Canady v. USP Marion et al
ORDER DISMISSING without prejudice 1 Complaint filed by Raevaughn Canady. Amended Pleadings due by 6/7/2022. Signed by Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel on 5/10/2022. (anp)
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
USP MARION and FEDERAL
BUREAU of PRISONS,
Case No. 21-cv-1537-NJR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSENSTENGEL, Chief Judge:
Plaintiff Raevaughn Canady, an inmate of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”)
who is currently incarcerated at U.S. Penitentiary-Marion (“USP–Marion”), brings this
action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown
Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). In the Complaint, Canady alleges medical malpractice,
negligence, and deliberate indifference during the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, he
alleges that he was housed in an overcrowded cell during the pandemic which could turn
his 21-month sentence into a “death sentence” (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2). He seeks monetary
damages and injunctive relief.
This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section 1915A, the Court is required 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
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relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a defendant who by law is
immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Canady makes the following allegations: Canady was
sentenced to 21-months’ imprisonment and, on June 3, 2021, he self-surrendered to USPMarion (Id. at p. 1). On August 26, 2021, he was placed in G unit, a quarantine unit.
Although the cells are designed for one man, he was placed in the cell with another
inmate and had to sleep on the floor. On September 8, 2021, he was moved to general
population and placed in L unit, Cell 123, in a three-man cell. His fear of contracting
Covid-19 grew due to being in close proximity to other inmates (Id. at pp. 1-2). Canady
alleges that three-man cells are no longer permissible in the BOP and are especially
dangerous due to the Covid-19 pandemic (Id. at p. 2). Canady maintains that USP-Marion
is acting with deliberate indifference by continuing to house inmates in three-man cells
as opposed to two. Canady also alleges that USP-Marion has admitted disregarding
personal protection equipment (“PPE”) protocols, Center for Disease Control guidelines,
and federal law. Canady alleges that he suffers from high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, obesity, and respiratory problems, and he has a stint in his heart. He is also
at risk of a stroke and/or heart attack and fears that contracting Covid-19 could be a death
sentence (Id.). Canady maintains he signed a 21-month plea deal, but USP-Marion will
make his sentence a “death sentence” if he continues to be housed in a three-man cell and
contracts Covid-19 (Id.).
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There are a number of issues with Canady’s Complaint. He seeks damages and
injunctive relief for what he labels as “medical malpractice, medical negligence, and
deliberate difference in violation of the Eighth Amendment,” but his factual allegations
indicate a claim of conditions of confinement (Doc. 1, p. 1). He alleges that the number of
inmates in a single cell put him at risk of contracting Covid-19. He also cites to the Fifth,
Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments as a basis for his claims, but he does not further
explain what claims could be raised under those Amendments. Further, the Court cannot
discern whether Canady is pursuing a claim for denial of medical care related to his
exposure to Covid-19 or a claim for unconstitutional living conditions based on his small
cell, or both. The allegations are simply too vague and ambiguous given that he alleges
medical malpractice but only describes conditions of his cell.
The distinction as to the nature of his claim is an important one. In Ziglar v. Abbasi,
137 S.Ct. 1843 (2017), the Supreme Court explained that federal courts should not expand
a remedy under Bivens into contexts not already officially recognized by the Supreme
Court, unless certain “special factors” counsel otherwise. Ziglar, 137 S.Ct. at 1859-60. The
Court cited three instances in which a Bivens remedy has been recognized against federal
officials: (1) Fourth Amendment claims involving unlawful searches and seizures;
(2) Fifth Amendment due process claims involving gender discrimination; and (3) Eighth
Amendment claims for inadequate medical treatment. Id. at 1854-55 (citations omitted).
In a case such as Canady’s, a claim against federal officials for money damages arising
from the denial of medical care for Covid-19 would most likely proceed post-Abbasi, but
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a claim against federal agents for money damages based on unconstitutional living
conditions may represent an expansion of the Bivens remedy that is not authorized postAbbasi, unless special factors counsel otherwise. Without basic factual allegations
describing the exact nature of Canady’s claim, the Court simply cannot tell whether his
claim can proceed.
Further, Canady cannot state a claim against USP-Marion or the BOP for money
damages. These defendants are not individual federal agents, and Bivens only offers a
damages remedy for certain constitutional violations against individual officers.
Correctional Servs. Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 71 (2001). This damages remedy does not
extend to the employer of individual federal agents. Id. at 71-72 & n.2; F.D.I.C. v. Meyer,
510 U.S. 471, 486 (1994) (“An extension of Bivens to agencies of the Federal Government
is not supported by the logic of Bivens itself.”). Thus, he cannot seek monetary damages
from either the prison or BOP. To the extent he seeks injunctive relief, however, the
Supreme Court has allowed an equitable action for such relief against a federal agency to
proceed in Bowen v. Massachusetts, 487 U.S. 879, 893 (1988). Thus, the BOP could be a
proper party for injunctive relief, but at this time Canady does not state a viable claim to
proceed. It is not clear whether Canady suffered from a serious medical condition and
any individual acted with deliberate indifference. Nor does he describe the specifics of
his cell, including the exact dimensions or whether the cell included plumbing and
furniture that would reduce the size. He also does not indicate that he informed any
individual official about the conditions he faced and whether they acted with deliberate
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Accordingly, the Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice. Canady will have
an opportunity to file a First Amended Complaint if he wishes to pursue his claims. If he
chooses to do so, Canady must comply with the instructions and deadlines set forth
For the reasons stated above, Canady’s Complaint (Doc. 1) is DISMISSED
without prejudice. He is GRANTED leave to file a “First Amended Complaint” on or
before June 7, 2022. Should he fail to file his First Amended Complaint within the allotted
time or consistent with the instructions set forth in this Order, the entire case shall be
dismissed with prejudice for failure to comply with a court order and/or for failure to
prosecute his claims. Fed. R. App. P. 41(b). See generally Ladien v. Astrachan, 128 F.3d 1051
(7th Cir. 1997); Johnson v. Kamminga, 34 F.3d 466 (7th Cir. 1994); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The
dismissal shall count as one of Canady’s three allotted “strikes” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
An amended complaint supersedes and replaces the original complaint, rendering
the original complaint void. See Flannery v. Recording Indus. Ass’n of Am., 354 F.3d 632, 638
n. 1 (7th Cir. 2004). The Court will not accept piecemeal amendments to the original
Complaint. Thus, the First Amended Complaint must stand on its own, without reference
to any previous pleading, and Canady must re-file any exhibits he wishes the Court to
consider along with the First Amended Complaint. The First Amended Complaint is
subject to review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Canady is further ADVISED that his obligation to pay the filing fee for this action
was incurred at the time the action was filed, thus the filing fee remains due and payable,
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regardless of whether he elects to file a First Amended Complaint. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1); Lucien v. Jockisch, 133 F.3d 464, 467 (7th Cir. 1998).
Finally, Canady is ADVISED that he is under a continuing obligation to keep the
Clerk of Court and each opposing party 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 seven 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. 41(b).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: May 10, 2022
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL
Chief U.S. District Judge
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