United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FILING OF
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Putnamville
Correctional Facility. 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, which is full of legal analysis
and irrelevant facts, violates Rule 8(a)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. That rule requires
that pleadings contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief
..... ” See United States ex rel. Garst v.
Lockheed-Martin Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2003)
(“Rule 8(a) requires parties to make their pleadings
straightforward, so that judges and adverse parties need not
try to fish a gold coin from a bucket of mud.”);
Jennings v. Emry, 910 F.2d 1434, 1436 (7th Cir.
1990) (complaint “must be presented with sufficient
clarity to avoid requiring a district court or opposing party
to forever sift through its pages” to determine whether
it states a valid claim). In particular, the inclusion of
claims which are pending in Tripp v. Spanenberg,
2:17-cv-45-JMS-MPB is confusing and unnecessary.
assist the plaintiff in filing a complaint that complies with
Rule 8, the plaintiff is notified that to state a claim for
retaliation, he needs only to allege that he engaged in
conduct protected by the First Amendment, and that the
defendants retaliated against him based on that conduct.
See Walker v. Thompson, 288 F.3d 1005, 1008-09 (7th
Cir. 2002). For example, the plaintiff has no constitutional
right to be housed in any particular institution. See
Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209, 221
(2005)(“[T]he Constitution itself does not give rise to
a liberty interest in avoiding transfer to more adverse
conditions of confinement.”). But, otherwise
permissible conduct can become impermissible when done for
retaliatory reasons. Murphy v. Lane, 833 F.2d 106,
108-09 (7th Cir. 1987) (district court reversed for
dismissing complaint challenging otherwise permissible prison
transfer because of sufficient allegation of retaliation). A
complaint states a claim for retaliation when it sets forth
“a chronology of events from which retaliation may
plausibly be inferred.” Zimmerman v. Tribble,
226 F.3d 568, 573 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting Cain v.
Lane, 857 F.2d 1139, 1143 n.6 (7th Cir. 1988)).
“Conversely, alleging merely the ultimate fact of
retaliation is insufficient.” Murphy, 833 F.2d
said, the complaint alleges that the defendants were
responsible for filing reports of misconduct (or condoning
those reports) which resulted in disciplinary proceedings and
the imposition of sanctions. According to the complaint,
those sanctions included the deprivation of earned good time,
which in turn has the effect of lengthening the anticipated
duration of the plaintiff's confinement. Although the
plaintiff does not seek the restoration of these sanctions,
the settled law in these circumstances is that when a
prisoner makes a claim that, if successful, could shorten his
term of imprisonment, the claim must be brought as a habeas
petition, not as a § 1983 claim. Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). In Edwards v.
Balisok, 520 U.S. 641 (1997), the foregoing rule was
“extend[ed] . . . to the decisions of prison
disciplinary tribunals.” Gilbert v. Cook, 512
F.3d 899, 900 (7th Cir. 2007). Accordingly, the claims in
this action are dismissed without prejudice insofar as those
claims are based on actions attributed to this defendant
which resulted in the imposition of a sanction which
lengthened the anticipated duration of the plaintiff's
Dismissal of Complaint
the complaint violates Rule 8 and the Court has been unable
to identify a viable claim for relief against any particular
defendant, the complaint is subject to dismissal.
dismissal of the complaint will not in this instance lead to
the dismissal of the action at present. Instead, the
plaintiffs shall have through October 24,
2017, in which to file an amended
filing an amended complaint, the plaintiff shall conform to
the following 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. . . .,
” 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)); (b) the
amended complaint must include a demand for the relief
sought; and (c) the amended complaint must identify what
legal injury they claim to have suffered and what persons are
responsible for each such legal injury. The plaintiff must
state his claims “in numbered paragraphs, each limited
as far as practicable to a single set of
circumstances.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b). The plaintiff is
further notified that “[u]nrelated claims against
different defendants belong in different suits.”
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
organizing his complaint, the plaintiff may benefit from
utilizing the Court's complaint form. The clerk
is directed to include a copy of the prisoner civil
rights complaint ...