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Decker v. United States Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

June 22, 2018

ROBERT K. DECKER, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, Defendant.

          ENTRY DENYING MOTION TO PORCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING THE PLAINTIFF TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT

          HON. WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE

         I. In Forma Pauperis

         The plaintiff has paid the $400.00 filing in this action. As such, his motion to proceed in forma pauperis, Dkt. No. 11, is denied as moot. The complaint is now ready for screening.

         II. Screening Standard

         The plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at United States Penitentiary-Terre Haute (USP-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). 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).

         III. The Complaint

         The complaint alleges that the plaintiff has hepatitis C and that the Bureau of Prisons medical staff does not properly or adequately treat this condition in any infected inmate, in violation of the Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that he has been incarcerated since 2016 and has not received any medical treatment for his hepatitis C. He alleges he has been told it will be years before he is provided any treatment.

         The plaintiff names the “Federal Bureau of Prisons, Medical Care, Chronic Care Clinic” as the defendant. He seeks injunctive relief in the form of treatment for himself and all other inmates with hepatitis C. He also seeks class certification. His claim is brought pursuant to the theory set forth in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Dkt. No. 1, p. 4.

         IV. Discussion of Claims

         Applying the screening standard to the factual allegations in the complaint, the plaintiff's claim must be dismissed because he fails to name an individual responsible for the alleged misconduct. In Bivens claims, the complaint must allege direct and personal responsibility for the unlawful conduct and respondeat superior cannot be the basis of a Bivens claim. There must be individual participation and involvement by an individual. Del Raine v. Williford, 32 F.3d 1024, 1047 (7th Cir. 1994).

         As such, the Bivens claim that the defendant “Federal Bureau of Prisons, Medical Care, Chronic Care Clinic” failed to treat his serious medical condition is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

         Next, the plaintiff seeks class certification to proceed on behalf of all ...


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