Timms v. Western Illinois Correctional Center
Plaintiff: Anthony Timms
Defendant: Western Illinois Correctional Center and Justin Hammers
Case Number: 3:2020cv03257
Filed: September 29, 2020
Court: US District Court for the Central District of Illinois
Presiding Judge: Colin Stirling Bruce
Nature of Suit: Prisoner Petitions - Prison Conditions
Cause of Action: 42:1983
Jury Demanded By: None
Docket Report

This docket was last retrieved on November 19, 2020. A more recent docket listing may be available from PACER.

Date Filed Document Text
November 19, 2020 Prisoner Initial Partial Filing Fee received 11/19/2020, in the amount of $ 16.00; receipt number 14626039079 (SAG, ilcd)
November 10, 2020 Opinion or Order TEXT ORDER entered by Judge Colin Stirling Bruce on 11/10/2020. Plaintiff's motion to request counsel #11 is DENIED. The Court does not possess the authority to require an attorney to accept pro bono appointments on civil cases such as this. Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 653 (7th Cir. 2007). The most that the Court can do is to ask for volunteer counsel. Jackson v. County of McLean, 953 F.2d 1070, 1071 (7th Cir. 1992) (holding that it is a "fundamental premise that indigent civil litigants have no constitutional or statutory right to be represented by counsel in federal court."). In determining whether the Court should attempt to find an attorney to voluntarily take a case, "the question is whether the difficulty of the case-factually and legally-exceeds the particular plaintiff's capacity as a layperson to coherently present it to the judge or jury himself.... The question is whether the plaintiff appears competent to litigate his own claims, given their degree of difficulty, and this includes the tasks that normally attend litigation: evidence gathering, preparing and responding to motions and other court filings, and trial." Pruitt, 503 F.3d at 655 (emphasis in original). In other words, this inquiry is an individualized one based upon the record as a whole, the nature of the claims, and the plaintiff's ability to pursue his claims through all phases of the case, including discovery and trial. Navejar v. Iyioloa, 718 F.3d 692, 696 (7th Cir. 2013). As the Seventh Circuit has acknowledged, "[a]lmost everyone would benefit from having a lawyer, but there are too many indigent litigants and too few lawyers willing and able to volunteer for these cases. DeWitt v. Corizon, Inc., 760 F.3d 654, 657 (7th Cir. 2014)(internal quotation omitted). Although the Seventh Circuit has held that appointment of counsel should occur in cases in which counsel would have made a difference in the outcome of the litigation (Santiago v. Walls, 599 F.3d 749, 465 (7th Cir. 2010)), the Seventh Circuit has also held that the test for appointment of counsel is not whether a lawyer could more effectively handle the case. Pruitt, 503 F.3d at 655. The test is whether the litigant is competent to litigate his own claims. Id. In the instant case, Plaintiff's claim has survived a merit review, and he has filed cogent pleadings with the Court. Plaintiff appears capable of writing and reading English. Furthermore, Plaintiff's claim is not so novel or complex that he cannot litigate it himself. Plaintiff has personal knowledge of the facts supporting his claim and appears capable of cross-examining Defendants regarding their version of the events. Johnson v. Doughty, 433 F.3d 1001, 1006 (7th Cir. 2006). Plaintiff appears competent to litigate this case himself at this point in the litigation, and therefore, the Court denies his motions for counsel. (KE, ilcd)
November 9, 2020 Filing 12 WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Anthony Timms. Justin Hammers waiver sent on 10/19/2020, answer due 12/18/2020. (JMB, ilcd)
November 5, 2020 Filing 11 MOTION to Request Counsel by Plaintiff Anthony Timms. Responses due by 11/19/2020 (Attachments: #1 Exhibit)(JMB, ilcd)
October 19, 2020 Filing 10 REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF SERVICE and Notice of Lawsuit sent to Justin Hammers on 10/19/2020. (KE, ilcd)
October 19, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 9 HIPAA QUALIFIED PROTECTIVE ORDER entered by Judge Colin Stirling Bruce on 10/19/2020. See written order. (KE, ilcd)
October 19, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 8 MERIT REVIEW ORDER entered by Judge Colin Stirling Bruce on 10/19/2020. Pursuant to its merit review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. Sec 1915A, the Court finds that Plaintiff's Complaint states a conditions of confinement claim in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights against Justin Hammers, who is the Warden at the Western Illinois Correctional Center. Any additional claims shall not be included in the case, except at the Court's discretion on motion by a party for good cause shown or pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15. The Clerk is directed to enter the standard qualified protective order pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The Clerk is directed dismiss the Western Illinois Correctional Center as a party Defendant, to add Warden Justin Hammers as a party Defendant, and to attempt service on Warden Justin Hammers pursuant to the Court's standard procedures. Plaintiff is reminded of his obligation to pay the initial, partial filing fee of $8.67 that the Court imposed in this case. If Plaintiff fails to pay this fee timely, the Court will dismiss this case. See written order. (KE, ilcd)
October 13, 2020 Opinion or Order TEXT ORDER granting #3 Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis entered by Judge Colin Stirling Bruce on 10/13/2020. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(b)(1), Plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee of $8.67. The agency having custody of Plaintiff is directed to forward the initial partial filing fee from Plaintiff`s account to the Clerk of Court within 30 days of this order. After payment of the initial partial filing fee (or immediately if no funds are available for that payment) the agency having custody of Plaintiff shall make monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding month`s income credited to Plaintiff`s account to the Clerk of Court. Income includes all deposits from any source, including gifts. The agency having custody of the plaintiff shall forward these payments each time Plaintiff`s account exceeds $10, until the filing fee of $350 is paid in full. Plaintiff is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the initial partial filing fee and required monthly payments are made. Failure to do so may result in dismissal of this case. The Clerk is directed to mail a copy of this order to Plaintiff`s place of confinement, to the attention of the Trust Fund Office, and to Plaintiff. Prisoner Prepayment due by 11/12/2020 (KE, ilcd)
October 13, 2020 Filing 7 +++ PRISONER TRUST FUND LEDGER by Anthony Timms. (KE, ilcd)
September 30, 2020 Opinion or Order TEXT ORDER entered by Judge Colin Stirling Bruce on 9/30/2020. Plaintiff's motion to request counsel #5 is DENIED. The Court generally will not consider recruiting counsel for a pro se plaintiff until the Court determines that he possess a claim upon which relief can be granted after the Court conducts a merit review of the complaint. Plaintiff may renew his motion if his claim survives a merit review that the Court will conduct in the near future. (KE, ilcd)
September 29, 2020 Filing 6 Letter from Clerk of the Court requesting Trust Fund Ledgers. (KE, ilcd)
September 29, 2020 Filing 5 MOTION to Request Counsel by Plaintiff Anthony Timms. Responses due by 10/13/2020 (Attachments: #1 Exhibit)(KE, ilcd)
September 29, 2020 Filing 4 +++ PRISONER TRUST FUND LEDGER by Anthony Timms. (KE, ilcd)
September 29, 2020 Filing 3 PETITION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, filed by Anthony Timms.(KE, ilcd)
September 29, 2020 Filing 2 NOTICE OF CASE OPENING. Please be advised that your case has been assigned to Judge Colin Stirling Bruce. Effective immediately, all documents should be mailed or scanned to the Urbana Division, 201 S Vine Street, Urbana, IL 61802.Merit Review Deadline set for 10/19/2020. (Attachments: #1 Notice Regarding Privacy Issues)(KE, ilcd)
September 29, 2020 Filing 1 COMPLAINT against All Defendants, filed by Anthony Timms. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit)(KE, ilcd)

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Defendant: Western Illinois Correctional Center
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Defendant: Justin Hammers
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Plaintiff: Anthony Timms
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