United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
STEVEN B. BOWLING, Plaintiff,
TINA JORDAN, CORIZON, STANLEY KNIGHT Supt., JOHN DOE #1, JANE DOE #1, KEITH HARTZEL Asst. Supt., JOHN DOE #2, JANE DOE #2, Defendants.
ENTRY DISCUSSING COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT
CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING SERVICE OF PROCESS
William T. Lawrence, Judge.
complaint is subject to the screening requirement of 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b). This statute directs that the Court
dismiss a complaint or any claim within a complaint which
“(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such
plaintiff, Steven B. Bowling (“Mr. Bowling”), is
confined at the New Castle Correctional Facility. The alleged
incidents occurred at Plainfield Correctional Facility
(“Plainfield”). He names the following
defendants: 1) Tina Jordan; 2) Corizon; 3) Superintendent
Stanley Knight; 4) Assistant Superintendent Keith Hartzel;
and 5) John and Jane Does. He seeks compensatory and punitive
damages and injunctive relief. The Court discerns that his
claims are brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, under
which a plaintiff must allege that a state actor violated his
Bowling alleges that on December 25, 2015, he broke his nose
and Nurse Jordan refused to see him to treat his nose. He
alleges that Nurse Jordan falsely represented that Mr.
Bowling refused treatment.
Bowling alleges that Corizon failed to properly supervise
Nurse Jordan and assure that she was following protocol. He
does not allege that his injuries were the result of a policy
or practice of Corizon. Corizon is a corporate entity that is
not vicariously liable for misdeeds of its employees, and can
only be liable if it maintains a policy or practice that
causes a constitutional harm. “The central question is
always whether an official policy, however,
expressed…caused the constitutional
deprivation.” Glisson v. Indiana Department of
Correction, et al., No. 15-1419, 2017 WL 680350 (7th
Cir. Feb. 21, 2017); see also Johnson v. Dossey, 515
F.3d 778, 782 (7th Cir. 2008); Woodward v. Correctional
Medical Services of Illinois, Inc., 368 F.3d 917, 927
(7th Cir. 2004) (Corizon can be liable “if it maintains
a policy that sanctions the maintenance of prison conditions
that infringe upon the constitutional rights of the
prisoners.”) (internal quotation omitted). Based on
these allegations, the claim against Corizon is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Bowling further alleges that Superintendent Knight and
Assistant Superintendent Hartzel are responsible for assuring
that their employees are following protocol. These claims are
based on these defendants' supervisory positions.
“Liability depends on each defendant's knowledge
and actions, not on the knowledge or actions of persons they
supervise.” Burks v. Raemsich, 555 F.3d 592,
594 (7th Cir. 2009). Merely naming supervisors or high level
officials as defendants who did not participate in or direct
or consent to the constitutional violation does not state a
viable claim because respondeat superior is not
sufficient to support a § 1983 claim. See Childress
v. Walker, 787 F.3d 433, 439-40 (7th Cir. 2015);
Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 622 (7th Cir. 2010)
(“It is well established that there is no
respondeat superior liability under §
1983.”); Harper v. Albert, 400 F.3d 1052, 1065
(7th Cir. 2005). The claims against Superintendent Stanley
Knight and Assistant Superintendent Keith Hartzel are
dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
Bowling also alleges that John or Jane Doe is the officer in
charge of assisting Nurse Jordan in retrieving offenders from
their cell for sick call and for assuring that offenders sign
a refusal for treatment. To state a civil rights claim under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must name the individuals
who personally participated in the alleged wrongdoing. Any
claim brought against John or Jane Doe Officers is dismissed
because “it is pointless to include lists of anonymous
defendants in federal court; this type of placeholder does
not open the door to relation back under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15, nor
can it otherwise help the plaintiff.” Wudtke v.
Davel, 128 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 1997) (internal
claim for injunctive relief is denied as moot because Mr.
Bowling is no longer incarcerated at Plainfield. Lehn v.
Holmes, 364 F.3d 862, 871 (7th Cir. 2004) (“[W]hen
a prisoner who seeks injunctive relief for a condition
specific to a particular prison is transferred out of that
prison, the need for relief, and hence the prisoner's
claim, become moot.”); Higgason v. Farley, 83
F.3d 807 (7th Cir. 1996) (same).
partial final judgment shall issue regarding the claims that
are dismissed in this Entry.
Service of Process
the claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical
need, under the Eighth Amendment, shall proceed against Nurse
clerk is designated pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)
to issue process electronically to defendant Tina Jordan in
the manner specified by Rule 4(d). Process shall consist of
the complaint filed on February 15, 2017 (docket 1),
applicable forms (Notice of Lawsuit and Request for ...