United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
AND COMPLAINT, DISCUSSING MISJOINDER, AND DIRECTING FURTHER
J. McKINNEY, JUDGE
In Forma Pauperis
plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
[dkt. 5] is granted to the extent that a collection order is
being issued to collect the filing fee in monthly payments
whenever the plaintiff's income permits.
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at
Correctional Industrial Facility (“CIF”). Because
the plaintiff is a “prisoner” as defined by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(h), this Court has an obligation under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b) to screen his complaint before service
on the defendants. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the
Court 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
plaintiff brings this action against; 1) Paul Ullman, Meritor
Brake Shop foreman; 2) Officer Mills, Internal Affairs; 3)
Wendy Knight, Superintendent; and 4) Lt. Coats. For relief,
the plaintiff seeks a transfer to a different prison that can
better assist him with his blindness and compensatory
complaint does not specify whether the defendants are sued in
their individual or official capacities. Giving the complaint
its most liberal reading, the Court will treat the claims as
having been brought against the defendants in both individual
and official capacities.
Ullman - The plaintiff's claim against Paul
Ullman relates to a job he had at the prison. The plaintiff
alleges that in 2014 he was fired from his job at Meritor
Brake Shop because of a lie. He has reapplied several times
but foreman Paul Ullman has made it clear he would never be
hired back because of his poor vision and lack of production.
Another inmate who also has the same eye condition was fired
due to lack of production. The plaintiff alleges that he is
Mills - The plaintiff alleges that he submitted a
request to Officer Mills for separation from another inmate
who had tried to kill the plaintiff on the outside. The
plaintiff told Officer Mills he was scared for his life.
Officer Mills did not separate the inmates, wrote up the
plaintiff for telling him the plaintiff would protect
himself, and then refused to talk to the plaintiff.
Coats and Superintendent Knight - The plaintiff was
moved to a different unit by the prison unit team based on
the status of his legal blindness. Then Lt. Coats and
Superintendent Knight allegedly moved him to an idle dorm.
There he was beaten up by an offender trying to take his
food. The plaintiff alleges he was moved to the idle unit for
filed, the complaint violates the joinder of claims
limitation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
“Unrelated claims against different defendants belong
in different suits ….” George v. Smith,
507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). Rule 20 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure allows joinder of
multiple defendants only when 1) the allegations against them
involve the same transaction or occurrence and, 2) common
questions of fact and law will arise as to all defendants.
The claims against the different defendants are not related
factually or legally. For instance, his denial of employment
claim based on his disability is not related to any failure
to protect claim brought against Officer Mills.
Court has not screened any of the claims on the merits. The
improper joinder issue shall be addressed first.
plaintiff is the master of his own complaint. Therefore, he
may decide which claim(s), if any, he ...