United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
STEVEN W. PRITT, Plaintiff,
SHERIFF MATTHEW. Defendant.
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND, SCREENING AMENDED
COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Steven Pritt, an inmate at the New Castle Correctional
Facility, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while
he was confined at the Marion County Jail. After engaging in
discovery to identify the proper defendants, Pritt has filed
a motion to amend his complaint. The motion is
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 amended 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).
alleges that while he was confined at the Marion County Jail,
another inmate threw feces on him and Deputy Sheriff Eric
McCreary failed to file a report or separate them, which left
Pritt at risk of further assaults. In addition, the feces
caused an infestation of cockroaches. Deputy Sheriff McCreary
did not allow Pritt to shower, obtain medical care, or file a
grievance. Pritt states that he told defendants that he has
identified as “White Shirt Butner” and
“White Shirt Mottram” also denied his request for
a shower and medical treatment. They also would not allow
Pritt to hang up a smock as a barrier from the other
inmate's assaults and would not otherwise protect him
from further assaults.
the screening standard to the factual allegations in the
amended complaint certain claims are dismissed while other
claims shall proceed as submitted.
claims that defendant McCreary, Butner, and Mottram would not
allow him to shower or obtain medical attention after being
assaulted by feces shall proceed as a claim
that these defendants failed to protect him from harm and
ignored his serious medical needs in violation of his
constitutional rights. His claim that his cell was infested
with cockroaches and the defendants ignored this condition
shall proceed as a claim that these
defendants subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of
confinement. It is unclear from the Amended Complaint whether
Pritt was a pretrial detainee or a convicted inmate at the
time of these events. If he was a pretrial detainee, the
rights alleged derive from the Fourteenth Amendment. If he
was a convicted prisoner, the Eighth Amendment applies.
claim against Brewer Ramsey is dismissed.
The plaintiff alleges claims against Ramsey under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and asserts that Ramsey acted under color of
state law, but he also alleges that Ramsey was a fellow
inmate at the Jail. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right
secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States and
must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a
person acting under color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). “The color of
state law element is a threshold issue; there is no liability
under [Section] 1983 for those not acting under color of
law.” Groman v. Twp. of Manalapan, 47 F.3d
628, 638 (3d Cir. 1995). A person acts under color of state
law only when exercising power “possessed by virtue of
state law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is
clothed with the authority of state law.” United
States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 326 (1941). There is no
allegation in the complaint that would support a conclusion
that Ramsey, a fellow Jail inmate, was exercising power he
possessed by virtue of state law.
summary of remaining claims includes all of the viable claims
identified by the Court. All other claims have been
dismissed. If the plaintiff believes that additional claims
were alleged in the complaint, but not identified by the
Court, he shall have through June 11, 2018,
in which to identify those claims.
Duty to Update Address
se plaintiff shall report any change of address within ten
(10) days of any change. The Court must be able to locate the
plaintiff to communicate with him. If the plaintiff fails to
keep the Court informed of his current address, the action
may be subject ...