United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS, SCREENING
COMPLAINT, SUBSTITUTING DEFENDANT, AND DIRECTING ISSUANCE AND
SERVICE OF PROCESS
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE.
In Forma Pauperis Status
request to proceed in forma pauperis is
granted. Because plaintiff writes that the
jail refuses to provide him with a copy of his trust account
financial transactions, the Court is unable to calculate an
initial partial filing fee as required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b). A collection order shall issue by separate entry to
collect the $350 filing fee. This order can be revisited once
plaintiff is able to provide a copy of his trust account
Screening of the Complaint
plaintiff is a prisoner, the 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).
the standard set forth above to the factual allegations in
the complaint, certain claims must be dismissed and others
shall proceed. Plaintiff names the Clark County Jail, where
he is an inmate, as defendant. Jails cannot be sued in
Indiana. Smith v. Knox County Jail, 666 F.3d 1037,
1040 (7th Cir. 2012) (county jail not a suable entity).
Therefore the complaint is dismissed against the Clark County
Jail and the clerk is directed to terminate
the Clark County Jail from this action.
the sheriff who is responsible for jail conditions.
Accordingly, the Court, liberally construing the pro
se complaint to name the Sheriff of Clark County as
defendant, directs the clerk to add the
Sheriff of Clark County as a defendant to this action.
complaint seeks damages and relief for alleged unsafe and
unsanitary jail conditions. The Eighth Amendment can be
violated by conditions of confinement in a jail or prison
when (1) there is a deprivation that is, from an objective
standpoint, sufficiently serious that it results “in
the denial of ‘the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities, '” and (2) where prison
officials are deliberately indifferent to this state of
affairs. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834
(1994); Gray v. Hardy, 826 F.3d 1000, 1005 (7th Cir.
Seventh Circuit has identified several situations that meet
this demanding test, including lack of heat, clothing, or
sanitation. Gillis v. Litscher, 468 F.3d 488, 493
(7th Cir. 2006). In addition, “[s]ome conditions of
confinement may establish an Eighth Amendment violation in
combination when each alone would not do so.”
Id. An adverse condition of confinement, if endured
over a significant time, can become an Eighth Amendment
violation even if it would not be impermissible if it were
only a short-term problem. Dixon v. Godinez, 114
F.3d 640, 643 (7th Cir. 1997). Accord, Lewis v.
Lane, 816 F.2d 1165, 1171 (7th Cir. 1987) (“[A]
state must provide . . . reasonably adequate ventilation,
sanitation, bedding, hygienic materials, and
utilities[.]” (Internal quotations omitted) (quoting
Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d 559, 568 (10th Cir. 1980))).
assertions of black mold in the ventilation system and
showers, insufficient bedding, and overcrowding leading to a
fire hazard state an Eighth Amendment claim. He seeks
monetary damages as well as injunctive relief. His claims
shall proceed against the Sheriff of Clark
Opportunity to Show Cause
plaintiff believe the Court has overlooked or omitted a claim
or defendant in this screening, he shall have through October
11, 2017, to ...