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Redmond v. Indiana Department of Correction

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

January 18, 2017

JOHN H. REDMOND, IV, Plaintiff,
v.
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION Corporation, WENDY KNIGHT Superintendent, D. RITCHIE Assistant Superintendent Re-Entry, L.A. VAN NATTA Final Reviewing Authority, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER ROGERS Correctional Officer, T. AARON COX Former Director of the T.C., ROBERT STAFFORD Grievance Coordinator, LAURA RASMUSSEN Assistant Grievance Coordinator, T. UPCHURCH Former Sergeant, now Lieutenant, DEPUTY SHERIFF PALMER Correctional Officer, CLOE Correctional Officer, CASSANDRA FEASTER Former Aramark Employee, LT. GARDNER Former Correctional Officer of C.I.F., R. SIDWELL Former Correctional Officer and Chairman, Defendants.

          ORDER SEVERING MISJOINED CLAIMS AND DIRECTING THE OPENING OF NEW CIVIL ACTIONS

          LARRY J. McKINNEY, JUDGE United States District Court

         I.

         In George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007), the Court of Appeals explained that “[u]nrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits.” Rule 18 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows joinder of multiple parties only when the allegations against them involve the same conduct or transaction and common questions of fact and law as to all defendants. Rule 20(a) allows defendants to be joined in one action if a right to relief is asserted against them jointly with respect to the same transaction or occurrence, and a question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. The complaint of John H. Redmond violates the misjoinder of claims limitations of Rules 18 and 20(a). The violation here consists of the diversity of claims against the multitude of defendants. DirecTV, Inc. v. Leto, 467 F.3d 842, 844 (3d Cir. 2006)(“Misjoinder. . . occurs when there is no common question of law or fact or when . . . the events that give rise to the plaintiff's claims against defendants do not stem from the same transaction.”).

         In such a situation, “[t]he court may . . . add or drop a party. The court may also sever any claim against a party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 21. Generally, if a district court finds that a plaintiff has misjoined parties, the court should sever those parties or claims, allowing those grievances to continue in spin-off actions, rather than dismiss them. Elmore v. Henderson, 227 F.3d 1009, 1012 (7th Cir. 2000). This is the remedy that will be applied to the complaint.

         II.

         This action shall proceed against defendants L.A. Van Natta, Final Reviewing Authority; the Indiana Department of Correction; and Wendy Knight, Superintendent, as to plaintiff's Claim I/Facts A and Claim I/Facts F:

Claim I/Facts A; L.A. VanNatta, LD.O.C, and Knight violated plaintiffs Eight Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment by deliberately ignoring Redmond's request for safety and security, and put Redmond in further risk of serious harm by not transfering Redmond out of this facility or filing a separatee against the offender who continuously threaten and attempted to attack Redmond.

Dkt. 1 at 7.

Claim I /Facts F: Supt. Knight did knowingly and intentionally subject Redmond to treatment that other inmates in this facility were not subjected to in the same manner and abuse as Redmond has been in. Redmond was put into a unit stripped of equal dayroom time, recreation time, phone time, shower time, restroom time, and other associated activities, and Supt. Knight knew this conduct was against the Constitution, Statute, and policy and procedure. Because I told her that this conduct was against such, and she would not give me a reason my
. . . [page break in original].
rights were being violated or an explanation. Now I suffer psychological damages because of the abuse by being inside of that Special Housing Unit. Redmond suffered from deprivation of and improper ventilation, mental issues by being deprived of access to speak with a mental health therapist when needed, improper sanitation, operations, and environment issues, sleep deprivation, harassment, and other assorted sicknesses as a result of this SHU.

Dkt. 1 at p. 8-9.

         All other claims and defendants are severed. Specifically, the claims against D. Ritchie, Correctional Officer Rogers, Aaron Cox, Robert Stafford, Laura Rasmussen, T. Upchurch, Deputy Sheriff Palmer, Cloe, Cassandra Feaster, Lt. Gardner and R. Sidwell are severed from the original complaint. ...


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