Bell v. Cook County Municipality et al
Supplement to Memorandum Order:Plaintiff's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis 3 denied as moot. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 10/18/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
JULIAN A. BELL,
COOK COUNTY MUNICIPALITY, et al.,
Case No. 16 C 8030
SUPPLEMENT TO MEMORANDUM ORDER
This Court's October 13 memorandum order dismissed both the Complaint and this
action initiated by pro se plaintiff Julian Bell ("Bell") because of his continuing failure "to
address a number of matters that require early attention," a subject first broached in this Court's
August 18, 2016 memorandum order ("Order I"). When Bell's Complaint and related papers had
been received in the Clerk's Office on August 10, 2016 he was in custody at Stateville
Correctional Center, although Note C attached to his Complaint stated "I leave this prison
8-13-2016." Unfortunately Bell furnished no other information as to where he could be reached
after that release, so that Order I (which it will be remember was issued on August 18) had to
conclude with this paragraph:
With all of the problems identified here being incapable of handling until Bell
chooses to communicate with this District Court, all that this Court can do is to
have this memorandum order docketed. If nothing further is heard from Bell on
or before August 29, this action will be dismissed without prejudice.
Bell then submitted a brief "Note: to the Court and Clerk of the Court" (prepared by him
on August 27 and received in the Clerk's Office on August 31) that belatedly provided a P.O.
Box No. as his current mailing address. Again unfortunately, the Clerk's Office compounded
Bell's error by adding one of its own -- it failed to take cognizance of the new mailing address.
Hence this Court had to issue its Order III on September 23 that concluded "by ordering him to
file a response curing those deficiencies on or before October 10, failing which this Court would
be constrained to dismiss Bell's Complaint and this action for want of prosecution."
It was Bell's failure, despite that warning, to file anything at all in response to the
deficiencies that this Court had spelled out for him that led to this action's October 13 dismissal
for want of prosecution. But this Court's subsequent (and final) review of the file has reminded
it that Bell had originally tendered, along with his Complaint, two other Clerk's-Office-supplied
documents: an In Forma Pauperis Application ("Application," Dkt. No. 3) and a Motion for
Attorney Representation ("Motion," Dkt. No. 4). Because those two entries remain open on the
case docket, this supplement to the October 13 memorandum order addresses them.
As for the Motion, it is of course rendered moot by the dismissal of this action, and this
Court so orders. But as to the Application, Bell's and this Court's respective responsibilities
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 ("Section 1915") would normally call for a calculation of Bell's ongoing
obligation to pay the filing fee in installments. But with Bell having been released from custody
just a few days after this action was filed, so that the Section-1915-mandated pattern of payments
out of his prison trust fund account cannot be employed, the result would be that Bell would now
be saddled with an obligation to pay the full filing fee out of his own assets whenever he could
be pursued for such payment.
That result would scarcely seem just, considering the fact that if Bell had brought this
action only a few days later (remember that his Complaint Note C said "I leave this prison
8-13-2016") he would have qualified for full-fledged in forma pauperis treatment, and his
payment of the filing fee would not have been required to begin with. Under the circumstances,
this Court will not wreak undue hardship on Bell, and the Application (like the Motion) is also
denied as moot.
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: October 18, 2016
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?