United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISMISSING COMPLAINT, DENYING MOTION FOR CLASS
ACTION, AND DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO SHOW CAUSE OR
R. SWEENEY II JUDGE
Nathaniel Jeffers is a prisoner currently incarcerated at the
Pendleton Correctional Facility (Pendleton). He brings this
civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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(b) to screen his complaint before service on the
defendants. Pursuant to § 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
[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 pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Cesal, 851 F.3d at 720.
complaint names the following defendants: 1) Commissioner
Robert E. Carter; 2) Warden Dushan Zatecky; and 3) Assistant
Warden Duane Alsip. The plaintiff sues each defendant in his
individual and official capacity. He seeks compensatory and
punitive damages and injunctive relief.
plaintiff alleges that Pendleton is overcrowded. He alleges
that the Warden and Assistant Warden have started
double-bunking inmates. He also alleges that due to the
overcrowding and being on lockdown, medical treatments have
been delayed and denied. He alleges many inmates have
suffered from delayed treatment.
plaintiff further alleges that Pendleton is understaffed
which has led to denials of recreation and visitation. He
alleges that violence among the prison inmates has increased.
Also on his list of complaints is the number of hours between
meals, that the nutritional value of meals is not adequate
for grown men, and the kitchen equipment is not properly
sanitized. Finally, he complains that the Indiana Department
of Correction (IDOC) has revised the grievance policies to
make it more difficult for inmates to complete the process.
He alleges that these conditions violate his Eighth Amendment
to the Eighth Amendment, prison officials have a duty to
provide humane conditions of confinement, meaning, they must
take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the
inmates and ensure that they receive adequate food, clothing,
shelter, and medical care. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 834 (1994). To state a claim under the Eighth
Amendment, a plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to
support a claim that the “conditions of his confinement
resulted in the denial of the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities, and that the defendants were
deliberately indifferent to the conditions in which he was
held.” Gruenberg v. Gempeler, 697 F.3d 573,
579 (7th Cir. 2012) (internal quotations omitted).
overarching problem with the plaintiff's complaint is
that he does not allege that he has suffered any compensable
injury as a result of overcrowding or the other conditions he
describes. Section 1983 allows for recovery only by a
“party injured” by a “deprivation
of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983; see
also Armstrong v. Daily, 786 F.3d 529, 553 (7th Cir.
2015) (a plaintiff must “establish one of the necessary
elements of a constitutional tort: that the officer's act
... caused any injury.”) (internal quotation omitted).
in prison is not per se unconstitutional. See
Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347-52 (1981);
Heard v. Baldwin, 732 Fed.Appx. 472 (7th Cir. 2018)
(although plaintiff alleged overcrowding, he did not allege
that it “created a substantial risk of harm to him
individually and that prison officials knew about and
ignored the risk.”) (emphasis added). The plaintiff
alleges no violence or other injuries that he suffered as a
result of double-bunking and overcrowding. The
plaintiff's double-bunking claim is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
the plaintiff alleges generally that inmates are being denied
adequate and timely medical care, he does not allege that
he has been denied any specific treatment. “It
is true that delays in care for non-life-threatening but
painful conditions may constitute deliberate indifference if
the delay exacerbated the injury or unnecessarily prolonged
an inmate's pain.” Mitchell v. Kallas, 895
F.3d 492, 500 (7th Cir. 2018) (internal quotation omitted).
“Yet prisons have limited resources, and that fact
makes some delay inevitable.” Id. “For a
delay in treatment to qualify as deliberate indifference, we
must weigh the seriousness of the condition and the ease of
providing treatment.” Id. (internal quotation
omitted). Absent an allegation that the plaintiff has a
serious medical condition and has been denied ...