United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
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. §
1915A(c), this Court has an obligation under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a) 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 Cesal v. Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir.
2017). 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).
Henry has sued “staff members of Pendleton Corr.
Facility.” Dkt 1 at 1. Henry explains that he was in
administrative segregation for 23 hours a day. On February
16th at 10:30 p.m. an officer moved Henry to a
shower and placed another inmate in Henry's cell. The
other inmate then hid under a desk and attacked Henry when
Henry was returned to his cell. During the attack, Henry was
sprayed with two cans of “Level 3 Bear Spray
Repellent” by defendants. When Henry was taken to
medical, Officer Ross slammed his head four times into walls
and doors. Officer Ross allegedly took these actions to
punish Henry for his past litigation.
Discussion of Claims
the screening standard to the factual allegations in the
complaint certain claims are dismissed while other claims
shall proceed as submitted.
claims in this action are necessarily brought pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. To state a claim for relief under §
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)).
claims against staff members of Pendleton Correctional
Facility must be dismissed because a group of people is not a
“person” subject to suit under § 1983. A
defendant can only be liable for the actions or omissions in
which he personally participated. Colbert v. City of
Chicago, 851 F.3d 649, 657 (7th Cir. 2017); Sanville
v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 734 (7th Cir. 2001).
“Because vicarious liability is inapplicable to . . .
§ 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official's own
individual actions, has violated the Constitution."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009);
Locke v. Haessig, 788 F.3d 662, 669 (7th Cir. 2015).
Individual staff members must be named so that they can be
served with process as required by Rule 4 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and so that their individual
liability can be determined.
claims that shall proceed are against Officer Ross. The
allegations against this individual defendant are sufficient
to state an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim and a
First Amendment retaliation claim. This summary of remaining
claims includes all of the viable claims identified by the
Court. All other claims have been dismissed. If the plaintiff
believes that additional claims were alleged in the
complaint, but not identified by the Court, he shall have
through March 25, 2019, in which to identify
Service of Process
clerk is directed to update the docket to
reflect that Officer Ross is a defendant in this action. The
clerk shall terminate "staff members of