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 Illinois Department of Corrections
(IDOC) staff violated his constitutional rights at Hill
Correctional Center. Plaintiff says on March 26, 2019, a
staff member handcuffed Plaintiff to the outside of his cell
and pulled the chain of his cuff until he began to bleed.
Staff then refused to provide medical treatment for
Plaintiff's injuries. Plaintiff is requesting damages.
are several problems with Plaintiff's complaint. First,
Plaintiff's complaint identifies only general
“IDOC-staff” as a Defendant and he must instead
identify the specific individual or individuals who are
responsible for causing his injuries. (Comp., p. 2). The
Court notes while the first line of Plaintiff's complaint
states “Seg. Peel (staff)” were responsible for
handcuffing him, it is unclear whether “peel” is
the name of a specific staff member. (Comp., p. 5). If
Plaintiff is unsure of a specific name, he must at least
provide a description such as the individual's physical
description or job title and shift worked.
Plaintiff has not clearly articulated a constitutional
violation. An inmate seeking damages for the use of excessive
force need not establish serious bodily injury to make a
claim, but not “every malevolent touch by a prison
guard gives rise to a federal cause of action.”
Wilkins v. Gaddy, 559 U.S. 34, 37-38 (2010). The
question is whether the force used was de minimis,
not whether the injury suffered was de minimis.
Outlaw v. Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833, 837-38 (7th Cir.
Plaintiff alleges only that guards pulled on a chain attached
to his handcuffs. The attached medical records do not provide
any additional information since the medical note indicates
Plaintiff had dried blood on his thumb that appeared to be
from a different injury. (Comp., p. 9). However, there is no
indication of a specific, current injury in the record.
complaint is therefore dismissed for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. . If Plaintiff believes
he can clarify his allegation and state a constitutional
violation, he may file an amended complaint within 21 days.
The amended complaint must stand complete on its own, must
not make reference to the previous complaint, and must
include all claims against all Defendants. Plaintiff must
identify the specific individuals involved, provide a
description of the force used, and indicate any specific
injury. If Plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint or
fails to allege a constitutional violation, his case will be
dismissed with prejudice.
has also filed a motion for appointment of counsel. .
Plaintiff has no constitutional right to the appointment of
counsel. 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 Plaintiff's motion, the Court must ask two
questions: “(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
(7th Cir. 2007), citing Farmer v. Haas,
990 F.2d 319, 322 (7th Cir. 1993).
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. . Plaintiff may renew his
motion if he clarifies his intended claim.
1) The Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed for failure to
state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. Section 1915A.
2) If Plaintiff believes he can articulate a violation of his
constitutional rights, he may file a proposed amended
complaint in compliance with this order within 21 days or on
or before January 3, 2020. If Plaintiff fails to file an
amended complaint or fails to allege a constitutional
violation, his case will be dismissed with prejudice.
3) Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel is
denied with leave to renew after Plaintiff ...