United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT, DISCUSSING THE
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR THE COURT'S ASSISTANCE, AND
DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
plaintiff Blake Alexander Johnson is a pre-trial detainee at
the Jefferson County Jail (“JCJ”). 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. For the reasons explained below, certain claims
are dismissed while other claims shall proceed as submitted.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of 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 dismissal,
[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 formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Perez v. Fenoglio, 792
F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation omitted).
plaintiff brings this cause of action against (1) Sheila
Harrison, jail commander; (2) Chyenne Jarrett, captain; (3)
Andre Garcia, captain; (4) Dave Thomas, Jefferson County
Sheriff; and (5) Jefferson County, Indiana. The plaintiff
seeks money damages against each defendant and injunctive
relief in the form of having Sheriff Dave Thomas resign and
terminating the employment of all administrative staff at
plaintiff asserts that on April 11, 2019, Sheriff Dave Thomas
and his staff, Sheila Harrison, Chyenne Jarrett, and Andre
Garcia, placed the plaintiff in administrative segregation
without the plaintiff receiving a disciplinary write-up,
conduct report, or otherwise acting in a manner that could be
labeled a security threat.
April 11, 2019, the plaintiff's clothing, legal and
personal mail, hygiene items, and religious effects were
denied to him. In addition, all visits and phone calls were
also denied to the plaintiff. The plaintiff's legal mail
and hygiene items were denied until April 28, 2019. As a
result, the plaintiff was denied his legal mail while his
pre-trial process was proceeding and was denied soap,
toothpaste, and other hygiene products for eighteen days.
plaintiff alleges that Andre Garcia and Chyenne Jarrett moved
a known member of the Ku Klux Klan into a dorm with multiple
inmates of color. “Something happen[ed]” to the
inmate who is a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The plaintiff
alleges that he was charged with battery by Sheila Harrison,
Andre Garcia, Chyenne Jarrett, and Sheriff Dave Thomas due to
the plaintiff's race. As a result, the plaintiff was
placed in administrative segregation and labeled a threat to
the security of the facility. This occurred without proof and
without the plaintiff receiving a write-up or going in front
of a disciplinary board.
Discussion of Claims
action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To state
a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state law.
L.P. v. Marian Catholic High Sch., 852 F.3d 690, 696
(7th Cir. 2017) (citing West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
48 (1988)). The threshold inquiry in a § 1983 suit, is
to “identify the specific constitutional right”
at issue. Manuel v. City of Joliet, Ill., 137 S.Ct.
911, 920 (2017) (quoting Albright v. Oliver, 510
U.S. 266, 271 (1994)). Constitutional claims are to be
addressed under the most applicable provision. See
Conyers v. Abitz, 416 F.3d 580, 586 (7th Cir. 2005).
After pinpointing that right, courts still must determine the
elements of, and rules associated with, an action seeking
damages for its violation. Manuel, 137 S.Ct. at 920.
the plaintiff is a pre-trial detainee, his claims are
understood to be ...