Nunley v. Menard Correctional Center
ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action will be dismissed unless a complaint is filed by November 4, 2019. Further, with the filing of a complaint, the full filing fee of $400.00 must be paid or a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP motion") filed along with a certified copy of a Trust Fund Statement for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of this action. Failure to do so will result in dismissal of this action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). To enable Nunley to comply with this Order, the Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to provide him with both a complaint form appropriate to a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action and a blank form IFP motion. Signed by Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel on 10/8/2019. (ksp)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
MENARD CORRECTIONAL CENTER,
Case No. 19-cv-01085-NJR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSENSTENGEL, Chief Judge:
Rodger Nunley is an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections who is currently
incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”). (Doc. 1). Nunley wrote a letter to one of
the Judges in the United States District Court, Central District of Illinois (CDIL), complaining
about a lack of medical treatment that he has experienced at Menard. (Id.). Out of an abundance
of caution, the CDIL construed Nunley’s letter as his intent to file a lawsuit, opened a case on his
behalf, and transferred the case to this Court because Menard is located in this judicial district.
(Doc. 3). This matter is now before the Court for case management following transfer.
It is not clear whether Nunley intended to file a lawsuit when he submitted his letter to the
CDIL. Even if he did so intend, this action has not been properly initiated. “A civil action is
commenced by filing a complaint with the court.” FED. R. CIV. P. 3. No complaint has been filed,
and the instant filing cannot be considered an adequate complaint. First, the filing does not name
a party who is capable of being sued in a Section 1983 action for alleged violations of constitutional
rights. The only named defendant is Menard, which is a division of the Illinois Department of
Corrections, a state government agency not subject to suit under Section 1983. Will v. Mich. Dep’t
of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989) (“neither a State nor its officials acting in their official
capacities are ‘persons’ under § 1983”). Further, the filing fails to include a specific request for
relief. Rule 8(a)(3) requires “[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a demand
for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief.” FED.
R. CIV. P. 8. Instead, the letter seeks the Court’s “help” and asks “what do I do” with regard to
alleged violations of Nunley’s constitutional rights. While pro se litigants are not held to the same
standards as licensed attorneys, they are not entitled to general dispensation from the rules of
procedure. See Jones v. Phipps, 39 F.3d 158, 163 (7th Cir. 1994). Additionally, a party initiating
civil litigation is required to either pay the filing fee or file a motion requesting in forma pauperis
status. Nunley has done neither.
Furthermore, even if this case had been properly initiated, it would not survive review
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner complaints to filter out
nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). 28 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a cause of action based
on personal liability and predicated upon fault. Pepper v. Village of Oak Park, 430 F.3d 805, 810
(7th Cir. 2005). To state a claim against a defendant, a plaintiff must describe what the defendant
did or failed to do that violated the plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d
555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995). A successful complaint generally alleges “the who, what, when, where,
and how ....” DiLeo v. Ernst & Young, 901 F.2d 624, 627 (7th Cir. 1990). Nunley does not identify
any individuals that have denied him medical treatment or describe what medical treatment he has
requested that has been denied.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action will be dismissed unless a
complaint is filed by November 4, 2019. Further, with the filing of a complaint, the full filing fee
of $400.00 must be paid or a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP motion”) filed
along with a certified copy of a Trust Fund Statement for the 6-month period immediately
preceding the filing of this action. Failure to do so will result in dismissal of this action under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). To enable Nunley to comply with this Order, the Clerk of
Court is DIRECTED to provide him with both a complaint form appropriate to a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action and a blank form IFP motion.
Finally, Nunley is ADVISED that he is under a continuing obligation to keep the Clerk of
Court informed of any change in his address; the Court will not independently investigate his
whereabouts. This shall be done in writing and not later than 7 days after a transfer or other change
in address occurs. Failure to comply with this order will cause a delay in the transmission of court
documents and may result in dismissal of this action for want of prosecution. See FED. R. CIV. P.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: October 8, 2019
s/ Nancy J. Rosenstengel
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL
Chief U.S. District Judge
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