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Day v. Jeffreys

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 9, 2019

CHARLES DAY, #K03734, Plaintiff,
v.
ROB JEFFREYS, DANIEL Q. SULLIVAN, JESSICA D. STOVER, and SARAH BROWN-FOILES, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Charles Day, who is civilly committed at Big Muddy Correctional Center (“Big Muddy”) as a “sexually dangerous person” (SDP), brings this action for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as denial of accommodations in violation of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act (“RA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 794-94e. He seeks declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. As a civilly committed SDP under the Illinois Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (“SDPA”) (725 ILCS 205/1.01), Day is subject to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (28 U.S.C. § 1915 et. seq). See Kalinowski v. Bond, 358 F.3d 978, 978-79 (7th Cir. 2004). Under Section 1915A, the Court is required to screen the Complaint to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se complaint are liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Day filed this action against Defendants in their official capacities only. He asserts claims against Rob Jeffreys as the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) and Day's legal guardian, Daniel Sullivan as the Chief Administrative Officer of Big Muddy, Jessica Stover as the SDP Program lead therapist and Day's primary therapist, and Sarah Brown-Foiles as the IDOC Coordinator of Sex Offender Programs. Day alleges that Defendants, in their official capacities, have put in place policies and practices which are inadequate for the treatment of Day, as a civilly committed SDP.

         The Complaint alleges the following: Day has been a civilly committed SDP for nearly 17 years under the SDPA and is housed within Big Muddy, an IDOC facility. Day is currently diagnosed with paraphilic disorder, personality disorder, alcohol dependence, and poly-substance abuse. He was “historically” diagnosed with learning, speech, and comprehension disabilities.

         Day's literacy and learning disabilities have not been addressed by staff, and he has never been offered individualized treatment to assist him to effectively learn treatment concepts. Staff have not made any attempt to address his mental health issues. The entire SDP program is deficient and is not calculated to actually treat any of its participants, but is instead simply a prison term by another name - there is no established curriculum, progress is judged solely by the subjective judgment of staff, and staff persist with ineffective treatment to the extent of failing to use any professional judgment. The SDP treatment program is underfunded, understaffed, inadequate, and punitive.

         Day and other SDPs are forced to live alongside convicted prisoners. They are treated and held to a regimen that is identical to the prisoners. The punitive environment does not comply with the SDPA's stated purpose or its objective of care and treatment.

         Stover retaliates against participants who use the grievance process in their semi-annual evaluations. Baldwin, as Day's legal guardian, has failed to fulfill his duties in that role.

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court divides this action into the following claims:

Count 1:Defendants violated Day's rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to receive treatment as a civilly committed SDP.
Count 2: Defendants violated Day's rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to receive treatment for his mental illnesses and disorders that led to his civil commitment.
Count 3: Defendants Sullivan, Brown-Foiles, and Jeffreys violated Day's rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by failing to adequately train or supervise their employees regarding the proper care and treatment of a SDP with mental illnesses or disorders.
Count 4: Defendants violated Day's rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by subjecting him to a punitive environment.
Count 5: ADA and RA claims for failure to accommodate Day's learning and intellectual disabilities and for denying adequate program funding, reasonable housing, and access to programs.
Count 6: Defendant Stover violated Day's rights under the First Amendment by retaliating against Day for his use of the grievance system.
Count 7: State law claim for breach of fiduciary duty against Jeffreys.
Count 8: The Illinois Sexually Dangerous Persons Act is unconstitutional ...

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