United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT
CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING SERVICE OF PROCESS
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Monzer Al-Kassar is a federal inmate formerly incarcerated at
the Federal Correctional Complex at Terre Haute, Indiana
(“FCC-TH”). Because 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).
complaint, Dkt. No. 1, was transferred to this Court from the
Southern District of Illinois. Mr. Al-Kassar has paid the
Al-Kassar names sixteen (16) defendants, in addition to seven
(7) “Unknown Correctional Officers.” He seeks
injunctive relief (in the form of expunging a disciplinary
report), and nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages.
Because the plaintiff is a federal inmate, his civil rights
claims are brought under the theory of Bivens v. Six
Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bur. of Narcotics, 403 U.S.
Al-Kassar is a 72 year old man allegedly serving a 360 month
sentence for various conspiracy offenses and money
laundering. He alleges that he has ties to the Syrian
government and that after he was incarcerated, he refused to
assist the United States government in their efforts to
overthrow the government of Syria. He alleges that this led
to him being tortured by staff at the FCC-TH.
Al-Kassar's first claim is that the Federal Bureau of
Prisons (“BOP”) violated his due process rights
and the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”)
when it found him guilty of a disciplinary charge without
allowing him to make a statement or call witnesses. He
alleges that he was not denied any good time credits.
Al-Kassar's second claim is that from September 16, 2016,
through October 20, 2016, defendants S. Julian, FNU Rigsby,
M. Sample, Clint Swift, Evelyn Keller, FNU Rodriguez, Robert
Roloff, FNU McCoy, FNU Dubbins, Cory Miller, FNU Sullivan,
Frank Hart, and Amy Adams were aware that he was being held
in a hotbox or sweatbox consisting of a 7' x 9'
windowless room with no access to natural light that was not
cooled or ventilated while the outdoor temperature exceeded
90 degrees. The floor of the room was so hot that he could
not stand on it during the daytime. The room was filthy,
infested with insects, and had water constantly dripping into
it from an upstairs cell. A machine outside the room made
constant screeching noises, making sleep and conversation
impossible. Dkt. No. 1, p. 32. He further alleges that he
asked each of these defendants for medical treatment because
he needed prescriptions for high blood pressure and diabetes,
but such treatment was deliberately withheld. These claims
arise out of the Eighth Amendment to the United States
Al-Kassar's third claim is that Evelyn Keller retaliated
against him for seeking legal advice from his attorney when
she wrote up two false incident reports against him,
authorized the use of force and ordered the denial of medical
care. These claims arise out of the First and Eighth
Al-Kassar's fourth claim is brought against Unknown
Correctional Officers for entering his cell at midnight on
October 19, 2016, physically picking him up off the concrete
slab he slept on, shackling him while naked, and walking him
through the prison with the intent to humiliate and inflict
fifth claim is also against Unknown Correctional Officers for
transporting him, after he was dressed, in a 2' x 4'
box with a chair and no ...