United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
RANDALL K. VAN CLEAVE, Plaintiff,
BRUCE LEMMON, et al., Defendants.
ENTRY DISCUSSING COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT CLAIMS, AND SEVERANCE OF CLAIMS
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.
The plaintiff, Randall K. Van Cleave ("Mr. Van Cleave"), is incarcerated at the New Castle Correctional Facility. He brings this civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he has been denied adequate medical care. He has named 27 defendants, including employees of three different prisons and several John Doe defendants. He sues the defendants in their individual and official capacities. He seeks compensatory damages and injunctive relief.
Mr. Van Cleave has paid the initial partial filing fee. The complaint is now subject to the screening required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). This statute directs that the Court dismiss a complaint or any claim within a complaint that "(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." Id. "A complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the allegations, taken as true, show the plaintiff is not entitled to relief." Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007).
II. Dismissal of Certain Claims
Claims against all unknown John Doe defendants are dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because "it is pointless to include [an] anonymous defendant [ ] in federal court; this type of placeholder does not open the door to relation back under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15, nor can it otherwise help the plaintiff." Wudtke v. Davel, 128 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 1997) (internal citations omitted). Bringing suit against unnamed, or "John Doe, " defendants in federal court is generally disfavored by the Seventh Circuit. If through discovery, Mr. Van Cleave is able to learn the name of the unknown defendants, he may seek leave to add a claim against them.
Section 1983 liability requires a defendant's personal involvement in the alleged constitutional violation. Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 637 (7th Cir. 2012). No allegations of wrongdoing in relation to Mr. Van Cleave's medical care are alleged against state-wide defendants Commissioner Lemmon and GEO Group, or against the Superintendent of Putnamville. Therefore, these defendants, Commissioner Lemmon, GEO Group, and the Superintendent of Putnamville shall be dismissed from the action before any cases are severed.
Defendants Commissioner Lemmon, GEO Group, all John Does, and the Superintendent of Putnamville shall be terminated from the docket. No partial final judgment shall issue as to the dismissal of these claims.
III. Claims Asserted
The circumstances alleged by Mr. Van Cleave occurred between June 22, 2011, and the date he signed his complaint, January 18, 2014. As noted, he asserts claims against numerous defendants employed at the Reception Diagnostic Center ("RDC"), Putnamville Correctional Facility ("Putnamville"), and New Castle Correctional Facility ("New Castle"), along with some statewide defendants. The Court has grouped the remaining defendants as follows:
RDC Group - 1) RDC Superintendent, and 2) Dr. Jill Gallien,
Putnamville Group - 3) Dr. Paul J. O'Brien, 4) Nurse Nicole Webster, 5) Nurse Practitioner Barnes, 6) Dr. Naveen Rajoli,
New Castle Group - 7) Warden Keith Butts, 8) Superintendent F. Zenk, 9) Health Care Unit Administrator Robert Burns, 10) Dr. Christopher Nelson, 11) Nurse Brad Owens, 12) Dr. Michael Person, 13) Becky Joiner, 14) M.H.P. Therapist Chris Hufford, 15) Nurse ...