United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT
CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING SERVICE OF PROCESS
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Michael James Cable (“Mr. Cable”) is a prisoner
currently incarcerated at the Marion County Jail II
(“the Jail”). 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).
complaint is brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and names 22
defendants. One defendant is Aramark, the food service
provider for the Jail. The other 21 defendants range from the
National Academy of Sciences to Governor Holcomb to the
Marion County Prosecutor Agency to the U.S. Congress. For
relief, Mr. Cable seeks compensatory damages.
Cable alleges that he has lost 30 pounds since he has been
confined at the Jail and that the food served there
“has absolutely no nutritional value” and that
inmates “do not even receive a full amount on any
tray.” Dkt. No. 1, p. 5. He also alleges that he has
been denied a kosher diet because he does not have a
religious reason for requesting one.
speaking, inmates who require a kosher diet in order to
practice their religion have a First Amendment right to have
that kosher diet. Mr. Cable does not invoke a constitutional
right to have a kosher diet when he alleges no religious
basis for his request. See Powers v. Coleman, 559
Fed.Appx. 581, 583 (7th Cir. June 20, 2014) (Seventh Circuit
affirmed jury verdict that inmate's First Amendment
rights were not violated when a kosher diet was denied
because inmate did not hold a sincere religious belief
requiring the diet). The fact that a Jail chaplain denied Mr.
Cable's request for a kosher diet did not violate Mr.
Cable's constitutional rights.
personal liability, there can be no recovery under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 593-94
(7th Cir. 2009). “Liability depends on each
defendant's knowledge and actions, not on the knowledge
or actions of persons they supervise.” Id. at
594. The claims against all defendants except Aramark are
dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted because Mr. Cable does not
allege actual participation in any constitutional violations.
The Court need not discuss each defendant. Suffice it to say
that many of them are not suable entities and none of them,
other than Aramark, had any involvement in the provision of
food at the Jail. Their inclusion is
Cable's allegations of being denied adequate amounts of
food and nutrition by Aramark shall be allowed to proceed as
a claim brought under the Fourteenth or Eighth Amendment to
the United States Constitution, depending on whether Mr.
Cable is a pretrial detainee or convicted offender.
Report Future Changes of Address
pro se plaintiff shall report any change of address
within ten (10) days of any change. The Court must be able to
communicate with the pro se plaintiff. If the
plaintiff fails to keep the Court informed of his current
address, the action may be subject to dismissal for failure
to comply with Court orders and failure to prosecute.
Termination of Defendants ...