United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Discussing Amended Complaint and Directing Further
Oscar Rosales, an inmate at the Wabash Valley Correctional
Facility, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that the defendants have failed to properly
treat his knee, back, and neck pain and his bladder issues.
He has filed an Amended Complaint in which he alleges
violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution and the Americans with
Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Based on the
filing of the Amended Complaint, the motion to dismiss [dkt
17] is denied as moot.
claims alleged in the Amended Complaint shall proceed as
directed in this Entry.
Screening of the Complaint
Rosales is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(h), the complaint is subject to the screening
requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). 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). To survive
a motion to dismiss, the complaint “must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
(quotations omitted). Pro se complaints such as that filed by
Rosales, are construed liberally and held to a less stringent
standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94; Obriecht v.
Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
on the foregoing screening, Rosales’s Eighth Amendment
claim of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs
shall proceed against defendants Dr. Neil Martin, Dr. Pulkit
J. Patel, Dr. Mitcheff, and Corizon.
addition, Rosales’s claim under the Rehabilitation Act
that he is not being allowed to use a wheelchair shall
proceed against the Commissioner of the Indiana Department of
Correction (“IDOC”) in his official capacity.
claims are dismissed. The relief provided by the ADA and
Rehabilitation Act are coextensive and a plaintiff suing
under both statutes may have only one recovery.
Jaros, 684 F.3d at 671 (citing Duran v. Town of
Cicero, Ill., 653 F.3d 632, 639 (7th Cir. 2011)
(plaintiffs may have but one recovery); Calero-Cerezo v.
United States Dep't of Justice, 355 F.3d 6, 11 n. 1
(1st Cir. 2004) (dismissal of ADA claim had no effect on
scope of remedy because Rehabilitation Act claim remained)).
In addition, “the analysis governing each statute is
the same except that the Rehabilitation Act includes as an
additional element the receipt of federal funds, which all
states accept for their prisons.” Id. For
these reasons the ADA claims (and their associated question
of sovereign immunity) are summarily dismissed. Id.
addition, all other claims must be dismissed. Similar to his
original complaint, while Rosales names generally claims
against defendants Nurse Hobson and Nurse Robinson, he makes
no specific factual allegation of wrongdoing on the part of
these defendants. See Potter v. Clark, 497 F.2d
1206, 1207 (7th Cir. 1974) (“Where a complaint alleges
no specific act or conduct on the part of the defendant and
the complaint is silent as to the defendant except for his
name appearing in the caption, the complaint is properly
dismissed.”). His general allegations that these
defendants violated his rights by “refusing to provide
adequate medical care, ” are insufficient to state a
claim against these defendants. The complaint “must
actually suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, by
providing allegations that raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Windy City Metal Fabricators
& Supply, Inc. v. CIT Tech. Fin. Servs., 536 F.3d
663, 668 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Tamayo v.
Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1084 (7th Cir. 2008)). The
plaintiff’s broad allegations against Hobson and
Robinson do not raise his right to relief above a speculative
addition, Rosales has failed to state an equal protection
claim for relief under the Fourteenth Amendment. “The
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits
state action that discriminates on the basis of membership in
a protected class or irrationally targets an individual for
discriminatory treatment as a so-called ‘class of
one.’” Reget v. City of La Crosse, 595
F.3d 691, 695 (7th Cir. 2010). Rosales has not sufficiently
alleged that he was treated differently based on his
membership in a particular class or that he was irrationally
targeted for disparate treatment. He also has failed to
allege specific facts that any particular defendant has
violated his Equal Protection rights.
claims against all unknown defendants are dismissed 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, Rosales is able to learn the name of the unknown
defendants, he may seek leave to add a claim against them.
discussed, Rosales’s claims for deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs shall proceed against Dr. Neil
Martin, Dr. Pulkit J. Patel, Dr. Mitcheff, and Corizon. His
claim under the Rehabilitation Act shall proceed against the
Commissioner of the IDOC in his official capacity. All other
defendants shall be terminated. Corizon and Dr. Martin have
already appeared in this action. In addition, Corizon and Dr.
Martin filed an Answer to the Amended Complaint before the
screening of the Amended Complaint was complete. Accordingly,
the Answer to the Amended Complaint ...