United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Screening Complaint, Dismissing Certain Claims and Directing
Standard of Review
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Pendleton
Correctional Facility (“Pendleton”). 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). The complaint in this
case is particularly difficult to read. The Court made every
effort to figure out the allegations discussed below. If the
Court misunderstood or missed a material allegation, the
plaintiff is encouraged to notify the Court of the
misunderstanding within 14 days of the date this Entry is
docketed. The plaintiff is encouraged to print using larger
letters in future filings.
John Naylor filed this civil action against Dr. Paul Talbot
and Duane Alsip alleging the following.
Naylor alleges that Dr. Talbot refused him a bottom bunk and
bottom range pass despite the fact that Mr. Naylor fell
several times. In addition, Dr. Talbot put Mr. Naylor's
“KOP meds on DOT despite grievances, harm to rem sleep,
circadian rhythms and exposure to my attacker Cortez Jones
and STG associates.” Dkt 2 at 2. The terms
“KOP” and “DOT” are not defined.
Mr. Naylor was falsely convicted of a prison disciplinary
violation and that Duane Alsip denied his facility level
disciplinary hearing appeal.
Naylor seeks a court order directing the following: 1) that
he not be moved to a top bunk or upper range; 2) that he be
given Imodium and acid reflux medications as a KOP; 3)
expungement of his disciplinary conviction; 4) membership in
Sons of the American Legion Post # 608 and placement on the
count letter so he can attend meetings; and 5) return of
legal papers from Internal Affairs. He also seeks $60, 000 in
actual and punitive damages.
Discussion of Claims for Relief
Complaint, Mr. Naylor states that he is suing under state
law. If this is true, then this action must be dismissed for
lack of jurisdiction. The reason for this ruling is that
there is no allegation which would support the exercise of
the court's diversity jurisdiction as to any claim under
Indiana state law. This is because a district court cannot
exercise diversity jurisdiction if the plaintiff shares the
same state citizenship as any one of the defendants.
Whalen v. Carter, 954 F.2d 1087, 1094 (5th Cir.
1992) (citing Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 3 Cranch 267,
7 U.S. 267, 2 L.Ed. 435 (1806)); see also Hart v. FedEx
Ground Package Sys. Inc., 457 F.3d 675, 676 (7th Cir.
2006). In this case all parties are citizens of Indiana.
Court, however, assumes that Mr. Naylor intended to sue for a
violation of federal law under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, so
further consideration of his allegations is necessary. Any
federal claims would necessarily be brought pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. To state a claim under § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States and must show that
the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting
under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988). Section 1983 is not itself a source of
substantive rights; instead it is a means for vindicating
federal rights elsewhere conferred. Ledford v.
Sullivan, 105 F.3d 354, 356 (7th Cir. 1997) (citing
Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3 (1979)).
“[T]he first step in any [§ 1983] claim is to
identify the ...