Carter v. Cook County Department of Corrections et al
MEMORANDUM Order: For the reasons stated in this memorandum order, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, is ordered to file an appropriate response updating the posture of Carter's appeal following the Ex. 3 response. That should be done promptly, because this action is currently set for a next status hearing at 8:45 a.m. May 8, 2017. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 4/12/2017:Mailed notice(clw, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
CORRIE TRAVAIL CARTER,
COOK COUNTY DEPARTMENT
OF CORRECTIONS, et al.,
Case No: 16 C 4417
Throughout its tenure of something over 3-1/2 decades as a District Judge, this Court has
always sought to be mindful of and attentive to the difficulties faced by nonlawyers in attempting
to cope with the problem of self-representation in federal litigation. That has particularly been
the case in treating with actions brought by pro se prisoner plaintiffs, beginning long before the
current situation in which a substantial number of staff attorneys have taken on the responsibility
for assisting such litigants. In consequence this Court is confident that it has consistently
designated counsel to act for such plaintiffs in a substantially higher percentage of cases than its
Regrettably those efforts have sometimes met with less than total success, particularly
where a pro se plaintiff has had a history involving multiple earlier lawsuits. That is the case
with plaintiff Corrie Travail Carter ("Carter"), as to whom two attachments -- the motion to
withdraw filed by the attorney designated as his counsel in this action (Ex. 1, Dkt. No. 38) and an
attached memorandum from one of the staff attorneys (Ex. 2) reflect. Now Carter has tendered a
hand-printed statement dated March 15 and received in the Clerk's Office on April 7,
accompanied by a group of photocopies of Inmate Grievance Forms that he submitted over the
space of more than a year relating to the claim at issue in this action (Dkt. No. 47 comprises
What that most recent submission reveals is that despite Carter's numerous grievances
and the lack of resolution of his claim of being deprived of the opportunity to participate in
Muslim religious services, it was not until February 2 of this year that Carter took the step of
taking an appeal -- a step that is necessary to satisfy the 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) requirement of
exhaustion of administrative remedies that is a precondition to filing a lawsuit. According to that
appeal form, the designated administrator at the County Jail responded by stating:
This is forwarded to Religious Services for review and/or action if warranted.
That response was followed by the attached February 22 response from the Religious Services
Department (Ex. 3).
This Court is transmitting a copy of this memorandum order to the Cook County State's
Attorney's Office, which is ordered to file an appropriate response updating the posture of
Carter's appeal following the Ex. 3 response. That should be done promptly, because this action
is currently set for a next status hearing at 8:45 a.m. May 8, 2017.
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: April 12, 2017
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