United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
STEVEN W. PRITT, Plaintiff,
CORRECT CARE SERVICES, et al. Defendants.
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at New Castle
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).
plaintiff brings this action against the defendants pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges that he was housed at
the Marion County Jail (“MCJ”) on three separate
occasions for court hearings-December 10-17, 2015; July
12-21, 2016; and February 17-21, 2017. During each of these
occasions, the plaintiff alleges that he was denied
medications for his heart condition and mental health issues.
These denials were at times caused by a policy of defendant
Correct Care Solutions, which prohibits inmates from
retaining or having access to their medications when they are
transferred to MCJ and during the first few days of
incarceration there. He also alleges that several of the
defendants simply denied him his medication and that he was
at times told he could have it once he returned to his normal
correctional facility. The plaintiff alleges that these
denials caused him significant injury, including the risk of
death. He seeks injunctive relief and compensatory damages.
Properly Joined Claims
plaintiff's allegations are sufficient to state Eighth
Amendment medical claims against Nurse Pamela Hansen, Nurse
Debra Darlene Clemons, Tracy Roberts, H. Clark, Megan
Andrews, Nurse Alexander Shelton, Megan Matthews, Lauren
Kannaple, Laura Poland, Jennifer Eidson, Nurse Brian Carter,
Hadley Wheatcraft, Melissa Rigney, and Heather Michelle
Clark. He also states an Eighth Amendment policy or practice
claim against Correct Care Solutions.
the plaintiff's claims against unknown John Doe or Jane
Doe defendants must be dismissed.
“[I]t is pointless to include [an] anonymous defendant
[ ] in federal court; this type of placeholder does not open
the door to relation back under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15, nor can it
otherwise help the plaintiff.” Wudtke v.
Davel, 128 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 1997) (internal
to the extent the plaintiff wishes to bring a constitutional
claim based on a denial of the grievance process, such
allegations fail to state a constitutional violation. 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 (citations omitted).
plaintiff also asserts an Eighth Amendment claim against
Melissa Rigney and a Jane Doe nurse. He alleges that on
December 13, 2016, they gave him a medication to which he had
an adverse reaction, including memory loss. In George v.
Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007), the Seventh
Circuit explained that “[u]nrelated claims against
different defendants belong in different suits.” When
unrelated claims are brought in the same suit, “[t]he
court may . . . sever any claim against a party.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 21. The purpose of this rule is “not only
‘to prevent the sort of morass' produced by
multi-claim, multi-defendants suits like this one, but also
to ensure that prisoners pay all fees required under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act.” Owens v.
Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting
George, 507 F.3d at 952).
unrelated claim against different defendants “belong[s]
in [a] different suit.” George, 507 F.3d
952. As the master of his complaint, the plaintiff shall be
given the opportunity to determine which course is followed,
as set forth ...