United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
William T. Lawrence, Judge
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at New Castle
Correctional Industrial Facility (“New Castle”).
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 Complaint is entitled “Class Action
Complaint, ” and the plaintiff seeks to brings several
claims on behalf of all past, present, and future inmates at
New Castle. The lone defendant is the CEO of GEO Group, the
private entity contracted to run New Castle. The claims span
numerous areas of prison administration and prison
conditions. Several examples show the breadth of the
plaintiff's allegations: correctional officers fail to
remain at their assigned posts in the prison, which permits
assaults to occur; the vocational programming is deficient;
New Castle lacks sufficient correctional officers to protect
the inmates; correctional officers are never disciplined for
improper behavior; inmates are improperly classified; inmates
with mental health issues are not properly managed or
classified; the healthcare provided is inadequate; and the
food service is inadequate.
plaintiff's Complaint must be dismissed. First, a pro se
prisoner cannot typically establish the criteria necessary to
bring a class action. To certify a class, the plaintiff must
establish, among other things, that he will “fairly and
adequately protect the interests of the class.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a). In nearly all instances, a pro se
prisoner will not be an adequate class representative.
See Howard v. Pollard, 814 F.3d 476, 478 (7th Cir.
2015) (“[I]t is generally not an abuse of discretion
for a district court to deny a motion for class certification
on the ground that a pro se litigant is not an adequate class
representative.”); Goodvine v. Meisner, 608
Fed.Appx. 415, 417 (7th Cir. 2015) (holding that the district
court's reasons for denying class certification- that the
plaintiffs “could not fairly represent the class
interests because they were pro se (and had not made
an effort to secure class counsel)”-were “sound
reasons”). There are no allegations that would allow
the Court to think that the pro se plaintiff here could
adequately represent a class of all inmates at New Castle,
let alone past inmates, as he proposes. This especially true
given the scope of the claims the plaintiff seeks to bring.
Accordingly, this action cannot proceed as a class action.
plaintiff may still proceed with his individual claims on his
own behalf. However, the plaintiff's allegations are
devoid of any specific allegations regarding how he was
harmed by any of the alleged conduct or how the defendant,
the CEO of GEO Group, was personally responsible for them.
Without such allegations, the plaintiff cannot state a §
1983 claim. See Matz v. Klotka, 769 F.3d 517, 528
(7th Cir. 2014); see also Minix v. Canarecci, 597
F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir. 2010) (“[I]ndividual liability
under § 1983 requires ‘personal involvement in the
alleged constitutional deprivation.'”) (citation
and quotation mark omitted).
the foregoing, the Court will give the plaintiff the
opportunity to file an amended complaint. The amended
complaint must have the words “Amended Complaint”
and the proper case number, No. 1:17-cv-00598-WTL-MPB, on the
filing an amended complaint, the plaintiff shall conform to
the following additional 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 . . . .”
and must allege facts (who did what when) rather than
generalized statements regarding the conditions of New Castle
without explanation of how those circumstances affected him
personally; (b) the amended complaint must identify what
legal injury the plaintiff claims to have himself suffered
and which individuals are directly responsible for each such
legal injury (there is no supervisory liability for
violations of § 1983); and (c) the amended complaint
shall contain a clear statement of the relief that is sought.
plaintiff has through June 19, 2017, in which to file an
amended complaint that conforms to the above requirements. If
an amended complaint is filed, it will be screened. If no
amended complaint is filed, the ...