United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court for merit review of the
Plaintiff's complaint. 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.
a pro se prisoner, claims Defendants Warden Terri Kennedy and
Engineering Chief David Kennedy violated his constitutional
rights at Pontiac Correctional Center. Plaintiff alleges
Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights based on his
living conditions including “chipped, peeling paint;
dried fecal matter, and mold encrusted on the wall, ceiling,
and bars;” “black water;” rain leaks; and
toilets and sinks which flooded his cell. (Comp, p. 6).
Plaintiff claims the conditions occurred in the West Cell
House on July 12, 2019. In an attached grievance, Plaintiff
clarifies he was housed in Cell #619 on 6 gallery. Plaintiff
also alleges the conditions were the same for several cells
in the housing unit.
purpose of notice pleading, Plaintiff has adequately alleged
a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. While Plaintiff
does not specifically explain the involvement of the two
named Defendants, he does indicate the alleged conditions
were widespread and well known throughout the facility. In
addition, Plaintiff does not specifically state how long he
was subjected to the unconstitutional living conditions, but
Plaintiff's complaint mentions he was still living in the
same unit in October of 2019. (Comp., p. 5).
Court notes the attachments to Plaintiff's complaint also
demonstrate he has fully exhausted his administrative
remedies before filing his complaint. (Comp, p. 10).
has also filed a motion for appointment for appointment of
counsel. . The Plaintiff has no constitutional or
statutory right to the appointment of counsel in this case.
In addition, the Court cannot require an attorney to accept
pro bono appointment in a civil case. The most the
Court can do is ask for volunteer counsel. See Jackson v.
County of McLean, 953 F.2d 1070, 1071 (7th
considering the Plaintiff's motion, the court asks:
“(1) has the indigent Plaintiff made a reasonable
attempt to obtain counsel or been effectively precluded from
doing so; and if so, (2) given the difficulty of the case,
does the plaintiff appear competent to litigate it
himself?” Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654-55
(7th Cir. 2007), citing Farmer v. Haas, 990 F.2d
319, 322 (7th Cir.1993). The Plaintiff has not provided any
evidence demonstrating he has attempted to find counsel on
his own such as a list of attorneys contacted or copies of
letters sent or received. Therefore, the motion is denied
with leave to renew. 
1) Pursuant to its merit review of the complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court finds the Plaintiff alleges
Defendants Warden Terri Kennedy and Engineering Chief David
Kennedy violated his Eighth Amendment rights based on his
living conditions at Pontiac Correctional Center as detailed
in this order. The claim is stated against the Defendants in
their individual and official capacities. 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.
2) This case is now in the process of service. Plaintiff is
advised to wait until counsel has appeared for Defendants
before filing any motions, in order to give 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. Plaintiff need not submit
any evidence to the Court at this time, unless otherwise
directed by the Court.
3) The Court will attempt service on Defendants by mailing
each Defendant a waiver of service. Defendants have 60 days
from service to file an Answer. If Defendants have not filed
Answers or appeared through counsel within 90 days of the
entry of this order, Plaintiff may file a motion requesting
the status of service. After Defendants have been served, the
Court will enter an order setting discovery and dispositive
4) With respect to a Defendant who no longer works at the
address provided by 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 the Clerk.
5) 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 Order. In
general, an answer sets forth Defendants' positions. The
Court does not rule on the merits of those positions unless
and until a motion is filed by Defendants. Therefore, no
response to the answer is necessary or will be considered.
6) Once counsel has appeared for a Defendant, Plaintiff need
not send copies of his filings to that Defendant or to that
Defendant's counsel. Instead, the Clerk will file
Plaintiff's document electronically and send a notice of
electronic filing to defense counsel. The notice of
electronic filing shall constitute service on Defendants
pursuant to Local Rule 5.3. If electronic ...