United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
October 13, 2017, Vincent Lee Smith, a pro se prisoner, filed
a Complaint [ECF No. 1] against Sheriff David Gladieux, the
Allen County Jail, and confinement officer F. Barnett. The
Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis on
November 3, 2017 [ECF No. 4].
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) (citation omitted).
Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, this Court
must review the Complaint and dismiss it if the action is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. “In order to state a claim under [42 U.S.C.]
§ 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that [the]
defendants deprived him of a federal constitutional right;
and (2) that the defendants acted under color of state
law.” Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th
case, the Plaintiff alleges that he slipped and fell due to
water on the floor on June 8, 2017. At that time, the
Plaintiff claims he could not walk and he requested a
wheelchair to go to the medical unit. Officer Barnett was
alerted immediately but told the Plaintiff that if he wanted
to go to the medical unit, he needed to walk. The Plaintiff
maintains that he was left on the floor for two hours. He
states that a nurse then arrived and only took his blood
pressure and temperature. As of the date the Complaint was
filed, the Plaintiff asserts that he has continued to suffer
back pain due to this fall.
Plaintiff alleges a claim of deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs against all of the Defendants. Under
the Fourteenth Amendment, pretrial detainees are entitled to
adequate medical care. Brown v. Budz, 398 F.3d 904,
910 (7th Cir. 2005). To establish liability, a detainee must
satisfy both an objective and subjective component by
showing: (1) his medical need was objectively serious; and
(2) the Defendant(s) acted with deliberate indifference to
that medical need. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
834 (1994); Smego v. Jumper, 707 Fed.Appx. 411, 412
(7th Cir. 2017). 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). Deliberate indifference means that the
Defendant(s) “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 Defendant does not allege that Sheriff David Gladieux was
personally involved in ignoring the request for medical
attention and “§ 1983 lawsuits against individuals
require personal involvement in the alleged constitutional
deprivation to support a viable claim.” Palmer v.
Marion Cty., 327 F.3d 588, 594 (7th Cir. 2003).
Moreover, the Allen County Jail is not a proper Defendant.
Although the Allen County Jail is where these events
occurred, the jail is a building, not a person or even a
policy-making unit of government that can be sued pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Sow v. Fortville Police
Dep't, 636 F.3d 293, 300 (7th Cir. 2011). However,
the Plaintiff plausibly alleges a claim of deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs against Officer F.
these reasons, the Court:
GRANTS Vincent Lee Smith leave to proceed only on his claim
against F. Barnett in his individual capacity for money
damages for ignoring requests for medical attention on June
8, 2017, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment;
DISMISSES Sheriff David Gladieux and the Allen County Jail;
DIRECTS the Clerk of Court and the United States Marshals
Service to issue and serve process on F. Barnett at the Allen
County Jail with a copy of this Order and the Complaint [ECF
No. 1] as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); and
ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), that F.
Barnett respond, as provided for in the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R. 10.1, only to the claim
for which Vincent Lee ...