United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT
CLAIMS AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
Walton Pratt Judge United States District Court
the Plaintiff Terrence Paschall, is a “prisoner”
as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h), his complaint is
subject to the screening requirement of 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b). Pursuant to this statute, “[a] complaint is
subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the
allegations, taken as true, show that plaintiff is not
entitled to relief.” Jones v. Bock, 127 S.Ct.
910, 921 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss, the
complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quotations omitted).
Pro se complaints such as that filed by Mr.
Paschall, are construed liberally and held to a less
stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94; Obriecht v.
Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
Paschall's federal claim is 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).
Paschall alleges that he was removed from the Therapeutic
Community (“T.C.”) prison program because he took
his medication back to his dorm rather than ingesting his
medication at the medical window. As a result, he also was
removed from his prison job. He alleges his termination from
his job is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the
Paschall alleges a violation of his rights under the Equal
Protection Clause. “A person bringing an action under
the Equal Protection Clause must show intentional
discrimination against him because of his membership in a
particular class, not merely that he was treated unfairly as
an individual.” Herro v. City of Milwaukee, 44
F.3d 550, 552 (7th Cir. 1995) (internal quotation omitted).
Mr. Paschall does not allege any facts that he was a member
of a particular class and was discrimination against because
of his membership in that class. Mr. Paschall's Equal
Protection Claim is dismissed for failure to state a claim.
to the extent Mr. Paschall alleges in this action that his
removal from the T.C. program and subsequent job loss
violated his rights under the constitution, this claim also
fails. Such a claim implicates a classification change. Mr.
Paschall had no due process to be in the T.C. program.
Lucien v. DeTella, 141 F.3d 773, 774 (7th Cir. 1998)
(“Classifications of inmates implicate neither liberty
nor property interests . . . .”) (citing Sandin v.
Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995)). Accordingly, there is
no viable due process claim asserted in his complaint.
See Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209, 221
(2005)(“[T]he Constitution itself does not give rise to
a liberty interest in avoiding transfer to more adverse
conditions of confinement.”). The claims against the
defendants are dismissed for failure to state a claim.
the Court has been unable to identify a viable claim for
relief against any particular defendant, the complaint is
subject to dismissal.
dismissal of the complaint will not in this instance lead to
the dismissal of the action at present. Instead, the
plaintiffs shall have through June 12, 2017, in which to file
an amended complaint.
filing an amended complaint, the plaintiff shall conform to
the following guidelines: (a) the amended complaint shall
comply with the requirement of Rule 8(a)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that pleadings
contain “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)); (b) the
amended complaint must include a demand for the relief
sought; (c) the amended complaint must identify what legal
injury they claim to have suffered and what persons are
responsible for each such legal injury; and (d) the amended
complaint must include the case number referenced in the
caption of this Entry. The plaintiff is further notified that
“[u]nrelated claims against different defendants belong
in different suits.” George v. Smith, 507 F.3d
605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).