Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sims v. Doe

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

September 7, 2018

JOHN SIMS, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN DOE Officer, JOHN DOE Sgt., Officer of the State of Indiana Department of Correction at R.D.C., Defendants.

          ENTRY GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, DISMISSING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         I. Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         The 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.

         II. Screening

         Plaintiff 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).

         The 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.

         Mr. 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.

         Mr. 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).

         The 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).

         While 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 might be.

         Mr. 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' employment.

         III. Report ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.