United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED
COMPLAINT AND SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT
William T. Lawrence, Judge United States District Court.
Motion for Leave
Robert A. Seal's motion for leave to file amended
prisoner complaint, Dkt. No. 56, is granted. Mr. Seal had
until March 30, 2018 to amend his Complaint, see
Dkt. No. 54, which he did on March 22, 2018. The clerk shall
re-docket the proposed Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 56-1) as
the Amended Complaint.
Robert Seal is a prisoner currently incarcerated at the
Indiana State Prison. Because Mr. Seal is a
“prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(h), the amended complaint is subject to the screening
requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). Pursuant to this
statute, “[a] complaint is subject to dismissal for
failure to state a claim if the allegations, taken as true,
show that plaintiff is not entitled to relief.”
Jones v. Bock, 127 S.Ct. 910, 921 (2007). To survive
a motion to dismiss, the complaint “must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face. . . . A claim has
facial plausibility when 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
(quotations omitted). Pro se complaints such as that filed by
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
Seal filed his original complaint on October 11, 2016. That
complaint named four defendants: (1) Ronald Richardson, (2)
Andy Williams, (3) Michelle Sumpter; and (4) Madison County.
Mr. Seal alleged that his rights under Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) were violated when he
was not provided with a halal diet. He further alleged that
his First Amendment rights were violated.
Court screened the complaint on December 7, 2016, and allowed
his RLUIPA claims against all defendants and his First
Amendment claims against Richardson, Williams and Sumpter to
proceed. The Court dismissed his First Amendment claim
against Madison County.
February 13, 2017, defendants filed a motion to dismiss
seeking partial dismissal of certain claims. On March 17,
2017, the Court granted in part and denied in part
defendants' motion to dismiss. Dkt. No. 21. The RLUIPA
claim against Madison County was dismissed. Any claim for
injunctive relief was also dismissed. Finally, any First
Amendment claim against any defendant in his or her official
capacity was dismissed.
Mr. Seal's New Allegations and Claims
amended complaint, Mr. Seal wishes to add additional claims.
Specifically, he wishes to add claims against Richardson,
Williams and Sumpter for violation of Indiana's Religious
Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) Indiana Code
§ 34-13-9-0.7, et seq. He further asserts that
Richardson, Williams and Sumpter violated his Eighth
Amendment rights through deliberate indifference towards his
dietary needs, cruelty by subjecting him to sleep
deprivation, and deliberate indifference towards his medical
Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment
prohibits the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.
Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 319 (1986).
Pursuant to the Eighth Amendment, prison officials have a
duty to provide humane conditions of confinement, meaning,
they must take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of
the inmates and ensure that they receive adequate food,
clothing, shelter, and medical care. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994).
Seal alleges that Richardson, Williams, and Sumpter violated
his Eighth Amendment rights because he was subjected to sleep
deprivation tactics. However, his allegations are
insufficient to state a claim against Richardson, Williams,
or Sumpter as he fails to identify how they are individually
responsible for the sleep deprivation. “Individual
liability under § 1983… requires personal
involvement in the alleged constitutional deprivation.”
Colbert v. City of Chicago, 851 F.3d 649, 657 (7th
Cir. 2017) (internal quotation omitted) (citing
Wolf-Lillie v. Sonquist, 699 F.2d 864, 869 (7th Cir.
1983) (“Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on
personal liability and predicated upon fault. An individual
cannot be held liable in a § 1983 action unless he
caused or participated in an alleged constitutional
deprivation.... A causal connection, or an affirmative link,
between the misconduct complained of and the official sued is
necessary.”)). The Eighth Amendment claim based on
sleep deprivation tactics must therefore be dismissed.
prevail on an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
medical claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate two elements: (1)
he suffered from an objectively serious medical condition;
and (2) the defendant knew about the plaintiff's
condition and the substantial risk of harm it posed, but
disregarded that risk. Id. at 837; Pittman ex
rel. Hamilton v. County of Madison, Ill., 746 F.3d 766,
775 (7th Cir. 2014). Mr. Seal merely alleges that he was not
medically screened, but does not explain how he suffered from