United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER SCREENING AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND
DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO SHOW CAUSE
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Screening and Dismissing Complaint
Austin Eckes is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Wabash
Valley Correctional Facility. 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
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 under federal
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to 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). Thus, a
“plaintiff must do better than putting a few words on
paper that, in the hands of an imaginative reader, might
suggest that something has happened to [him] that might be
redressed by the law.” Swanson v. Citibank,
N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 403 (7th Cir. 2010).
Eckes, an inmate confined at Wabash Valley Correctional
Facility, names as defendants: (1) Lt. Hiatt; (2) C/O S.
Duggar; and (3) C/O Brewer. He alleges that he has an
irregular heart beat that slow down his breathing and that on
June 19, 2018, he was improperly left in a smoke-filled room
unattended for around thirty minutes, and that the prison
officers were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical
need because he “could have fallen unconscious or died
or committed suicide.” Dkt. No. 1 at 4. Specifically,
Mr. Eckes was brought into an interview room where Lt. Hiatt
spoke to him for about five minutes before leaving. He was
then left unattended for around thirty minutes. After thirty
minutes, he beat on the cell doors to get the attention of
the officer, and he was subsequently released from the room.
Upon his release, he asked to see a mental health therapist,
but C/O S. Duggar allegedly told him he was fine and refused
to go get Mr. Eckes's mental health therapist. Mr. Eckes
then alleges he was going through a “mental &
physical break down.” Dkt. No. 1 at 4. Mr. Eckes
alleges that C/O Brewer was in charge of the control booth,
and if Mr. Eckes had not beat on the cell door, he would most
likely have died “not by suicide but by breathing in
those chemicals that was [sic] physically hurting me
internally.” Id. For relief, he requests an
“equitable sum of money.” Dkt. No. 1 at 5.
claims against Lt. Hiatt must be dismissed
because there are no allegations of constitutional wrongdoing
on his part. Mr. Eckes alleges only that he talked to Lt.
Hiatt for about five minutes. “Individual liability
under § 1983… requires personal involvement in
the alleged constitutional deprivation.” Colbert v.
City of Chicago, 851 F.3d 649, 657 (7th Cir. 2017)
(internal quotation omitted) (citing Wolf-Lillie v.
Sonquist, 699 F.2d 864, 869 (7th Cir. 1983)
(“Section 1983 creates a cause of action based on
personal liability and predicated upon fault. An individual
cannot be held liable in a § 1983 action unless he
caused or participated in an alleged constitutional
deprivation.... A causal connection, or an affirmative link,
between the misconduct complained of and the official sued is
Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claims against C/O
S. Duggar and C/O Brewer are dismissed for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To
prevail on an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
medical claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate two elements: (1)
he suffered from an objectively serious medical condition;
and (2) the defendant knew about the plaintiff's
condition and the substantial risk of harm it posed, but
disregarded that risk. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 837 (1994); Pittman ex rel. Hamilton v. County of
Madison, Ill., 746 F.3d 766, 775 (7th Cir. 2014). A
successful § 1983 plaintiff must also establish not only
that a state actor violated his constitutional rights, but
that the violation caused the plaintiff injury or damages.
Roe v. Elyea, 631 F.3d 843, 846 (7th Cir. 2011)
(citation omitted). Here, Mr. Eckes does not allege that
these defendants were aware of a serious medical need or any
actual physical harm.
Eckes also asserts he has a Fourteenth amendment due process
claim for the officers' failure to comply with IDOC
policy, rules and procedures, but has failed to explain what
due process rights were violated or which IDOC policy, rules,
or procedures were not complied with. Accordingly, any
Fourteenth amendment due process claim is
Mr. Eckes's complaint must be dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
plaintiff shall have through July 25, 2018,
in which to show cause why this action
should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1022 (7th Cir. 2013) (Plaintiffs
should be given at least an opportunity to amend or to
respond to an order to show cause before a case is
“tossed out of court without giving the applicant any
timely notice or opportunity to be heard to clarify, contest,
or simply request leave to amend.”). If the plaintiff
wishes to amend his complaint, he shall place the proper case
number, 2:18-cv-00279-WTL-DLP, and the words “Amended
Complaint” on the first page of the amended complaint.
plaintiff fails to show cause, the action will be dismissed
for the reasons set forth in this Entry without further
notice. If the plaintiff files an amended Complaint, it ...