United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
BRADLEY LYNN MAHAN, JR. Plaintiff,
SARA HEATHERTON, et al., Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW AND CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, and currently
incarcerated at Western Illinois Correctional Center, has
requested 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.
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.
alleges that, prior to his incarceration, he was stopped,
cuffed and questioned by Decatur police officers about
disorderly conduct. Plaintiff alleges that during this
interaction, Defendant Heatherton leg swept him “face
first to the ground while cuffed, ” sprayed him in the
face at close range with pepper spray, and caused his head to
“bounce...off the frame” while being placed in
the back seat of the squad car. Plaintiff alleges that once
booked at the Macon County Jail, Defendant Burrows and Smith
twisted his hands while Defendant Perry “drive
[stunned]” him. Plaintiff alleges that he suffered a
broken hand. Plaintiff alleges that medical staff at the jail
later ignored orders from outside physicians regarding
treatment for his hand. Plaintiff alleges he was forced to
lay on concrete with bedding and to sit on a stool without
back support for an unspecified amount of time.
states a Fourth Amendment claim for the use of excessive
force against Defendants Heatherton, Burrows, Smith and
Perry. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, (1989).
Plaintiff also states a Fourteenth Amendment claim for the
denial of medical care, Miranda v. Cty. Of Lake, 900
F.3d 335, 352 (7th Cir. 2018), although he will need to
identify the officials that allegedly denied him treatment.
Plaintiff cannot sue the warden, assistant warden, or medical
administrator just because they were in charge. Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009). Plaintiff also does
not allege that the alleged constitutional deprivations
stemmed from an official policy or practice. Therefore,
Defendants Decatur Police Department and Macon County Sheriff
Department will be dismissed. See Monell v. Dep't of
Social Srvcs. of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978).
warden will remain a defendant solely for the purposes of
assisting Plaintiff in identifying medical staff that
allegedly denied Plaintiff treatment. Donald v. Cook
Cnty. Sheriffs Dep't, 95 F.3d 548, 555-56 (7th Cir.
1996) (court may name high level administrators as defendants
for purposes of identifying Doe defendants).
Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the court finds that the plaintiff states a
Fourth Amendment claim for the use of excessive force against
Defendants Heatherton, Burrows, Smith and Perry, and a
Fourteenth Amendment claim for the denial of medical care
against the Doe defendants. 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.
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.
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 deadlines.
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
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
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
Counsel for the defendants is hereby granted leave to depose
the plaintiff at his place of confinement. Counsel for the