United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
WILLIAM P. WOODS, Plaintiff,
COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS OF MARION COUNTY, DETECTIVES OF MARION COUNTY PROSECUTER, Defendants.
ENTRY DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING
ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, United States District Court Judge
William P. Wood's Amended Complaint is now subject to the
screening requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This
statute provides that a court shall dismiss a case at any
time if the court determines that the action (i) is frivolous
or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may
be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.
April 20, 2018, Woods' original complaint was dismissed
for lack of jurisdiction. Woods was given a period of time in
which to show cause why Judgment should not issue. In
response, Woods filed an Amended Complaint.
Amended Complaint alleges that Woods was subjected to false
arrest when a Marion County Detective filed a false report
and again when community corrections failed to file a report
regarding a GPS monitor repair. Woods seeks to have his name
cleared and the charges dismissed. He also seeks 10 million
dollars as compensation for the 16 months he spent in jail.
He names “Community Corrections an[d] Detectives of
Marion County an[d] Prosecutor of Marion County” as
defendants. He states that he is suing under state law and
invokes this court's diversity jurisdiction.
Court's request, Woods submitted the Chronological Case
Summary associated with his related criminal case, No.
49G05-1508-F1-029324. The state court record reflects that on
February 10, 2017, Woods pled guilty to attempted murder and
battery resulting in serious bodily injury based on
circumstances occurring on August 16, 2015. A sentencing
hearing was conducted. Woods was sentenced to time served
(1095 days) on the battery resulting in serious bodily injury
conviction, and 1825 days on probation.
March 16, 2017, a notice of violation of probation was filed
by the State against Woods. On June 7, 2017, a hearing was
held and the state court found that Woods violated the
conditions of his probation. As a result of this violation,
Woods was sanctioned with 112 days incarceration and was
later again released on probation.
Amended Complaint is dismissed for the following reasons.
First, there is no allegation which would support the
exercise of the court's diversity jurisdiction as to any
claim under Indiana state law. This is because a district
court cannot exercise diversity jurisdiction if the plaintiff
shares the same state citizenship as any one of the
defendants. Whalen v. Carter, 954 F.2d 1087, 1094
(5th Cir. 1992) (citing Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 3
Cranch 267, 7 U.S. 267, 2 L.Ed. 435 (1806)); see also
Hart v. FedEx Ground Package Sys. Inc., 457 F.3d 675,
676 (7th Cir. 2006). In this case, all parties are alleged to
be citizens of Indiana.
addition, even if the amended complaint was understood to
allege a violation of Woods' constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the amended complaint
still fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was deprived of a
right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States; and (2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a
person or persons acting under color of state law.
Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824,
827 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Gomez v. Toledo, 446
U.S. 635, 640 (1980).
case, neither Community Corrections of Marion County nor the
collective Detectives of Marion County are a
“person” subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. A municipal entity is not vicariously liable under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for the alleged misdeeds of its employees,
but only if the injury alleged is the result of a policy or
practice. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577
F.3d 816 (7th Cir. 2009). No ingredient of that nature is
present in the second amended complaint.
the defendant prosecutor is entitled to absolute immunity.
The state court records make clear that the defendant
prosecutor's actions “were intimately associated
with the judicial phase of the criminal process, and thus
were functions to which the reasons for absolute immunity
apply with full force.” Imbler v. Pachtman,
424 U.S. 409 (1976). There is no allegation in the amended
complaint which contradicts this conclusion.
this civil rights action cannot be used to
“clear” Woods' name or to vacate his guilty
plea. That relief is outside the scope of this civil rights
action. See Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 554
(1974) (“[H]abeas corpus is not an appropriate or
available remedy for damages claims.”).