United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY SCREENING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT AND
DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District
November 14, 2017, the plaintiff filed a second amended
complaint, dkt. . The second amended complaint is now the
operative complaint in this action and is subject to the
screening requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). 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
[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 Second Amended Complaint
plaintiff brings his claims against the defendants pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Although the second amended
complaint omits some factual allegations contained in the
first amended complaint, the plaintiff alleges that Brian
Smith, Warden of Putnamville, ordered prison staff to
reassign the plaintiff to a job cleaning toilets in
retaliation for filing grievances related to his exclusion
from work based upon his use of the law library.
plaintiff also alleges that defendant Chris Williams ordered
prison staff to search the plaintiffs cell in retaliation for
filing grievances alleging that Williams "covered for
staff misconduct" when Williams responded to inmate
grievances. This cell search resulted in the confiscation of
his prison litigation manual. He alternatively alleges that
Sergeant Hughett ordered the cell search.
plaintiff alleges that Sergeant Hooker was biased against him
when Sergeant Hooker presided over his disciplinary hearing
and that Sergeant Hughett presided over hearings of
fictitious conduct reports against him. The plaintiff alleges
that Rob Carter, IDOC Commissioner and Brian Smith, Warden of
Putnamville, were made aware of the plaintiff's concerns
and ignored them.
second amended complaint includes additional allegations of
misconduct against prison staff not named as defendants in
the second amended complaint.
Discussion of Claims
the screening standard to the factual allegations in the
second amended complaint certain claims are dismissed while
other claims shall proceed as submitted.
the plaintiffs allegations against people not named as
defendants in the amended complaint are
dismissed. Myles v. United States,
416 F.3d 551, 551-52 (7th Cir. 2005) ("[T]o make someone
a party the plaintiff must specify him in the caption and
arrange for service of process.") (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
10(a) ("In the complaint the title of the action shall
include the names of all the parties.")).
the claim against the Indiana Department of Correction
Commissioner Rob Carter is dismissed because
the alleged failure of the commissioner to respond to letters
or complaints about the conditions of Tripp's confinement
is not sufficient to bring him into the zone of liability
under § 1983, because "[t]he general responsibility
of a warden for supervising the operation of a prison is not
sufficient to establish personal liability." Estate
of Rosenberg v. Crandell,56 F.3d 35, 37 (8th Cir.
1995). Most importantly, Tripp's allegations do not
suggest a plausible basis for concluding that the
commissioner caused or participated in the alleged
constitutional deprivation. See Wolf-Lillie v.
Sonquist,699 F.2d 864, 869 (7th Cir. 1983); Johnson
v. Snyder,444 F.3d 579, 583-84 (7th Cir. 2006) (letters
to Director insufficient to ...