United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT CLAIMS AND DIRECTING
William T. Lawrence, Judge
September 1, 2016, the Court dismissed the plaintiffs
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) and directed
him to show cause why this action should not be dismissed for
failure to state a claim. On October 4, 2016, the petitioner
filed a response to the Court's show cause order. For the
reasons set forth in the entry of September 1, 2016, the
following claims are still dismissed:
claims regarding denial of access to the law library against
defendants Bowen and Sloderbeck.
plaintiffs complaint against defendant Jane Doe. If the
plaintiff is able to identify her at a later time through
discovery, he may file a motion to add her as a defendant.
plaintiff s claim that his rights under the Eighth Amendment
are being violated when he is served sugary and salty snacks.
Additionally, the plaintiff names the Hamilton County Jail as
a defendant in the complaint, but he may not proceed against
the Jail in this action. Section 1983 imposes liability on
any "person" who violates an individual's
federally protected rights "under color of state
law." A jail is a building, and "is not a
'person'-it is not a legal entity to begin
with." Powell v. Cook County Jail, 814 F.Supp.
757, 758 (N.D. Ill. 1993). The Hamilton County Jail is
dismissed as a defendant.
Claims that May Proceed
the plaintiff is a "prisoner" as defined by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(h), a pre-trial detainee at the Hamilton
County Jail at the time of the events that form the basis of
the complaint, 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
the plaintiff, are construed liberally and held to a less
stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94; Obriechtv.
Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983,
which provides a cause of action to redress the violation of
federally secured rights by a person acting under color of
state law. Burrellv. City of Mattoon, 378 F.3d 642
(7th Cir.2004). To state a claim under section 1983, a
plaintiff must allege violation of rights secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States, and must show that
a person acting under color of state law committed the
alleged deprivation. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
108 S.Ct. 2250, 101 L.Ed.2d 40 (1988). The first inquiry in
every section 1983 case is whether the plaintiff has been
deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States. Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137,
140, 99 S.Ct. 2689, 61 L.Ed.2d 433 (1979). The Eighth
Amendment proscription against the imposition of cruel and
unusual punishments is may rise to the level of a
constitutional violation if the condition of confinement
involve the deprivation of a single identifiable human need
or the denial of the minimal civilized measure of life's
necessities. Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298-305
(1991). The rights of pretrial detainees are derived from the
Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 537 n. 16 (1979). Because the
plaintiff was a pretrial detainee when he was allegedly
deprived of medical care, this Court will consider his claim
as a Fourteenth Amendment claim. But "there is little
practical difference between the standards utilized under the
two amendments." Garvin v. Armstrong, 236 F.3d
896, 898 (7th Cir.2001), citing Weiss v. Cooley, 230
F.3d at 1032. "An act or practice that violates the
eighth amendment also violates the due process rights of
pretrial detainees." Martin v. Tyson, 845 F.2d
1451, 1457 (7th Cir.1988).
plaintiff s First Amendment claim for retaliation set forth
in the complaint filed on August 15, 2016, against J. Miller
plaintiffs conditions of confinement claim set forth in the
complaint filed on August 15, 2016, against defendants Mark
Bowen and Jason Sloderback may proceed.
clerk is designated pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
4(c)(3) to issue process to defendants J. Miller, Mark Bowen,
and Jason Sloderbeck in the manner specified by Rule 4(d).
Process shall consist of the complaint filed on August 15,
2016, [dkt. 1], applicable forms (Notice of Lawsuit and