United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING SERVICE OF
Walton Pratt, United States District Judge.
Screening Amended Complaint
William Dickerson 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).
The Amended Complaint
Dickerson names as defendants: (1) Sgt. M. Phillips; (2) Sgt.
A. Shaw; (3) Sgt. K. McKinney; and (4) Officer M. Franklin.
He alleges that on September 1, 2017, around 11pm, he was
asked to “cuff up” by Sgt. McKinney. Mr.
Dickerson states that he was compliant and not resisting, but
that Sgt. McKinney purposefully applied excessive pressure on
Mr. Dickerson's neck. When Mr. Dickerson turned around to
complain about the pain, he was manhandled and dragged down
the range screaming. He was brought to a shakedown booth off
camera and ordered to strip under the threat of being sprayed
by pepper spray. He was then left naked for over twenty
minutes while he yelled for a supervisor. When Mr. Dickerson
started making threats about filing grievances and paperwork
with the shift supervisor, Sgt. Phillips sprayed Mr.
Dickerson two times with pepper spray before calling for
backup. Sgt. Phillips sprayed the pepper spray without first
giving a direct order to cuff up and without calling for back
up. Sgt. McKinney, Sgt. Shaw and Officer Franklin then
arrived as back-up and ordered Mr. Dickerson to cuff up - he
complied. However, Sgt. McKinney then sprayed Mr. Dickerson
in the anal area while saying statements like “lucky
this is all he can do to my ass” and “take this
mace like you take those grievances up your ass.” Dkt.
2 at 4.
Dickerson was then dragged naked across the maximum security
prison in front of the whole camp to the other side where he
was put into a dry cell. Only much later was Mr. Dickerson
provided with boxer shorts and brought to see a nurse. The
nurse told the officers that Mr. Dickerson needed to have his
eyes rinsed out, but the officers refused stating that he
would get a shower later. Several hours later, Mr. Dickerson
was finally able to take a short three-minute shower but was
unable to rinse his eyes. Different officers later allowed
him to take another shower. Mr. Dickerson states that the
vision in his right eye has been permanently damaged.
Dickerson requests monetary damages and injunctive relief in
the form of eye surgery. Dkt. 2 at 6.
Discussion of Claims
Dickerson's Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual
punishment, excessive force, failure to intervene, and
deliberate indifference to his serious medical need claims
shall proceed against defendants Sgt. M.
Phillips and, Sgt. A. Shaw, Sgt. K. McKinney; and Officer M.
Franklin. Mr. Dickerson's First Amendment retaliation
claims shall also proceed against defendants
Sgt. M. Phillips and Sgt. K. McKinney.
summary of claims includes all of the viable claims
identified by the Court in the complaint. If the plaintiff
believes that additional claims were alleged in the complaint
but not identified by the Court, he shall have
through May 23, 2019, in which to identify