United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS,
DISMISSING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO SHOW CAUSE
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis,
Dkt. No. 12, is granted. Notwithstanding the
foregoing ruling, “[a]ll [28 U.S.C.] § 1915 has
ever done is excuse pre-payment of the docket fees;
a litigant remains liable for them, and for other costs,
although poverty may make collection impossible.”
Abdul-Wadood v. Nathan, 91 F.3d 1023, 1025 (7th Cir.
1996). The assessment of even an initial partial filing fee
is waived because the plaintiff has no assets and no means by
which to pay a partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(4). Accordingly, no initial partial filing fee is due
at this time.
prisoner John Sims brings this civil rights action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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.”
Perez v. Fenoglio, 792 F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015)
(internal quotation omitted).
complaint names as defendants Officer John Doe and Sgt. John
Doe, both of whom were employed at the Reception Diagnostic
Center. Mr. Sims seeks compensatory damages and a declaratory
judgment. He also seeks an order ceasing the defendants'
job duties until his claims are resolved.
Sims alleges that Sgt. John Doe ordered Officer John Doe to
spray Mr. Sims with mace because Mr. Sims got on a table and
jumped into a wall head first, while Mr. Sims was restrained
in behind-the-back handcuffs. He further alleges that Captain
John Doe later told Sgt. John Doe that he should not have
ordered the mace because Mr. Sims was already secure with
handcuffs and was not being combative against the officers.
The Captain told Sgt. John Doe that they should have opened
the cell door and pulled Mr. Sims out of his cell.
Sims does not identify any defendant by name, nor does he
allege when the alleged incident occurred. He also does not
allege that he suffered any physical injury from the mace. An
inmate cannot recover for mental or emotional injury
“without a prior showing of physical
injury….” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e).
claims against both of the John Does are dismissed
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted because “it is pointless to include
lists of anonymous defendants in federal court; this type of
placeholder does not open the door to relation back under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15, nor can it otherwise help the
plaintiff.” Wudtke v. Davel, 128 F.3d 1057,
1060 (7th Cir. 1997) (internal citations omitted).
it is true that Mr. Sims may be allowed to conduct discovery
to attempt to learn the identity of the defendants, he must
first state a viable claim and injury and also must allege
sufficient facts to narrow the scope of who the defendants
Sims' request for an order terminating the
defendants' job duties is dismissed for failure
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
because this Court does not have the authority to order the
temporary or permanent termination of the defendants'