United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
action, plaintiff Robert Petro, Jr., an inmate at Pendleton
Correctional Facility, has sued Thor R. Miller, a member of
the Indiana Parole Board. Mr. Petro alleges that he is
entitled to money damages because during the course of his
June 11, 2018, parole hearing Mr. Miller allegedly made
unprofessional, personal, disrespectful and otherwise
inappropriate comments about Mr. Petro in violation of
Indiana Department of Correction's policies.
Dismissal of Complaint
. . . have an independent obligation to determine whether
subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even in the absence of a
challenge from any party.” Arbaugh v. Y&H
Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006). “When a federal
court concludes that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction,
the court must dismiss the complaint in its entirety.”
Id. The Supreme Court has explained:
The basic statutory grants of federal-court subject-matter
jurisdiction are contained in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and
1332. Section 1331 provides for
“[f]ederal-question” jurisdiction, § 1332
for “[d]iversity of citizenship” jurisdiction. A
plaintiff properly invokes § 1331 jurisdiction when she
pleads a colorable claim “arising under” the
Constitution or laws of the United States. See Bell v.
Hood, 327 U.S. 678, 681-685, 66 S.Ct. 773, 90 L.Ed. 939
(1946). She invokes § 1332 jurisdiction when she
presents a claim between parties of diverse citizenship that
exceeds the required jurisdictional amount, currently $75,
000. See § 1332(a).
Id. at 513 (internal footnote omitted).
the Court of Appeals has repeatedly held that “the
party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of
demonstrating its existence.” See Hart v. FedEx
Ground Pkg. Sys. Inc., 457 F.3d 675, 679 (7th Cir.
there is no allegation of conduct which could support the
existence of federal question jurisdiction. See Williams
v. Aztar Ind. Gaming Corp., 351 F.3d 294, 298 (7th Cir.
2003) (explaining federal courts may exercise
federal-question jurisdiction when a plaintiff's right to
relief is created by or depends on a federal statute or
constitutional provision). Contrary to Mr. Petro's
assertion, defamation is a state law (not federal) claim.
There is also no allegation of diversity of citizenship.
See Denlinger v. Brennan, 87 F.3d 214, 217 (7th Cir.
1996) (holding that failure to include allegations of
citizenship requires dismissal of complaint based on
addition, Mr. Miller enjoys absolute immunity for the conduct
alleged. Tobey v. Chibucos, 890 F.3d 634, 650 (7th
Cir. 2018) (citing Smith v. Gomez, 550 F.3d 613, 619
(7th Cir. 2008) (parole officer and supervisor entitled to
absolute immunity for placing a “parole hold” on
plaintiff); Walrath v. United States, 35 F.3d 277,
281 (7th Cir. 1994) (parole board members are absolutely
immune from suit for their decision to grant, deny, or revoke
parole); Thompson v. Duke, 882 F.2d 1180, 1184-85
(7th Cir. 1989) (parole board members are entitled to
absolute immunity not only for the actual decision to revoke
parole but also for activities that are part and parcel of
the decision process, including scheduling a hearing);
Hamilton v. Daley, 777 F.2d 1207, 1213 (7th Cir.
1985) (probation revocation is a criminal proceeding, and
prosecutors are absolutely immune from suit for acts taken in
initiating a probation revocation proceeding). Title 28
U.S.C. § 1915A requires a court to dismiss a complaint
in which a prisoner seeks monetary relief from a governmental
employee who is immune from such relief. That is the case
plaintiffs complaint must be dismissed for each of the
reasons set forth above. The plaintiff shall have
through September 13, 2018, in which to show
cause why Judgment consistent with this Entry should not
issue. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722
F.3d 1014, 1022 (7th Cir. 2013) (“Without at least an
opportunity to amend or to respond to an order to show cause,
an IFP applicant's case could be tossed out of court
without giving the applicant any timely notice or opportunity
to be heard to clarify, contest, or simply request leave to