United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. SIMON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Paul Huey, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a motion asking
to amend his complaint. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 15(a)(1)(B), he may amend “once as a matter
of course” without permission from the court within 21
days after a responsive pleading or motion to dismiss is
filed. Because neither a responsive pleading nor a motion to
dismiss have been filed, the motion to amend will be
construed as a notice and the Clerk will be directed to
docket the amended complaint which identifies a previously
unknown defendant. The amended complaint is a copy of the
original complaint and in each location where the actions of
the Unknown Defendant were described, he has written in the
name: Deputy Carrico.
action involves an incident that occurred while Huey was a
pre-trial detainee at St. Joseph County Jail. Huey alleges
that he was beaten and denied medical treatment on October 2,
2016, while he was a pre-trial detainee in the Saint Joseph
County Jail. “A document filed pro se is to be
liberally construed, and a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quotation marks and
citations omitted). Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, I must review the merits of a prisoner
complaint and dismiss it if the action is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
alleges things began when Deputy Emmendorfer pushed and
shoved him while escorting him to the visitation room at the
jail. However, “[n]ot every push or shove, even if it
may later seem unnecessary in the peace of a judge's
chambers, ” violates the constitution. Graham v.
Conner, 490 U.S. at 396, quoting Johnson v.
Glick, 481 F.2d 1028, 1033 (2d Cir.), cert.
denied 414 U.S. 1033 (1973). Based on the complaint, it
does not appear that it was necessary for Deputy Emmendorfer
to have pushed and shoved Huey, but Huey was not injured and
“enjoyed a visit [with family] despite the unnecessary
roughness exhibited toward him by Defendant Deputy
Emmendorfer.” ECF 1 at 4. Therefore these allegations
do not state a claim.
what he alleges happened when he left the visitation room
does. Huey says he ask Deputy Kitchen to take him back to his
cell because Deputy Emmendorfer had been “pushing and
shoving” him on the way to the visitation room. ECF 1
at 6. In response he says Deputy Emmendorfer “lifted
[him] off the ground, slammed his head into the wall”
and threw him to the floor while he “was handcuffed and
shackled at the waist and entirely defenseless . . ..”
ECF 1 at 7. Then Deputy Emmendorfer and Deputy Carrico beat
him with closed fists.
may not use excessive force against pre-trial detainees.
Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 576 U.S. ___, ___; 135
S.Ct. 2466, 2473 (2015) (holding that “a pretrial
detainee must show only that the force purposely or knowingly
used against him was objectively unreasonable.”). These
allegations state a claim against Deputy Emmendorfer and
alleges Deputy Kitchen did not intervene to stop the beating
delivered by the other two guards. State actors “who
have a realistic opportunity to step forward and prevent a
fellow [state actor] from violating a plaintiff's right
through the use of excessive force but fail to do so”
may be held liable. Miller v. Smith, 220 F.3d 491,
495 (7th Cir.2000) (citing Yang v. Hardin, 37 F.3d
282, 285 (7th Cir. 1994). Based on the duration of the
alleged events, it is plausible to infer Deputy Kitchen had a
realistic opportunity to have helped. Therefore this
allegation also states a claim.
Huey alleges Deputy Emmendorfer and the Deputy Carrico
dragged him to his cell and refused his request for medical
treatment. Under the Eighth Amendment, inmates are entitled
to adequate medical care. Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 104 (1976). “Although the Eighth Amendment
applies only to convicted persons, pretrial detainees . . .
are entitled to the same basic protections under the
Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause. Accordingly,
[courts] apply the same legal standards to deliberate
indifference claims brought under either the Eighth or
Fourteenth Amendment.” Minix v. Canarecci, 597
F.3d 824, 831 (7th Cir. 2010). See also Phillips v.
Sheriff of Cook Cty., 828 F.3d 541, 554 n. 31 (7th Cir.
2016) (clarifying that Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 576
U.S. ___, ___; 135 S.Ct. 2466 (2015) did not change the
applicability of the Eighth Amendment standard to pre-trial
detainee deliberate indifference claims). To establish
liability, a prisoner must satisfy both an objective and
subjecting component by showing: (1) his medical need was
objectively serious; and (2) the defendant acted with
deliberate indifference to that medical need. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). A medical need is
“serious” if it is one that a physician has
diagnosed as mandating treatment, or one that is so obvious
that even a lay person would easily recognize the necessity
for a doctor's attention. Greeno v. Daley, 414
F.3d 645, 653 (7th Cir. 2005). On the subjective prong, the
plaintiff must establish the defendant “acted in an
intentional or criminally reckless manner, i.e., the
defendant must have known that the plaintiff was at serious
risk of being harmed and decided not to do anything to
prevent that harm from occurring even though he could have
easily done so.” Board v. Farnham, 394 F.3d
469, 478 (7th Cir. 2005). The allegations here, including
that Huey suffered serious injury to his face, skull,
shoulder, and wrist, state a claim against Deputy Emmendorfer
and Deputy Carrico.
alleges Deputy Emmendorfer and Deputy Carrico falsely charged
him with “aggressive movements toward staff
members.” ECF 1-1 at 1. “[P]risoners are entitled
to be free from arbitrary actions of prison officials, but .
. . even assuming fraudulent conduct on the part of prison
officials, the protection from such arbitrary action is found
in the procedures mandated by due process.”
McPherson v. McBride, 188 F.3d 784, 787 (7th Cir.
1999). See also Hanrahan v. Lane, 747 F.2d 1137,
1141 (7th Cir. 1983) (“[A]n allegation that a prison
guard planted false evidence which implicates an inmate in a
disciplinary infraction fails to state a claim for which
relief can be granted where the procedural due process
protections as required in Wolff v. McDonnell are
provided.”). Huey was found guilty by Sgt. Fisher.
Though he alleges Sgt. Fisher did so in retaliation for
protesting his innocence during the disciplinary hearing, he
has not plausibly alleged he was denied due process or that
Sgt. Fisher's decision was based on other than the
evidence presented against Huey.
Emmendorfer and Deputy Kitchen have already appeared by
counsel. My prior order required they respond to the original
complaint. That is no longer necessary. Now they need to
respond to the amended complaint. Though they have already
waived service, a new notice of waiver will be issued so the
record is clear as to the deadline for responding to the
amended complaint and so their deadline will be the same as
for Deputy Carrico.
these reasons, the Court:
(1) CONSTRUES the motion (ECF 15) as a Rule
(2) DIRECTS the Clerk to edit the docket
entry (ECF 15) to indicate ...