United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. Yandle, United States District Judge.
Vernon Andrews, an inmate of the Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) currently incarcerated at
Big Muddy Correctional Center, brings this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights that occurred while
at Vienna Correctional Center. Plaintiff alleges cruel and
unusual punishment regarding the issuance of three
disciplinary reports. He requests monetary damages.
Complaint is now 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. See 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).
alleges that he was issued three disciplinary reports on
February 17, 2019 and was found guilty of all three offenses
by the Adjustment Committee (Doc. 1, p. 6). He filed a
grievance with the Administrative Review Board and the Board
recommended that all three disciplinary reports be expunged.
(Id. at pp. 6, 13). Plaintiff's Complaint does
not survive preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
because Plaintiff does not mention any of the defendants
listed in the case caption in the statement of his claim.
Therefore, the Court is unable to discern what claims, if
any, Plaintiff has against each defendant.
even those proceeding pro se, are required to
associate specific defendants with specific claims so that
defendants are put on notice of the claims brought against
them and can properly answer the Complaint. “Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only ‘a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief,' in order to ‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S.
41, 47 (1957)). Merely invoking the name of a potential
defendant is not sufficient to state a claim against that
individual. See Collins v. Kibort, 143 F.3d 331, 334
(7th Cir. 1998) (“A plaintiff cannot state a claim
against a defendant by including the defendant's name in
the caption.”). Because Plaintiff sets forth no
allegations against the defendants in his statement of claim,
his Complaint will be dismissed without prejudice.
Plaintiff will be given an opportunity to re-plead his claims
in an amended complaint if he wishes to proceed with this
case. When preparing a “First Amended Complaint,
” Plaintiff should identify each defendant in the case
caption and set forth sufficient allegations against each
defendant to describe what the defendant did or failed to do
to violate his constitutional rights.
for Recruitment of Counsel
has also filed a Motion for Recruitment of Counsel (Doc. 3)
which is DENIED.Plaintiff states that he has
sent out three letters to attorneys but has not received any
responses. (Id. at p. 1). He includes copies of a
letter sent to John Howard Association on March 25, 2019, and
March 26, 2019. (Id. at pp. 6-8). This is not
sufficient information for the Court to determine if he has
made a reasonable effort to obtain counsel on his own, and
so, Plaintiff has failed to meet his threshold burden of
making a “reasonable attempt” to secure counsel.
See Santiago v. Walls, 599 F.3d 749, 760 (7th Cir.
2010). Should Plaintiff choose to move for recruitment of
counsel at a later date, the Court directs Plaintiff to
include in the motion the names and addresses of at least
three attorneys he has contacted, and if available, attach
the letters from the attorneys who declined representation.
for Service of Process at Government Expense
Plaintiff has been granted pauper status (Doc. 8) and the
Court is obligated to arrange service for incarcerated
persons proceeding in forma pauperis, his Motion for
Service of Process at Government Expense (Doc. 4) is
DENIED as moot.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion for Recruitment of
Counsel (Doc. 3) is DENIED without prejudice
and the Motion for Service of Process at Government Expense
(Doc. 4) is DENIED as MOOT.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that, for the reasons stated, the
Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice
pursuant to §1915A. Plaintiff is
GRANTED leave to file a “First Amended
Complaint” on or before December 16,
2019. Should Plaintiff fail to file a First Amended
Complaint within the allotted time or consistent with the
instructions set forth in this Order, the entire case shall
be dismissed with prejudice for failure to comply with a
court order and/or for failure to prosecute his claims.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); Ladien v. Astrachan, 128 F.3d
1051 (7th Cir. 1997); Johnson v. Kamminga, 34 F.3d
466 (7th ...