United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
CHANSE T. STARR, Plaintiff,
ALLEN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLLIAM C. LEE JUDGE
T. Starr, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a complaint (ECF
1) against the Allen County Commissioners, Allen County Jail,
Sheriff Gladeiux, Deputy Sheriff Cpt. Cook, Unknown Allen
County Jail Staff, and Allen County Jail Medical Staff
alleging he received inadequate medical treatment while
housed at the Allen County Jail. “A document filed
pro se is to be liberally construed, and a pro
se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held
to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers . . ..” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007). Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A, this court must review the complaint and dismiss it if
the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim,
or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief. “In order to state a claim under [42
U.S.C.] § 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that
defendants deprived him of a federal constitutional right;
and (2) that the defendants acted under color of state
law.” Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th
alleges that he suffers from seizures, and despite knowledge
of his condition, he was assigned to sleep in a top bunk. ECF
1 at 2. On February 14, 2018, in the middle of the night, he
had a seizure and fell out of the top bunk and injured his
left eye. Id. He states his roommate pushed the
intercom for help and banged on the cell door. Id.
at 1-2. However, Allen County Jail staff refused to respond.
Id. at 2. The next day, on February 15, 2018, he
reported the incident to Allen County Jail staff working in
unit 6-A, but nothing was done. Id. at 2. On
February 16, 2018, Allen County Sheriff Officer Lamb escorted
Starr to the medical station to be treated. Id. A
nurse told Officer Lamb that Starr should be placed on the
bottom bunk or floor. Id. Given these events, Starr
alleges the Allen County Jail staff acted with deliberate
indifference because they failed to provide proper medical
treatment in a timely manner and failed to provide measures
to prevent this type of injury by forcing him to sleep on the
top bunk four and one-half feet off the ground. Id.
Starr's allegations are concerning, Starr has not stated
a claim against any of the defendants that he has named in
this lawsuit. Starr has sued the Allen County Commissioners,
but he has not alleged that the Board of Commissioners took
any action to prevent him from receiving medical treatment.
The Allen County Commissioners are not liable merely because
they supervise other defendants. Respondeat superior is not
available under the circumstances alleged in the complaint.
See Davis v. Povaleri, 2015 WL 2125081, *1 (S.D.
Starr has sued the Allen County Jail, but the jail is a
building. It is not a suable entity. Smith v. Knox County
Jail, 666 F.3d 1037, 1040 (7th Cir. 2012).
Sheriff Gladeiux and Deputy Sheriff Cpt. Cook, it is not
clear how they personally prevented Starr from being treated
for his injuries. “Only persons who cause or
participate in the violations are responsible.”
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 2007).
“[P]ublic employees are responsible for their own
misdeeds but not for anyone else's.” Burks v.
Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 596 (7th Cir. 2009). If these
individuals were not personally involved in violating
Starr's right to medical care, then he cannot state a
claim for monetary damages against them.
Starr's complaint includes unnamed defendants-Unknown
Allen County Jail Staff and Allen County Jail Medical
Staff-he claims are responsible for failing to provide him
with appropriate medical care. However, as a practical matter
Starr's case cannot proceed against unnamed defendants.
See Wudtke v. Davel, 128 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir.
1997)(“[I]t 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.”). Therefore, he
cannot proceed against either the Unknown Allen County Jail
Staff or the Allen County Jail Medical Staff.
the complaint does not state a claim, Starr will be afforded
an opportunity to replead his claims. Luevano v. WalMart
Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1022-23, 1025 (7th Cir.
2013); Loubser v. Thacker, 440 F.3d 439, 443 (7th
Cir. 2006). In the amended complaint, he should explain in
his own words what happened, when it happened, where it
happened, who was involved, and how he was personally
injured, providing as much detail as possible.
these reasons, the court:
(1) DIRECTS the clerk to place this cause number on a blank
Prisoner Complaint (INND Rev. 8/16) and send it to Chanse T.
(2) GRANTS Chanse T. Starr until June 28,
2019, to file an amended complaint on that
(3) CAUTIONS Chanse T. Starr that if he does not respond by
that deadline, this case will be dismissed without further
notice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A because the ...