus. Ass'n of Am., 354 F.3d
632, 638 n. 1 (7th Cir. 2004). The ...