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Howard v. Indiana Department of Corrections

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

September 21, 2017

LANCE HOWARD, Plaintiff,
v.
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendant.

          ENTRY ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT, SEVERING MISJOINED ACTION, SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT, DIRECTING ISSUANCE AND SERVICE OF PROCESS, AND DENYING MOTION TO SUBPOENA AND MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on several pending motions and other related matters.

         The Court will address the matters below.

         I. Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff's September 19, 2017, motion for leave to file an amended complaint, dkt. [22], is denied as moot. In the Court's Entry of September 16, 2017, plaintiff was granted leave to file an amended complaint. The clerk is directed to modify the docket to reflect that docket entry 22 is an amended complaint. This is the operative complaint.

         II. Severance of Misjoined Claim

         The amended complaint presents two misjoined claims. The first is an Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment claim against Officer Criss Donald for injuries sustained to plaintiff's hand on June 12, 2017. The second is an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious medical needs claim against RN Katherine James and LPN Loretta for failing to send plaintiff to an outside emergency room for treatment of his hand injuries and for failing to treat his hand injury pain. This claim also arose on June 12, 2017. In George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007), the Court of Appeals explained that “[u]nrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits.” See also Fed.R.Civ.P. 21. This action will concern the first presented claim against Officer Criss Donald. The claims against RN Katherine James and LPN Loretta will be severed into a separate action.

         The clerk is directed to open a new action in the Indianapolis Division as follows:

a. Lance Howard shall be the plaintiff.
b. The Nature of Suit shall be 555.
c. The Cause of Action of each of the newly opened actions shall be 42:1983pr.
d. The amended complaint in this action, dkt. [22], shall be filed and re-docketed as the complaint in the new action. Howard's request to proceed in forma pauperis, dkt. [9], shall likewise be re-docketed in the new action.
e. A copy of this Entry shall be docketed in the new action.
f. The defendants in the new action shall be RN Katherine James ...

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