United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
Bee Cislo, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a Complaint.
“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) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). 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 Cir. 2006).
Complaint, Cislo alleges that he suffers from hepatitis C and
genital herpes. In October 2018, he arrived at the Laporte
County Jail as a pretrial detainee. Since that time, he has
received no treatment for his medical issues. Cislo seeks
money damages and immediate treatment for hepatitis C and
asserts a claim against the Sheriff Jon Boyd, Officer Ott,
and Dr. Tchatchet for failing to treat hepatitis C and
genital herpes. Because Cislo is a pretrial detainee, his
claim is assessed under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Mulvania v. Sheriff of Rock Island Cty., 850 F.3d
849, 856 (7th Cir. 2017). “[T]he Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause prohibits holding pretrial
detainees in conditions that ‘amount to
punishment.'” Id. (quoting Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979)). “A pretrial
condition can amount to punishment in two ways: first, if it
is ‘imposed for the purpose of punishment,' or
second, if the condition ‘is not reasonably related to
a legitimate goal-if it is arbitrary or purposeless-a court
permissibly may infer that the purpose of the government
action is punishment.'” Id. (quoting
Bell, 441 U.S. at 538-39). “[A] pretrial
detainee can prevail by providing only objective evidence
that the challenged governmental action is not rationally
related to a legitimate governmental objective or that it is
excessive in relation to that purpose.” Kingsley v.
Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 2473-74 (2015). The Seventh
Circuit has held that “medical-care claims brought by
pretrial detainees under the Fourteenth Amendment are subject
only to the objective unreasonableness inquiry identified in
Kingsley.” Miranda v. Cty. of Lake,
900 F.3d 335, 352 (7th Cir. 2018).
is well established that there is no respondeat superior
liability under § 1983.” Gayton v. McCoy,
593 F.3d 610, 622 (7th Cir. 2010). Rather, “[l]iability
depends on each defendant's knowledge and actions, not on
the knowledge or actions of persons they supervise.”
Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 594 (7th Cir.
2009). “[Section] 1983 lawsuits against individuals
require personal involvement in the alleged constitutional
deprivation to support a viable claim.” Palmer v.
Marion Cty., 327 F.3d 588, 594 (7th Cir. 2003). Because
Cislo does not explain whether the individual defendants are
aware of his medical needs or describe how they responded
when he asked them for treatment, Cislo cannot proceed
also asserts a claim against Quality Correctional Care, LLC,
a corporate entity that provides medical care for inmates at
the Laporte County Jail. Under § 1983, liability for
corporate entities exists only when the execution of a policy
or custom inflicts the injury. Calhoun v. Ramsey,
408 F.3d 375, 379 (7th Cir. 2005). These defendants
may be held liable for “an express policy that, when
enforced, causes a constitutional deprivation.”
Id. The policy must be the “moving force
behind the deprivation of his constitutional rights.”
Johnson v. Cook Cty., 526 Fed.Appx. 692, 695 (7th
Cir. 2013). Absent an unconstitutional policy, liability of a
corporation may be established with a showing of “a
widespread practice that, although not authorized by written
law or express [corporate] policy, is so permanent and well
settled as to constitute a custom or usage with the force of
law.” McTigue v. City of Chicago, 60 F.3d 381,
382 (7th Cir. 1995). Cislo alleges that Quality Correctional
Care maintains a policy of denying inmates treatment for
hepatitis C and genital herpes. Giving the inferences to
which Cislo is entitled at the pleading stage, Cislo states a
plausible claim against Quality Correctional Care.
these reasons, the Court:
GRANTS Ronnie B. Cislo leave to proceed against the Quality
Correctional Care, LLC for maintaining a policy of denying
inmates treatment for hepatitis C and genital herpes that
caused a violation of his rights under the Fourteenth
GRANTS Ronnie B. Cislo leave to proceed against Quality
Correctional Care, LLC on an injunctive relief claim for
medical treatment for hepatitis C and genital herpes to the
extent required by the Fourteenth Amendment;
DISMISSES the Sheriff Jon Boyd, Officer Ott, and Dr.
DISMISSES all other claims;
DIRECTS the Clerk of Court and the United States Marshals
Service to issue and serve process on Quality Correctional
Care, LLC at the LaPorte County Jail with a copy of this
Order and the Complaint (ECF 1) as required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(d); and
ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), that
Quality Correctional Care, LLC respond, as provided for in
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R. 10.1,
only to the claims for which Ronnie B. ...