United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
William T. Lawrence, Judge
January 26, 2017, the Court screened the plaintiff's
amended complaint and dismissed it for failure to state a
claim. The Court gave the plaintiff the opportunity to file a
seconded amended complaint. The plaintiff filed a second
amended complaint on March 7, 2017.
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Wabash
Valley Correctional Facility. 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).
plaintiff's claims are brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. A cause of action is provided by 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against “[e]very person who, under color of
any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any
State or Territory, . . . subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws” of the United States. Section 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 Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3
(1979)). The initial step in any § 1983 analysis is to
identify the specific constitutional right which was
allegedly violated. Id. at 394; Kernats v.
O'Sullivan, 35 F.3d 1171, 1175 (7th Cir. 1994);
see also Gossmeyer v. McDonald, 128 F.3d 481, 489-90
(7th Cir. 1997).
plaintiff names the following entities or individuals as
defendants: 1) Brian Smith, Superintendent, Putnamville
Correctional Facility; 2) Indiana Department of Correction;
3) Corizon Health; 4) Pharmacorr Indy; 5) Dr. William
Spanenberg; 6) Dr. Bryan Buller 7) Farrah Bunch; 8) Mark
Young; 9) LPN Cassandra Felix; and 10) R.N. Trina Nickerson.
The plaintiff alleges the defendants were deliberately
indifferent in their treatment of his terminal heart
condition while he was an inmate at the Putnamville
order for an inmate to state a claim under § 1983 for
medical mistreatment or the denial of medical care, the
prisoner must allege “acts or omissions sufficiently
harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to serious
medical needs.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 106 (1976). Deliberate indifference exists only when an
official “knows of and disregards an excessive risk to
an inmate's health; the official must both be aware of
facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also
draw the inference.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 837 (1994)(construing Estelle).
claims against the Indiana Department of Correction are
dismissed because such claims are barred by the Eleventh
Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the doctrine
of sovereign immunity. Similarly, the claims against
Superintendent Brian Smith are dismissed. A defendant can
only be liable for the actions or omissions in which he
personally participated. Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266
F.3d 724, 734 (7th Cir. 2001). “Because vicarious
liability is inapplicable to . . . § 1983 suits, a
plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant,
through the official's own individual actions, has
violated the Constitution.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
129 S.Ct. at 1948.
claims against Dr. Bryan Buller are dismissed for failure to
state a claim. The only claim against Dr. Buller is that he
confirmed the plaintiff was not pregnant prior to ordering
treatment. This does not state a claim for deliberate
indifference under the Eighth Amendment.
Finally, it appears from the complaint that the plaintiff is
attempting to add his wife, Vicki Lynn Irelan, as a
“contingent plaintiff.” There is no such thing as
a contingent plaintiff and the plaintiff may not represent
another individual in a lawsuit.