United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
LOWELL B. SMITH, Plaintiff,
PLAINFIELD CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, RICE, J. TOMAW, RAYMOND KINISON, STANLEY KNIGHT, JONES, Defendants.
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING FURTHER
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Plainfield
Correctional Facility. Because the plaintiff is a
“prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(c), this Court has an obligation under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b) to screen his complaint before service on the
defendants. Pursuant to § 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 Cesal v.
Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir. 2017). To survive
[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).
Lowell B. Smith filed this civil action against 1) Plainfield
Correctional Facility, 2) Sgt. Rice, 3) Lt. J. Tomaw, 4)
Raymond Kinison, 5) Warden Stanley Knight and 6) Mr. Jones,
Caseworker. He seeks $200, 000.00 in damages. The complaint
is understood to be brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
Smith alleges that he is being denied food. He explains that
he uses a wheelchair and requires someone to push him to the
chow hall. He alleges the following. Finding someone to push
his wheelchair is the officers' responsibility. On
December 12, 2018, Mr. Smith and two other inmates in
wheelchairs were denied pushers and as a result were denied
breakfast. Sgt. Rice and Lt. J. Tomaw were responsible for
both the denial of the wheelchair pusher and the resulting
denial of breakfast. Mr. Smith further alleges that he has
been denied a wheelchair pusher and meals out of retaliation
for filing a complaint about unsafe and dangerous walkways at
Plainfield Correctional Facility.
Discussion of Claims
the screening standard to the factual allegations in the
complaint, certain claims are dismissed while other claims
shall proceed as submitted.
Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act
preliminary matter, this Court acknowledges that construed
broadly the allegations in the complaint could be understood
to allege a claim under Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
To the extent Mr. Smith wants to pursue his claim that he has
been denied access to the chow hall because of his
disability, he should do so in case number
1:18-cv-3915-JPH-DLP. That action alleges that the Indiana
Department of Correction violated the Rehabilitation Act by
denying Mr. Smith safe access to the chow hall on December 4,
Section 1983 Claims To state a claim for relief
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that he
or she was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or
the laws of the United States, and that this deprivation
occurred at the hands of a person or persons acting under the
color of state law. D.S. v. E. Porter Cty. Sch.
Corp., 799 F.3d 793, 798 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing
Buchanan-Moore v. Cty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824,
827 (7th Cir. 2009)). For the reasons explained below, the
rights at issue are based on the First and Eighth Amendments.