United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
CHRISTOPHER RIDDLE #1, ANGELITO C. MERCADO #2, Plaintiffs,
BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, MATT MYERS Sheriff, MARTOCIA Major, WEAVER Sgt., STILLABOWER Lt., REED Sgt., HOLDREITH Officer, OFFICER BUTLER Officer, FIPPEN Officer, TOOLEY Officer, GREENLY Officer, MOORE Officer, CLAYBURN Officer, SEARLES Officer, FOSTER Officer, BOOTH Officer, CROUCH Sgt., Defendants.
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING FURTHER
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Entry dated October 30, 2017, the Court gave the Plaintiffs
through December 1, 2017 in which to either withdraw their
complaint or pay the filing fee. Plaintiff Angelito C.
Mercado filed a motion to withdraw as plaintiff in this
action and his motion, dkt. , is granted.
The clerk is directed to remove Angelito C.
Mercado as a plaintiff in this action.
remaining plaintiff, Christopher Riddle
(“Riddle”), is a prisoner currently incarcerated
at Bartholomew County Jail. Because Riddle 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).
alleges that Sheriff Matt Myers violated the civil rights of
male African American jail inmates when he removed access to
commissary, television, coffee and ice from male inmates who
violated jail rules and policies, but did not enforce the
same restrictions on female inmates who violated the same
jail rules and policies. Related to these allegations, Riddle
claims that Matt Myers acted with deliberate indifference
when he treated him differently than female inmates and as if
he were unimportant. Riddle further alleges that Bartholomew
County engages in an unconstitutional policy or practice by
allowing this discrimination against him to continue for the
past several months. He also alleges that numerous officers
participated in, assisted, or failed to intervene to stop the
raises a separate claim that Major Jon Martocia and Lt.
Stillabower violated his right to due process when they,
through their administration of the jail disciplinary
process, deprived him of his liberty without providing him
with a jail rule handbook. He seeks money damages and an
injunction requiring the jail to discipline male and female
Discussion of Claims
gender-based equal protection policy and practice claim
against Sheriff Matt Myers shall proceed.
The identical claim against Bartholomew County is
dismissed because the plaintiff does not allege any
facts to support the conclusion that Bartholomew County
participated in the Sheriff's policy decision.
has alleged insufficient facts to support an equal protection
claim on the basis of race. He does not allege any disparate
treatment on the basis of race among male inmates or among
female inmates. Allegations that Riddle was treated as if he
were unimportant are insufficient to raise a constitutional
deliberate indifference claim. Riddle‘s claims against
all other defendants are dismissed because
he did not allege sufficient facts to support a claim that
they each personally participated in the alleged
discrimination. He instead only offers a conclusory
allegation that they did.
Riddle's second claim related to the disciplinary
process, to the extent that he alleges he was denied due
process in his attempts to grieve or otherwise pursue his
administrative remedies, this claim is also
denied. The Seventh Circuit has
“specifically denounc[ed] a Fourteenth Amendment
substantive due-process right to an inmate grievance
procedure.” Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d
763, 772 (7th Cir. 2008). As explained in Antonelli v.
Sheahan, 81 F.3d 1422, 1430-31 (7th Cir. 1996),
“any right to a grievance procedure is a procedural
right, not a substantive one. Accordingly, a state's
inmate grievance procedures do not give rise to a liberty
interest protected by the Due Process Clause.”
Id. at 1430-31(internal citations omitted). Because
Riddle had no expectation of a particular outcome of his
grievances or complaints there is no viable claim which can
be vindicated through ' 1983. Juriss v. McGowan,
957 F.2d 345, 349 n.1 (7th Cir. 1992) (without a predicate
constitutional violation one cannot make out a prima
facie case under ' 1983).
other hand, Riddle seeks restoration of earned credit time
through his Fifth Amendment loss of liberty without due
process claim against Jon Martocia, such a claim must be
brought as a habeas petition. Heck v. Humphrey, 512