United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
William T. Lawrence, Judge
plaintiff's renewed motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis [dkt. 8] is granted. The assessment of
even an initial partial filing fee is not feasible at this
Eugene Norris filed a civil rights action alleging that his
constitutional rights will be violated when he is released
from prison on February 7, 2020, and is required by Indiana
law to register on the Indiana Sex Offender Registry with a
designation he is a sexually violent predator. Ind. Code
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at New Castle
Correctional Facility (“New Castle”). 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 relief. In
determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court
applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to
dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th
Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). 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. Obriecht v. Raemisch,
517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
complaint, the plaintiff acknowledges that he will have to
register on the Indiana Sex Offender Registry. However, he
alleges his designation as a sexually violent predator under
Indiana law is unconstitutional because the law was passed in
2007, yet he was convicted in 1997 and sentenced in 1998, and
therefore should not be subject to the requirements of a 2007
law. This is a claim that the plaintiff's rights under
the Ex Post Facto clause will be violated. The
plaintiff also alleges that the Indiana Department of
Correction's (“IDOC”) requirement that he
participate in the SOMM program while incarcerated violates
his rights under the Constitution.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 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. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
This court has subject matter jurisdiction over these claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights; instead,
it is a means for vindicating federal rights conferred
elsewhere. Graham v. Connor,490 U.S. 386, 393-94
(1989) (citing Bakerv. McCollan, 443 U.S.
137, 144 n.3 (1979)). Accordingly, “the first step in
any [§ 1983] claim is to identify the specific
constitutional right infringed.” Albright v.
Oliver,510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). A corollary to this
rule is that without a predicate constitutional ...