United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DIRECTING PAYMENT OF FILING FEE, SCREENING AND
DISMISSING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO SHOW
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Duryea Rogers (“Rogers”) shall have through
August 15, 2017, to pay the $400 filing fee to the clerk of
the district court or demonstrate his financial inability to
was one of three men who attempted to rob an Indiana bank in
June 2013. The three were arrested shortly afterward. Rogers
and a co-defendant plead guilty, with the third, Armour,
taking his case to jury trial. The other co-defendant - not
Rogers - testified against Armour. Unfortunately, when the
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (“Circuit
Court”) decided Armour's appeal, the published
opinion erroneously reported that both of
Armour's co-defendants had testified against him. See
United States v. Armour, 840 F.3d 904, 906 (7th Cir.
2016). When Rogers became aware of the Circuit Court's
error, he was horrified at being “depicted and
castigated” as a “rat, snitch, informant or stole
[sic] pigeon” on his prison yard. Until then he had
been a “respectable inmate on the compound” at
his prison, but now he suffered “great pain . . .
humiliation, threats to his life, embarrassment, a soiled
reputation, [and] mental and emotional distress.” Dkt.
1 at 3. Rogers reports that his “life in prison was
turned upside down and inside out.” Id.
remedy the error, Rogers filed a motion in Armour's
criminal appeal case with the Circuit Court asking it to
correct the clerical error. The United States filed a
response in which it acknowledged the error and expressed no
opposition to it being corrected. The Seventh Circuit filed
an order amending its opinion to reflect that it was the
other co-defendant who testified against Armour, not both of
under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal
Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), Rogers brings
a defamation action against four defendants: (1) an unkown
PSI Officer; (2) a Circuit Court Publisher; (3) the United
States Attorney's Office; and (4) William L. McCoskey
(“McCoskey”), an Assistant United States Attorney
(“AUSA”) involved with the prosecution of the
bank robbery case. He contends the defamation violated his
rights under the Fifth and Eighth Amendments.
makes specific allegations against only one defendant, AUSA
McCoskey. He contends that AUSA McCoskey must have known
about the Seventh Circuit opinion's error and failed to
have it immediately corrected. When the Circuit Court called
for a response to Rogers's motion to correct the opinion,
AUSA McCoskey responded that the United States did not notice
the error until reading about it in Rogers's motion.
Rogers believes that assertion to be “deceptive”
and somehow evident of an “insouciant attitude”
to Rogers's safety and well-being. Therefore, he
contends, a jury could find that AUSA McCoskey and/or the
other defendants “set in motion the chain of events
that led to the inflammatory and inaccurate error in”
the Appellate opinion.
is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in
Pekin, Illinois. Because he 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. 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).
[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 Rogers are construed
liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Obriecht v. Raemisch, ...