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Key v. Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

March 19, 2015

EARL KEY, Plaintiff,
v.
INDIANA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BLOOMINGTON HOSPITAL, et al., Defendants.

ENTRY DISCUSSING PENDING MOTIONS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

Earl Key, a resident of Illinois, brings a medley of federal and state claims in this actions. The defendants have appeared, in one instance filing an answer and in all cases filing a motion to dismiss. Those motions are fully briefed and are resolved through this Entry. This Entry is structured to (1) identify the parties and the claims, (2) identify the legal standards applicable to the defendants' motions, (3) analyze the plaintiff's federal claims in light of the defendants' challenges to them, and (4) analyze the plaintiff's pendent state claims, if warranted, and deal with any remaining matters.

I. The Parties and the Claims

Earl Key is a resident of Illinois and filed this action on June 18, 2014. The operative complaint is the amended complaint filed on September 11, 2014. The defendants are the following:

As referred to in this Entry, "Key" refers to the plaintiff, Earl Key, "I.U. Hospital" refers to Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital, "APS" refers to Adult Protective Services, "Jones" refers to April Jones, "Parkview" refers to Parkview Nursing Center in Muncie, Indiana, "Parkview defendants" refers to Penny Shenefield, Laura Johnson, Ian Bissonnette, Melissa Ward, Extendicare Health Services, Inc., and Timothy L. Lukenda, "Extendicare" refers to Extendicare Health Services, Inc., "ADA" refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132 et seq., "State defendants" referes to Judge G. Thomas Gray and court-appointed guardian Lumar Griggs, and "RICO" refers to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.

An overview of allegations from the amended complaint is this: Key claims that he is the target and victim of misconduct by the defendants. Key has a longstanding relationship with April Jones, who suffers from Huntington's disease. Huntington's Disease is an inherited brain disorder and is considered a major neurocognitive disorder. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, meaning that it causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.

Cindy Jones and Wendy Scott gained access to Jones' apartment on January 4, 2011 and January 10, 2011. They visited until told to leave, which they did. On January 18, 2011, APS presented a petition to Morgan County Judge Gray alleging that Jones was an endangered adult. Judge Gray granted the petition on the same day. On January 19, 2011, Jones was seized from her apartment by APS employees and two officers of the Martinsville, Indiana Police Department. Jones was forced to leave her apartment, and on that same day an emergency hearing was held. Jones was present, although she was not represented by counsel and there were other irregularities in the proceeding. Pursuant to a court order, Jones was transported to a psychiatric facility at I.U. Hospital. She was medicated and she remained at I.U. Hospital until January 26, 2011, at which time she was transported to Parkview. On March 15, 2011, Lumar Griggs was made permanent legal guardian of Jones by the Morgan Superior Court in No 55D01-0804-GU-029. This occurred at a hearing before Judge Gray. Key was present. Jones was present both in person and with her attorney. The temporary guardianship, which had been issued on February 15, 2011, continued.

Jones remains at Parkview. She remains medicated in various respects, most of which Key believes to be improper and unwarranted. Key has protested the medication matter to Griggs, but without success. Key visits with Jones frequently, continuing what he describes as "long-term involvement in Ms. Jones' life." Key has apparently even more frequently clashed with staff at Parkview concerning the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities to care for Jones and on other matters.

On August 1, 2011, Key brought an action in this Court for habeas corpus relief on behalf of Jones. This action was docketed as No. 1:11-cv-1034-TWP-DML and was dismissed on April 5, 2012 for lack of jurisdiction. That disposition is being challenged and proceedings in the appeal, docketed as No.12-02094, are ongoing. It was found in Judge Pratt's Order Following Limited Remand that Jones exhibits typical manifestations of Huntington's disease, including repetitive involuntary movements of her head, back, and limbs, a significant speech impediment, progressive cognitive decline, complete incontinence, dementia, the inability to make and carry out daily plans without assistance from staff, difficulties with learning and memory, and difficulties with similar functions such as organizational abilities. The most recent order in the pending appeal, according to PACER records, was issued on March 10, 2015 and directs Key to show cause by May 11, 2015, why the appeal should not be dismissed or the district court summarily affirmed. Steven Oliver is an attorney who represented Jones' state court-appointed guardian, Lumar Griggs, in the habeas proceeding following a limited remand from the Court of Appeals and in the Court of Appeals.

II. Legal Standards

A. General Observations

"Congress has conferred subject matter jurisdiction on the district courts only in cases that raise a federal question and cases in which there is diversity of citizenship among the parties." Smart v. Local 702 Intern. Broth. of Elec. Workers, 562 F.3d 798, 802 (7th Cir. 2009).

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal district courts have original jurisdiction over "all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." "A case arises under' federal law either where federal law creates the cause of action or where the vindication of a right under state law necessarily turn[s] on some construction of federal law.'"

District courts also possess diversity jurisdiction. Diversity jurisdiction exists where the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 and the cause of action is between citizens of different states. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). In federal law citizenship means domicile, not residence." America's Best, 980 F.2d at 1074 (citing Gilbert v. David, 235 U.S. 561 (1915)). As the party seeking to invoke federal diversity jurisdiction, Key bears the burden of demonstrating that the requirement of complete diversity has been met. Chase v. Shop N Save Warehouse Foods, Inc., 110 F.3d 424, 427 (7th Cir. 1997). Key has invoked the court's diversity jurisdiction as to claims not proceeding under § 1331.

Many claims in this action are based on what the defendants' allegedly did to Jones. Largely because of the doctrine of standing, Key is quite limited in his ability to assert claims based on what the defendants (or others) allegedly did to Jones.

The jurisdiction of federal courts is limited by Article III of the Constitution to "Cases" and "Controversies." U.S. Const. art. III, § 2. No "Case" or "Controversy" exists if the plaintiff lacks standing to challenge the defendant's alleged misconduct. The plaintiff ...

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