United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ANTHONY C. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
STURGELL, WEDDELL, MILLER, BOLMAN, GUILLIE, PEROLE, COLENON, LUNSFORD, HAMILTON, SPANGLER, COCKERN, VAN DE, HOLMES, OVERFIELD, PITT, WHITTE, SHUPPER, PRESTEL, REGAN, DUNKIN, Defendants.
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE.
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Pendleton
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
defendants. But before that step can be taken certain claims
must be severed from this action.
Rule of Civil Procedure 18 permits a plaintiff to bring in
one lawsuit every claim he has against a single defendant.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a). However, to join multiple defendants in a
single action, Rule 20 requires that the plaintiff assert at
least one claim against all of them “arising out of the
same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or
occurrences” and where “any question of law or
fact common to all defendants will arise in the
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2). Working together, these
two rules mean that “[u]nrelated claims against
different defendants belong in different suits” so as
to prevent prisoners from dodging the fee payment or three
strikes provisions in the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
Consequently, “multiple claims against a single party
are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be
joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.”
Id., 507 F.3d at 607. Rule 20 applies as much to
cases brought by prisoners as it does to any other case.
Id. When claims are misjoined, Rule 21 allows this
court to sever any claim against a party or to add or drop a
party from a lawsuit.
action, Martin sues 20 defendants, all employees of Pendleton
Correctional Facility. The defendants include: Officer
Sturgell, Officer Weddell, Sgt. Miller, Lt. Bolman, Cpt.
Guillie, Cpt. Perole, Lt. Colenon, Sgt. Lunsford, Officer
Hamilton, Officer Spangler, Officer Cockern, Officer Van De,
Officer Holmes, Officer Overfield, Officer Pitt, Officer
Whitte, Officer Shupper, Sgt. Prestel, Officer Regan, and
Internal Affairs Dunkin.
reviewed the allegations in the complaint, it is apparent
that there are five separate occurrences at issue.
Altercation on December 24, 2016.
alleges that on December 24, 2016, he was sexually assaulted
by Officer Sturgell when she threw bars of soap into the
shower area striking Martin several times in his genitals and
lower part of my body. Martin was later escorted to medical
because he was urinating blood and swelling. (Count 1 of
being transported to medical, Martin was beaten by Sgt.
Prestel and Officer Regan causing injury. (Count 2 of
December 24, 2016, I.A. Dunkin placed Martin in a freezing
cell out of retaliation with no sheets or blankets for five
days. During three of these days, Martin was denied food and
water by Officer Pitt and Officer Whitte. (Count 2 of
Crushed Hand on April 13, 2017
April 13, 2017, Officer Hamilton was working at the HCH cell
house and told Martin that Martin had it coming for the
Officer Sturgell incident, so Martin should watch his back.
Later, Officer Hamilton purposefully shut Martin's left
hand in the door, smashing it. Martin screamed for help, but
Officer Hamilton just walked off. Martin yelled for a
supervisor, but OIC Holmes did not respond even though
Martin's hand was trapped in the door for over an hour.
Martin's hand was fractured. (Count 3 of Complaint.)
Treatment on June 2 - 4, 2017
June 2, 2017 through June 4, 2017, Martin was subjected to
racial and discriminatory treatment by Cpt. Gullie, Lt.
Conlen, Sgt. Lungford, Officer Hamilton, Officer Spangler,
Officer Cockern, Officer Van De and Officer Overfield. Martin
was called racist names and locked in his cell for three
days. During this time he was deprived of his meals. When he
tried to yell for help, he was sprayed with mace by ...