United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JAMES J. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
NEW CASTLE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, et al. Defendants.
ENTRY DISCUSSING AMENDED COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE.
James Johnson, an inmate at the New Castle Correctional
Facility, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleges that his rights were violated when he was
touched inappropriately during a search and that he was
retaliated against when he complained about these actions.
Johnson's motion to file an amended complaint [dkt 8] is
Screening of the Amended Complaint
Johnson is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(h), the amended 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
the plaintiff, 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 this screening, the following claims shall
claim that defendant Correctional Officer R. Prus touched him
inappropriately during a search shall
proceed as a claim that Prus performed a search in a
manner designed to humiliate Johnson in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. See Calhoun v. DeTella, 319 F.3d
936, 940 (7th Cir. 2003).
claim that Officer Prus fired Johnson from his prison job
because Johnson filed a complaint, shall
proceed as a claim that Prus retaliated against
Johnson in violation of his First Amendment rights.
claim against GEO that it maintained a policy of lying about
complaints against Prus shall proceed as a
claim that GEO was deliberately indifferent to the risk of
harm to Johnson.
other claims are dismissed.
any challenge to the disciplinary action taken against
Johnson must be dismissed. The settled law
in these circumstances is that when a prisoner makes a claim
that, if successful, could shorten his term of imprisonment,
the claim must be brought as a habeas petition, not as a
' 1983 claim. Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477
(1994). In Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641 (1997),
the foregoing rule was “extend[ed] . . . to the
decisions of prison disciplinary tribunals.”
Gilbert v. Cook, 512 F.3d 899, 900 (7th Cir. 2007).
Accordingly, claims against defendants are dismissed without
prejudice insofar as those claims are based on actions which
resulted in the imposition of a sanction which lengthened the
anticipated duration of Johnson's confinement. The proper
remedy for a challenge to a person's custody is through
habeas corpus, not a civil rights action. Nelson v.
Campbell, 541 U.S. 637, 646 (2004) (“[D]amages are
not an available habeas remedy.”); Wolff v.
McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 554 (1974) (“[H]abeas
corpus is not an appropriate or available remedy for damages
claim that Anna Dock interfered with his ability to return to
his prison job is dismissed because a
prisoner has no property or liberty interest in retaining any
particular job in prison. Wallace v. Robinson, 940
F.2d 243, 247 (7th Cir. 1991).
claim that Dawn Ellis and Case Manager McDonald failed to
investigate the claims against Johnson when he tried to
return to his prison job is dismissed
because there is no constitutional right to a proper
investigation. See Rossi v. City of Chicago, 790
F.3d 729, 735 (7th Cir. 2015)
any claim that Brook Pierce permitted inappropriate language
in the kitchen fails to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. See DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 612
(7th Cir. 2000) (“Standing alone, simple verbal
harassment does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment,
deprive a prisoner of a protected liberty interest or deny a
prisoner equal protection of the laws.”). The only
claim against Pierce Salvage Yard is that Ms. Pierce told
Johnson that her family owns Pierce Salvage Yard. This claim
fails because there is no allegation that Pierce Salvage Yard
is a state actor for purposes of § 1983 or otherwise
participated in any violation of Johnson's rights.
See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988) (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).
claim against Aramark must also be dismissed
for the same reasons that the claims against Aramark
employees have been dismissed. Further, while Johnson alleges
wrongdoing on the part of Aramark employees, he does not
sufficiently allege that Aramark maintained a policy or
practice that resulted in the violation ...