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Taylor v. Karimi

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 16, 2019

KENNADO K. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
KARIMI, Medical Director, ANGELA COWELL, LCSW, JANE DOE, Nurse, JOHN DOE 1, Staff II, JOHN DOE 2, STA 1 Staff, LORI DAMMERMANN, and DIRECTOR OF CHESTER MENTAL HEALTH CENTER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Kennado K. Taylor, an apparent pretrial detainee currently housed at Chester Mental Health Center (“Chester”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief (Doc. 1).

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court 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 requests 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).

         Along with the Complaint, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP Motion”) (Doc. 2). Before screening the Complaint, the Court must first address Plaintiff's eligibility for IFP status. 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a).

         IFP Motion

         Plaintiff seeks permission to proceed without prepaying the full $400 filing fee for this action. 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). Under Section 1915, a federal court may permit a prisoner who is indigent to bring a “suit, action or proceeding, civil or criminal, ” without prepayment of fees upon presentation of an affidavit stating the prisoner's assets together with “the nature of the action . . . and affiant's belief that the person is entitled to redress.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Based on the information presented in the IFP motion, it appears Plaintiff is indigent (Doc. 2).

         However, Plaintiff is barred from proceeding IFP under Section 1915(g), which prohibits a prisoner from bringing a civil action or appealing a civil judgment IFP, “if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.” See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Before filing this action, Plaintiff had more than three cases dismissed on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious, or failed to state a claim. See Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-2347 (N.D. Ill. dismissed June 2, 2017); Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-2348 (N.D. Ill. dismissed June 2, 2017); Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-2349 (N.D. Ill. dismissed June 5, 2017); Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv- 5537 (N.D. Ill. dismissed Sept. 22, 2017); Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-6001 (N.D. Ill. dismissed Sept. 22, 2017). Because Plaintiff has “struck out” under Section 1915(g), he cannot proceed IFP unless he is under imminent danger of serious physical injury. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). “[I]mminent danger” within the meaning of § 1915(g) requires a “real and proximate” threat of serious physical injury to a prisoner. Ciarpaglini v. Saini, 352 F.3d 328, 330 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing Lewis v. Sullivan, 279 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2002)).

         Plaintiff claims he is not receiving treatment for his mental illnesses and that his mental health is deteriorating which affects his daily activities and his ability to function. He alleges he is being given a medication that causes numerous serious physical symptoms, worsening depression, and increased thoughts of suicide. He further alleges the conditions at Chester are so bad that he will kill himself. These allegations sufficiently invoke the “imminent danger” exception to the “three strikes” rule. Accordingly, Plaintiff's IFP Motion will be granted and the initial partial filing fee and payment scheme will be set forth in a separate order.

         The Court further notes that in the Complaint, Plaintiff indicates he has filed previous lawsuits in federal court but does not have copies of the dockets or the case numbers to provide a list. However, although he is clearly aware, he failed to advise the Court that he has received over three strikes under Section 1915(g). In a previous civil case Plaintiff filed in this Court this year, he not only disclosed that he had three strikes, but the Court also informed Plaintiff that he has had five strikes and provided him a list of the cases. Taylor v. Dammerann, No. 19-cv-00497 (S.D. Ill. May 15, 2019) (Doc. 4-order dismissing IFP motion). Plaintiff is therefore WARNED that any future failure to disclose his litigation history or provide the Court with misrepresentations or fraudulent information, particularly when he seeks to proceed IFP, may result in sanctions, including fines and immediate dismissal of the suit. Hoskins v. Dart, 633 F.3d 541, 543 (7th Cir. 2011) (dismissal with prejudice appropriate where Court-issued complaint form clearly warned Plaintiff that failure to provide litigation history would result in dismissal); Ammons v. Gerlinger, 547 F.3d 724, 725 (7th Cir. 2008) (termination of suit is an appropriate sanction for struck-out prisoner who took advantage of court's oversight and was granted leave to proceed IFP); Sloan v. Lesza, 181 F.3d 857, 858-59 (7th Cir. 1999) (litigant who sought and obtained leave to proceed IFP without disclosing his three-strike status committed a fraud upon the court).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations in his Complaint: Dr. Karimi is aware that Plaintiff is allergic to Haloperidol but continues to give him the medication. Dr. Karimi told Plaintiff that if he does not take the fitness test and return to county jail, he will continue to order the medication. Plaintiff believes Dr. Karimi is trying to kill him. Jane Doe Nurse gave Plaintiff the medication and put him in a room with no video camera. The medication caused his body to lock up, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain, choking sensations, facial swelling, a rash, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and stomach pain. He also had confusion, panic attacks, worsening depression, and increased thoughts of suicide.

         There is abuse and neglect at Chester. Dr. Karimi told Plaintiff he will place him somewhere that he will be killed. He is not receiving treatment for his mental illnesses and his mental health is deteriorating which affects his daily activities and his ability to function. Jane Doe Nurse denied him medical treatment. Staff and Jane Doe will cover it up when Dr. Karimi kills him. Dr. Karimi, Cowell, and Dammermann are retaliating against him. Plaintiff has informed Dr. Karimi, Cowell, and Dammermann that he will kill himself if the current circumstances continue. Plaintiff asks to be transferred from Chester.

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court designates the following Counts:

Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment deliberate indifference to a serious medical need claim against Dr. Karimi for giving Plaintiff a medication that caused physical and mental harm.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment deliberate indifference to a serious medical need claim against Dr. Karimi, Cowell, Jane Doe (Nurse), and Dammermann for disregarding Plaintiff's ...

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