United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. MOODY JUDGE.
Davis, a pro se prisoner, is a pretrial detainee at
the St. Joseph County Jail. He is suing Diane Schroeder for
placing him in segregation while in pretrial detention.
“A document filed pro se is to be liberally
construed, and a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quotation marks and
citations omitted). Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the court must review the merits of a prisoner
complaint and dismiss it if the action is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. “In order to state a claim
under § 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that
defendants deprived him of a federal constitutional right;
and (2) that the defendants acted under color of state
law.” Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th
the Due Process Clause, a detainee may not be punished prior
to an adjudication of guilt in accordance with due process of
law.” Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535
(1979). Thus, a pretrial detainee cannot be placed in
segregation for punitive reasons (as a punishment) without
notice and an opportunity to be heard. Higgs v.
Carver, 286 F.3d 437, 438 (7th Cir. 2002). However,
“if a particular condition or restriction of pretrial
detention is reasonably related to a legitimate government
objective, it does not, without more, amount to
‘punishment.'” Bell, 441 U.S. at
539. Accordingly, the Seventh Circuit has held that “no
process is required if [a pretrial detainee] is placed in
segregation not as punishment but for managerial
reasons.” Higgs, 286 F.3d at 438.
alleges that he has been segregated due to his past
“assaultive felony's[sic]” and his
current rape charge. (DE # 1 at 3.) This court previously
permitted a due process claim to proceed past the screening
stage when a plaintiff alleged that he was placed in
segregation “not for a bona fide managerial
reason . . . but for punitive reasons related to his
notoriety and the pending charges.” Erler v.
Dominguez, No. 2:09-CV-88-TLS, 2010 WL 670235, at *4
(N.D. Ind. Feb. 18, 2010). In the case at hand, however,
Davis has not alleged that his segregation was intended to
punish, rather than serve some legitimate government
Davis's allegations could be read to support the notion
that he has been segregated due to the assaultive nature of
his past convictions and other violent behaviors.
(See DE ## 1 at 3, 1-1 at 1.) Yet, “no process
is required when a pretrial detainee is segregated to protect
jail staff and other prisoners from his violent propensities,
see Higgs v. Carver, 286 F.3d 437, 438 (7th
Cir.2002); Zarnes v. Rhodes, 64 F.3d 285, 291-92
(7th Cir.1995).” Davis v. Schroeder, 464 F.
App'x 549, 550 (7th Cir. 2012). “[A] prison's
internal security is peculiarly a matter normally left to the
discretion of prison administrators [because p]rison
administrators should be accorded wide-ranging deference in
the adoption and execution of policies and practices that in
their judgment are needed to preserve internal order and
discipline and to maintain institutional security.”
Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 321-22 (1986)
(quotation marks and ellipsis omitted). Therefore, Davis
fails to state a claim for a violation of his due process
rights based on these allegations.
also alleges that his attorney has not visited him nor
responded to his letters. He implies that this is because he
is in segregation, but this is mere speculation. A complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter to “state a
claim that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A
claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual
content 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) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(quotation marks, citations and footnote omitted).
“[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged-but it has not shown-that the pleader
is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 679 (quotation marks and brackets omitted). Thus, “a
plaintiff must do better than putting a few words on paper
that, in the hands of an imaginative reader, might suggest
that something has happened to her that might be redressed by
the law.” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d
400, 403 (7th Cir. 2010) (emphasis in original). Here, Davis
has not provided any facts from which it would be plausible
to infer that the defendant has prevented his attorney from
communicating with him. Therefore these allegations do not
state a claim.
Davis alleges that he is charged for medication. This does
not state a claim because the Constitution does not require
free medical care. Poole v. Isaacs, 703 F.3d 1024,
1027 (7th Cir. 2012).
foregoing reasons, Davis is GRANTED until
February 21, 2017, to file an amended complaint which
properly states a claim. Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1022 (7th Cir. 2013)
(“Without at least an opportunity to amend or to
respond to an order to show cause, an IFP applicant's
case could be tossed out of court without giving the
applicant any timely notice or opportunity to be heard to
clarify, contest, or simply request leave to amend.”).
If Davis fails to file such an amended complaint, this action
will be dismissed without further notice.