United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION TO AMEND, SEVERING MISJOINED
CLAIM, AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT .
Parker, an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in
Terre Haute, Indiana (“FCI Terre Haute”), brought
this action alleging that he has received inadequate medical
care for his heart condition and associated pain. His
complaint was screened in the Entry of August 22, 2017. The
defendants answered and filed a motion for summary judgment.
Parker then filed a motion to amend on November 22, 2017. The
motion to amend, Dkt. No. 29, is granted.
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).
The Claims that Shall Proceed
claims in his Amended Complaint are also apparently based on
his contention that he has received inadequate care for his
heart condition and associated pain. He alleges that
defendant McCoy refused to provide him with care for his
condition and failed to ensure that the facility had adequate
medical staff to meet the needs of the inmates. He further
alleges that Doctors Trueblood and Wilson failed to treat his
heart condition and chest pain. In addition, he alleges that
Nurse Practitioner Blila also failed to treat his condition.
Finally, he alleges that Physical Therapist Matchett has
failed to treat his injured foot.
names as a defendant Andrew Rupska, but does not state any
actions on his part in the body of the complaint.
Accordingly, any claims against Rupska are
dismissed. See Sanville v.
McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 734 (7th Cir. 2001) (A
defendant can only be liable for the actions or omissions in
which he personally participated.).
requests that his claims proceed under Bivens v. Six
Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971),
the Administrative Procedures Act, or the Federal Tort Claims
Act (“FTCA”). Based on Parker's assertions
and this request, his claims shall proceed
under Bivens and under the FTCA. He has stated no
claim under the Administrative Procedures Act because he has
not alleged that the acts at issue were the result of actions
on the part of the BOP itself. See 5 U.S.C. §
702. The Bivens claims shall proceed against the
individual defendants in their individual capacities only.
The clerk shall add defendants McCoy, Roger
Cox, Nurse Practitioner Blila, and Dr. Andrew Wilson as
defendants. Because the United States is the only proper
defendant in an FTCA case, the United States shall be
added as a defendant. Hughes v. United
States, 701 F.2d 56, 58 (7th Cir. 1982).
claim that Physical Therapist Matchett failed to treat
Parker's injured foot cannot proceed with the other
claims in this action. In George v. Smith, 507 F.3d
605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007), the Court of Appeals explained that
“[u]nrelated claims against different defendants belong
in different suits.” Rule 18 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure allows joinder of multiple parties
only when the allegations against them involve the same
conduct or transaction and common questions of fact and law
as to all defendants. Generally, if a district court finds
that a plaintiff has misjoined parties, the court should
sever those parties or claims, allowing those grievances to
continue in spin-off actions, rather than dismiss them.
Elmore v. Henderson, 227 F.3d 1009, 1012 (7th Cir.
2000). This is the remedy that will be applied to the
complaint. Therefore, the claim against Physical Therapist
Matchett is severed from the original
complaint and a new civil action from the Terre
Haute Division shall be opened, consistent with the
a. Terry Parker shall be the plaintiff in the newly opened