Kevin L. Martin, Appellant-Plaintiff,
Richard Brown, et al., Appellee-Defendant
from the Sullivan Superior Court The Honorable Hugh R. Hunt,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 77D01-1811-PL-658
Appellant Pro Se Kevin L. Martin Carlisle, Indiana.
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Monika Prekopa Talbot Deputy Attorney General
Kevin L. Martin appeals the trial court's grant of a
motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissal of
Martin's complaint against Richard Brown, B. Hinton, J.
Meek, and Makenzy Gilbert (collectively,
"Defendants"). We affirm.
and Procedural History
Martin is an inmate at the Wabash Valley Correctional
Facility ("WVCF"). On November 29, 2018, Martin
filed a complaint against Defendants: Brown, who is Warden of
the WVCF; B. Hinton, who is supervisor of WVCF law library;
J. Meek, who is a caseworker at WVCF; and Makenzy Gilbert,
who is mailroom supervisor at WVCF. Martin's complaint
alleged violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and of his rights
under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United
States Constitution stemming from an alleged incident
involving the delivery of Martin's legal mail.
Defendants timely answered Martin's complaint and, on
January 7, 2019, Martin moved to file an amended complaint.
On January 11, 2019, the trial court issued an order stating
it "was unable to ascertain the basis for said
motion" and Martin had "twenty (20) days from the
date here [sic] herein to state in a plain concise manner the
necessity or reason for the request for leave to amend his
complaint." (Appellees' App. at 39.) Martin did not
respond to the trial court's order. Instead, Martin filed
an amended complaint without the trial court's leave on
January 17, 2019. On January 31, 2019, the trial court issued
an order striking Martin's amended complaint.
On February 20, 2019, Martin filed a motion for an order
compelling discovery. The next day, Defendants filed a motion
for judgment on the pleadings, arguing Martin failed to state
a claim for which relief could be granted under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. On February 21, 2019, the trial court granted
Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings and
dismissed Martin's complaint with prejudice, stating:
The face of the Complaint makes it clear that there are no
circumstances upon which relief could be granted. Plaintiff
has not plead [sic] any actual harm related to his claim of
First Amendment denial of access to the Courts, nor has he
plead [sic] any facts in support of his claims of a due
process violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
(Id. at 84.)
[¶5] At the onset, we note Martin
appeared before the trial court and in this appeal as a
pro se litigant. It is well settled that pro
se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed
attorneys, and thus they are required to follow procedural
rules. Evans v. State, 809 N.E.2d 338, 344
(Ind.Ct.App. 2004), trans. denied.
[¶6] Martin has filed several
prose appeals before this court. In all of
those appeals, Martin's failure to follow the Indiana
Rules of Appellate Procedure has led to either dismissal of
his appeal or affirmation of the trial court's order
dismissing his complaint. See Martin v. Gilbert, et
al., 18A-CT-2095, 2019 WL 2363327 (Ind.Ct.App. June 5,
2019) (affirmed dismissal of complaint based on violations of
Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure), trans. pending;
Martin v. Brown, et al., 18A-CT-2940, 2019 WL 1217796,
123 N.E.3d 712 (Table) (Ind.Ct.App. March 15, 2019) (affirmed
dismissal of complaint based on violations of Indiana Rules
of Appellate Procedure), trans. denied; and
Martin v. Howe, et al., 18A-CT-680, 2018 WL 5956300,
113 N.E.3d 813 (Table) (Ind.Ct.App. November 14, ...