United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS, SCREENING
COMPLAINT, DISMISSING CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING ISSUANCE AND
SERVICE OF PROCESS
William T. Lawrence, Judge
In Forma Pauperis Status
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, dkt. , is
granted. An initial partial payment of thirteen dollars and
nineteen cents ($13.19), toward the entire $350 filing fee,
shall be paid to the clerk no later than May 30, 2017.
“All [28 U.S.C.] § 1915 has ever done is excuse
pre-payment of the docket fees; a litigant remains
liable for them, and for other costs, although poverty may
make collection impossible.” Abdul-Wadood v.
Nathan, 91 F.3d 1023, 1025 (7th Cir. 1996).
Screening of the Complaint
complaint is subject to the screening requirements of 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. This statute directs that the court
shall 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
relief.” Id. To satisfy the notice-pleading
standard of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
complaint must provide a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,
” which is sufficient to provide the defendant with
“fair notice” of the claim and its basis.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per
curiam) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007) and quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); see
also Wade v. Hopper, 993 F.2d 1246, 1249 (7th Cir. 1993)
(noting that the main purpose of Rule 8 is rooted in fair
notice: a complaint “must be presented with
intelligibility sufficient for a court or opposing party to
understand whether a valid claim is alleged and if so what it
is.”) (quotation omitted)). The complaint “must
actually suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, by
providing allegations that raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Windy City Metal Fabricators
& Supply, Inc. v. CIT Tech. Fin. Servs., 536 F.3d
663, 668 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Tamayo v.
Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1084 (7th Cir. 2008)). The
Court construes pro se pleadings liberally, and holds pro se
pleadings to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers. Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d
489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
Andrew Barnett is an inmate at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana. He alleges that on March
2, 2017, defendant Lt. Baker, a correctional officer, ordered
that plaintiff be removed from the prison's general
population and placed in protective custody status in the
prison's special housing unit. While in a holding cell
awaiting processing into the special housing unit, defendant
Harlow, a correctional officer in charge of the special
housing unit, approached him with a photograph of a large
black inmate and said that inmate would be plaintiff's
cellmate, and that the large black inmate “loves
white-boys.” Complaint, dkt. 1, p. 3. A few minutes
later, defendant Harlow entered plaintiff's cell, knocked
him to the ground, and handcuffed him. Id. Plaintiff
alleges he was then dragged into a cell where the large black
inmate was waiting, while defendant Harlow left, saying
“You two have fun now ya hear.” Id. The
large black inmate then raped plaintiff, he alleges.
Id. Following the rape, plaintiff alleges he was
taken to the emergency room of Union Hospital for a full
examination which revealed evidence supporting his claim.
Id. at p. 4. Recently, plaintiff alleges, defendant
Harlow has started making sexual comments to him, sexually
harassed him, asked for sexual favors, told plaintiff to
perform oral sex on him, and “poked [him] in the
butt” with a door key.
next alleges that defendant Julian, the prison Warden, came
to his cell on March 8, 2017, where plaintiff informed him of
the rape and requested that defendant Harlow be disciplined.
He asserts that not only did defendant Julian refuse to
discipline defendant Harlow, but that defendant Julian had
the rapist moved “back on the same range with”
plaintiff. Id. at p. 4.
regard to defendant McCoy, plaintiff alleges that McCoy, the
prison medical supervisor, refused to provide him with the
medications and blood work prescribed by the Union Hospital
emergency room doctor to treat potential problems from the
sexual assault. Id. at p. 4.
Fortune is alleged to have come to plaintiff's cell door
on March 15, 2017, and asked plaintiff, in a voice loud
enough for other inmates to hear, “Did you enjoy
it?” Id. at p. 4. Plaintiff contends Fortune
was asking about the sexual assault.
Dooer is alleged to have followed Fortune's comments with
his own comments that plaintiff should have learned to fight
if he did not want to be sexually assaulted, and that the
assailant was a sexually aggressive homosexual.
alleges that defendant Schmidtt, the prison psychologist, are
that Schmidtt has not responded to plaintiff's requests
to see him and he has not offered plaintiff counseling and
suicide prevention coping skills. Plaintiff asserts that he
has never seen Schmidtt.
Baker, plaintiff alleges, was responsible for investigating
plaintiff's report of being sexually assaulted. He
interviewed plaintiff about the allegations in front of other
inmates and staff rather than in a private setting. Plaintiff
asserts that Baker encouraged the assailant to lie and make
up a story about the incident, told ...