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McDavid v. Corizon, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

October 23, 2014

KENNETH R. McDAVID, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON, INC., GRAHAM BROOKS, JOSEPH LOLIT, CONNIE ALLEN, MELISSA TUCKER, THOMAS NATOLI, KATASHA THOMAS, JENNIFER BRISEN, PUTNAMVILLE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendants.

ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

I. Screening

Plaintiff Kenneth R. McDavid filed a complaint on September 4, 2014, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated by the defendants when they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Because McDavid is a "prisoner" as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h), this Court has an obligation under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A to screen his complaint before service on the defendants, and must dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. In determining whether the complaint states a claim, the court applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). 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). To state a claim upon which relief can be granted, "[f]actual allegations [in a complaint] must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007). Pro se complaints such as that filed by McDavid are construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 491 n. 2 (7th Cir. 2008).

McDavid brings this civil rights complaint against the following defendants: 1) Corizon Health Services, Inc. (Corizon); 2) Graham Brooks; 3) Joseph Lolit; 4) Connie Allen; 5) Melissa Tucker; 6) Thomas Natoli; 7) Katasha Thomas; 8) Jennifer Brisen; and 9) Putnamville Correctional Facility.

McDavid's claims are brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. A cause of action is provided by § 1983 against "[e]very person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory, ... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States. Section 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights; instead, it is a means for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989) (citing Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3 (1979)). The initial step in any § 1983 analysis is to identify the specific constitutional right which was allegedly violated. Id. at 394; Kernats v. O'Sullivan, 35 F.3d 1171, 1175 (7th Cir. 1994); see also Gossmeyer v. McDonald, 128 F.3d 481, 489-90 (7th Cir. 1997). Here, McDavid alleges violations of his rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. He seeks monetary relief and injunctive relief.

II. Insufficient Claims

A.

McDavid alleges that his rights were violated under the First Amendment. However, he does not allege any facts that support a claim under the First Amendment. Therefore, any claims under the First Amendment are dismissed for failure to state a claim.

B.

In his complaint, McDavid names the Putnamville Correctional Facility as a defendant. To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). The Putnamville Correctional Facility is not a person subject to suit pursuant to § 1983. Will v. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 70 (1989); Sow v. Fortville Police Dept., 636 F.3d 293, 300 (7th 2011). Accordingly, the Putnamville Correctional Facility is dismissed as a defendant in this action.

C.

McDavid alleges that Graham Brooks allowed his property to be stolen while he was receiving care at Corizon. The Fourteenth Amendment provides that state officials shall not "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, " but a state tort claims act that provides a method by which a person can seek reimbursement for the negligent loss or intentional deprivation of property meets the requirements of the due process clause by providing due process of law. Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984) ("For intentional, as for negligent deprivations of ...


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