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Jackson v. Lemmon

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

November 17, 2017

GARY A. JACKSON, SR., Plaintiff,
BRUCE LEMMON, et al., Defendants.


          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         This cause is before the Court on the following motions filed by the Plaintiff: Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint and Withdraw First Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 59)[1]; Motion for Sanctions (Dkt. No. 67); Motion for Full Electronic Filing (Dkt. No. 74); Motion for Emergency Hearing (Dkt. No. 77); Motion for Recusal (Dkt. No. 79); and Second Motion for Recusal (Dkt. No. 81). Also before the Court is the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. No. 63). The Court DENIES the Plaintiff's motions and GRANTS the Defendants' motion for summary judgment for the reasons set forth below.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In May 2013, Gary Jackson was convicted of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, a C Felony, and was sentenced to home detention and probation. He violated the terms of his probation, and his probation was revoked on July 16, 2015. He then was sentenced to two years in the Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”). In July 2016, Mr. Jackson was released to parole and subject to the Parole Stipulations for Sex Offenders. Among other restrictions, the parole conditions restrict a parolee's contact with children. Mr. Jackson's parole ended on July 12, 2017.

         Following this Court's ruling on the Defendants' motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 44), three claims, all related to alleged violations of procedural due process, remained: (1) the claim against the Indiana Parole Board for failing to provide an individualized assessment before applying any parole condition other than those listed in Indiana Code § 11-13-13-3-4; (2) the claim against the Indiana Parole Board for “setting a standard form” and not instructing employees how to determine which conditions apply to parolees; and (3) the claim that Agent Pine did not give Mr. Jackson a 10-day notification and chance to be heard regarding the GPS-monitoring condition. The Court interpreted the first two claims as having been brought against each of the Parole Board Members in that member's official capacity.

         Mr. Jackson then sought to name each Parole Board Member in his individual capacity so that he could seek monetary damages from each member as an individual. The Court denied that motion, finding that any claim that Mr. Jackson brought against the Parole Board Members in their individual capacities would necessarily be based on their decision regarding his parole, not the procedural due process claims that remained in this case. As the Court pointed out, it is well settled that parole board members are absolutely immune from suit for their decisions to grant, deny, or revoke parole. Smith v. Gomez, 550 F.3d 613, 619 (7th Cir. 2008); Wilson v. Kelkhoff, 86 F.3d 1438, 1444 (7th Cir. 1996). The Court further pointed out that if Mr. Jackson succeeded on the claims that remained before the Court, he would be entitled only to have the Indiana Parole Board reconsider his conditions of parole to remedy any constitutional due process violation. See Dkt. No. 52.


         A. Plaintiff's Motions

         1. Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint

         Mr. Jackson has filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint and motion to withdraw the first amended complaint. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may amend a complaint “with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave, ” which “should [be] freely give[n]” when “justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2); see Soltys v. Costello, 520 F.3d 737, 743 (7th Cir. 2008). Although Rule 15 provides for a liberal pleading standard, a district court may deny leave to amend for undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, prejudice, or futility. See Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).

         “A district court does not abuse its discretion in denying leave to amend if the proposed repleading would be futile . . . .” Garcia v. City of Chicago, 24 F.3d 966, 970 (7th Cir. 1994) (internal citations omitted); see also Tribble v. Evangelides, 670 F.3d 753, 761 (7th Cir. 2012) (“District courts have broad discretion to deny leave to amend . . . where the amendment would be futile.”). Futile repleadings include restating the same facts using different language, reasserting claims that have been previously determined, and the inability to survive a motion to dismiss. See Garcia, 24 F.3d at 970 (internal citations omitted); Bower v. Jones, 978 F.2d 1004, 1008 (7th Cir. 1992). For the reasons explained below, the proposed repleading would be futile.

         First, to the extent that Mr. Jackson attempts to assert claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1985, or 1986, those claims would be futile, as those statutes relate to race or class-based discrimination, which Mr. Jackson does not allege. See, e.g., Riley v. Elkhart Cmty. Sch., 829 F.3d 886, 892 (7th Cir. 2016) (“Section 1981 causes of action are limited to discrimination claims based on race.”) (citations omitted); Smith, 550 F.3d at 617 (“Section 1985(3) prohibits a conspiracy to deprive another of equal protection under the law . . ., but the conspiracy must be motivated by racial[ ] or other class-based discriminatory animus” and “status as a parolee is not considered a ‘suspect class' for equal-protection purposes.”); Katz-Crank v. Haskett, 843 F.3d 641, 650 (7th Cir. 2016) (failure of a § 1985 claim defeats a § 1986 claim).

         That leaves Mr. Jackson's § 1983 claims. To the extent that Mr. Jackson seeks to assert claims against Liberty Behavioral Health Corporation, Indiana Sex Offender Monitoring and Management (INSOMM); Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC); Indiana Parole District 3; Indiana Parole Board; and Indiana Attorney General's Office, those claims are not viable under § 1983, as none of those entities is a person and therefore none is subject to suit under § 1983. See, e.g., Will v. Mich. Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58 (1989).

         Next, any claim asserted in the proposed second amended complaint against any defendant in his or her official capacity also would be futile, as Mr. Jackson could not recover damages or receive injunctive relief. The Eleventh Amendment generally precludes a citizen from suing a state or one of its agencies or departments for money damages in federal court. Wynn v. Southward,251 F.3d 588, 592 (7th Cir. 2001). Moreover, “[t]his bar remains in effect when State officials are sued for damages in their official capacity . . . [as] a judgment against a public servant in his official capacity imposes liability on the entity that he represents.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 169 (1985) (quotations and citations omitted). Likewise, any claim seeking injunctive relief would be futile. A plaintiff bringing a claim under § 1983 has standing to seek injunctive relief “only if he has a personal stake in the outcome of the litigation.” Stewart v. McGinnis, 5 F.3d 1031, 1037 (7th Cir. 1993) (quoting ...

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