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Grund v. Indiana Department of Correction

United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division

August 11, 2014

SUSAN GRUND, Plaintiff,
v.
INDIANA DEPARTMENT of CORRECTION, et al., Defendants.

ENTRY DISCUSSING AMENDED COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT CLAIMS AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge United States District Court

I. Background

Plaintiff Susan Grund is an inmate currently confined at the Indiana Women’s Prison. The amended complaint, filed on November 19, 2013, and pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, lists numerous allegations of misconduct and unlawful prison conditions occurring from 2006 through October of 2013, while she was incarcerated at the Rockville Correctional Facility (“RCF”) and the Indiana Women’s Prison (“IWP”). She names the following defendants: 1) the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC”); 2) Bruce Lemmon, Commissioner of the IDOC; 3) Craig Hanks, Acting Executive Director; 4) Julie Stout, Superintendent, RCF; 5) Steve McCauley, Superintendent, IWP; 6) Lashelle Turner, Assistant Superintendent, IWP; 7) Sandra Beecher, Case Manager, IWP; 8) Genavea McPhearson, Sergeant, IWP; 9) Stephanie Whitfield, Correctional Officer, IWP; 10) Frank Bryan, Correctional Officer, IWP; 11) Shannon Vaughn; 12) Dr. Amanda Bartles, Physician, Corizon Health Services; and 13) Julie Murphy, Health Case Administrator, Corizon Health Services.[1] She sues the defendants in their official and individual capacities. Grund seeks money damages and a declaratory judgment that the defendants’ alleged wrongful conduct violated the United States Constitution and the Indiana Constitution. She also seeks injunctive relief.

II. Screening

A. The Legal Standard

Because Grund is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h), the Court must screen her amended complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Pursuant to this statute, “[a] complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the allegations, taken as true, show that plaintiff is not entitled to relief.” Jones v. Bock, 127 S.Ct. 910, 921 (2007). A complaint falls within this category if it “alleg[es] facts that show there is no viable claim.” Pugh v. Tribune Co., 521 F.3d 686, 699 (7th Cir. 2008).

To survive dismissal under federal pleadings standards,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Merely alleging legal theories without supporting factual allegations is not sufficient. Id. (“A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s] devoid of further factual enhancement.) (internal quotations omitted).

Grund is suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the defendants deprived her of due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment because they were deliberately indifferent to the conditions of her confinement and her serious medical needs. Although Grund brings her claims pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment, because she has been convicted of a crime, her § 1983 claims are analyzed under the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause.[2]

B. Claims

Grund bring the following claims:

Count I – Grund alleges that defendants Bruce Lemmon and Steve McCauley were deliberately indifferent to the unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the IWP.
Count II – Grund alleges that defendants Bruce Lemmon and Julie Stout were deliberately indifferent to the unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the RCF, and that such ...

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