United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT AND DIRECTING
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Kelvin Hampton, an inmate at Pendleton Correctional Facility,
filed this civil action against eight defendants, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The defendants include Warden Dushan
Zatecky, Assistant Warden Duane Alsip, K-9 Officer Mr.
Krypeos, Custody Officer Mr. Ruzi, K-9 Officer Mr. Hammon,
Grievance Specialist V. Shepherd, Administrative Assistance
Laura Bodkin, and Dr. Paul A. Talbot, M.D. Mr. Hampton seeks
money damages and treatment by a medical specialist.
reasons explained below, certain claims raised in the amended
complaint are dismissed while other claims shall proceed as
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 state a cognizable claim under the federal
notice pleading system, the complaint must contain a
“short and plain statement of the claim showing that
[he] is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
“This requirement is satisfied if the complaint (1)
describes the claim in sufficient detail to give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests and (2) plausibly suggests that the
plaintiff has a right to relief above a speculative
level.” Bravo v. Midland Credit Mgmt., Inc.,
812 F.3d 599, 601-02 (7th Cir. 2016) (citing Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A complaint that
offers “labels and conclusions” or
“formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
To state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on its
face.” Id. “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.”
Court is obliged to give the plaintiff's pro se
allegations, “however inartfully pleaded, ” a
liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
The Amended Complaint
January 11, 2019, Mr. Hampton was in H-Cell House and the
facility was on a modified lockdown because of a staff
shortage. Assistant Warden Alsip instructed the custody staff
officer working H-Cell House to let the inmates out to work.
When the cell doors were opened, the offender in cell 23-2
assaulted Mr. Hampton with a shank and a lock in a sock
causing severe injuries to Mr. Hampton. Officer Krypeos was
on the unit and when he realized an assault was occurring, he
called an emergency signal for back up. Officers Krypeos,
Ruzi and Hammon responded.
the screening standard to the facts alleged in the complaint,
the following claims are dismissed for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted.
against Veyona Shepherd and Laura Bodkins are
dismissed. The only allegation against them
is that Mr. Hampton “filed his informal and formal
grievances on the incident” and that Ms. Shepherd and
Ms. Bodkins failed to properly review, investigate, and
respond to his grievance. Dkt. 13 at 4-5. These allegations
do not suggest a plausible basis for concluding that Ms.
Shepherd or Ms. Bodkins caused or participated in the
decision to allow another inmate to attack Mr. Hampton and
then deny him access to necessary medical care. See
Johnson v. Snyder, 444 F.3d 579, 583 (7th Cir. 2006).
Merely acting or not acting on Mr. Hampton's complaints
did not cause the underlying denial of rights alleged.
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. Cir.
2007) (“Only persons who cause or participate in the
violations are responsible”; an official “who
rejects an administrative complaint about a completed act of
misconduct does not [cause or contribute to the
Hampton alleges that Warden Dushan Zatecky and Assistant
Warden Duane Alsip, failed to properly command, train,
control or review the other correctional officers. Claims
against these supervisory defendants are
dismissed because there is no factual basis
to conclude these supervisory defendants had personal
involvement in the alleged constitutional deprivation.
Colbert v. City of Chicago, 851 F.3d 649, 657 (7th
Cir. 2017). “Liability under § 1983 is direct
rather than vicarious; supervisors are responsible for their
own acts but not for those of subordinates, or for failing to
ensure that subordinates carry out their tasks
correctly.” Horshaw v. Casper, 910 F.3d 1027,
1029 (7th Cir. 2018). In addition, a failure to train claim
cannot be maintained against these individual state
defendants. This is because “failure to train claims
are usually maintained against municipalities, not against
individuals, and, in the Eighth Amendment context, such
claims may only be maintained against a municipality.”
Brown v. Budz, 398 F.3d 904, 918 (7th Cir. 2005)
(quoting Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724,
739-40 (7th Cir. 2001).
following claims shall proceed as submitted.
claim that Officers Krypeos, Ruzi and Hammon violated Mr.
Hampton's Eighth Amendment rights by failing to protect
him from attack and failing to provide prompt medical
treatment shall proceed as submitted. The claim that Dr.
Talbot was deliberately indifferent to Mr. Hampton's
serious medical needs following the attack, shall also
proceed as submitted.
summary of 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 ...